Dan Sandman

21: Chocky by John Wyndam

In Books, Fiction, Science Fiction on 24/05/2013 at 12:00 pm

As far as I can remember, I’ve never had an imaginary friend. More’s the pity: I feel like I’ve missed out on hours imaginary conversation. I can remember having imaginary battles with toy soldiers, but these battles were all with my real friends or elder brothers – my imaginary friends must have been shy.

Now, I wonder what my parents would have done if I’d have had an imaginary friend like Chocky; a friend, neither male nor female, who’d been encouraging me to ask difficult questions in Physics lessons. If this friend then started to take control of my body and teach me how to paint, at which point would my parents start questioning my sanity? At which point would they start believing in my imagination?

Chocky by John Wyndham

Matthew is the adopted child of a sensible accountant and lives in comfortable suburbia. Matthew’s mother seems to spend most of her time knitting and Matthew’s sister likes stories about ponies. Everything is very normal apart from one thing; Matthew has an imaginary friend called Chocky who is asking some strange questions. To begin with, his parents play along so he doesn’t get upset. However, bit by bit, as the story goes on, stranger and stranger things start to happen.

Without giving too much away, what I like about this science fiction book is how it slowly builds tension. It keeps you guessing, waiting to reveal all in an intriguing way, and is a great example of perfectly concise writing. Short in length, Chocky can comfortably be read in a couple of days. I enjoyed this book and thought that it makes some very good, and still relevant, points about our planet. I was actually quite emotional when I got to the end.

Recommended reading.


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