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Chocky Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Posted by j128 in Comedy, Science Fiction.
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Book cover of \

Chocky (this is the edition that I read)

Chocky is a science fiction book by British author John Wyndham which was published in 1968 and was his last book, a year before his death. So far, it’s my favourite John Wyndham book.

Chocky is a very witty story, but also contains twists of seriousness, etc. It is told in the first person by David Gore, who is the father of the Gore family.

Summary

The Gore family consists of David, who tells the story, David’s wife Mary, and their children: Matthew and Polly. Matthew is their adopted son, and Polly is their daughter by birth. Mary was quite insistent on having a child, but after many tries and no results, they used the alternative: adopting a child.

Polly had an invisible, imaginary friend and was very attached to her friend, so much that there were some embarrasing scenes, i.e. they ‘forgot’ Polly’s friend back home and the result? They had to loop back home, pick up Polly’s “friend”, and then set off once again. Matthew acquired an imaginary friend as well, but this causes some concern in his father because it seems that Matthew is too old (ten years old) to have an imaginary friend.

Chocky, Matthew’s friend’s name, is actually an advanced alien from a world thousands and thousands of light years away and resides in Matthew’s consciousness. Chocky is trying to find out about Earth and through discovering, there are several conflicts between Matthew and Chocky. Some sample questions are, for example, what is the point of two parents? Why not just one? Because if you get angry with one parent, how can you still love the other? And so on and so on, very complex and interesting questions.

Trouble arises for the Gore family when Matthew nearly drowns with Polly, but is then saved by ‘an angel’, who is actually Chocky. Matthew is kidnapped, and the people who hold him in confinement say to him that he broke his leg and are fixing it. Matthew later tells his parents he assumed it was a hospital, it was clean and its people were clean in the same ways a hospital should be. Then in the middle of the night he is taken in a car, a second car, and falls asleep continually because he is drugged, and then when he wakes up again he is far away from his hometown. That’s when he asks a policeman where he is and whisked back home because Matthew had been missing for several weeks and the police had been combing through the country looking for him.

Before Chocky leaves forever, Chocky tries to explain to David about what her mission was on Earth. But she also explains other things, such as the failure with Matthew. Then she takes her leave and is never seen again.A very good book and it is a pleasure to read! Of course, this isn’t a detailed article about Chocky and there are large gaps in-between, so you aren’t getting the whole story. If you would like to learn more, read the book!

Notes

There was a Chocky television series produced by Thames Televison and all were written by Anthony Read. It was shown in six episodes between Jan. 9 and Feb. 13 1984. Two sequels were produced for television: Chocky’s Children (six episodes shown between Jan. 7 & Feb. 11 1985) and Chocky’s Challenge (six episodes, shown between Sep. 29 & Oct. 16 1985). These sequels were not based on John Wyndham’s Chocky. It is available on DVD, though I am not sure if it is only available in a specific region code.

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