Matthew, they thought, was just going through a phase of talking to himself. And, like many parents, they waited for him to get over it, but it started to get worse. Mathew's conversations with himself grew more and more intense - it was like listening to one end of a telephone conversation while someone argued, cajoled and reasoned with another person you couldn't hear. Then Matthew started doing things he couldn't do before, like counting in binary-code mathematics. So he told them about Chocky - the person who lived in his head.
I have a slight thing about reading certain editions of books. There are quite a few novels I'd like to read but haven't yet because I've not found one with the right cover art. Chocky was one of them until I scored this rather lovely 1970 2nd impression hardback.
I've a long standing love affair with one Wyndham book in particular (the one with the plants) although I like many of them very much. I'm a long time fan of (post) apocalypse literature so those books in his canon - The Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, The Kraken Wakes - are the ones that jumped out at me, Chocky less so. A story of a kid with a telepathic alien chatting in his head never really appealed all that much but I always knew I'd get to it someday and despite my reservations I knew I'd probably enjoy it and I was right.
Chocky is very much what we'd now call a YA novel (but without twinkly vampires) which surprised me as I was kind of expecting something more in line with 'The Midwich Cuckoos' but this is a fairly gentle affair. Most, if not all, the action happens off the page and we essentially get a second hand account with commentary from Matthew's father.
It's hugely enjoyable and is a very different sort of YA book that I just don't think would fly anymore which is a real shame because it's kinda lovely.
Buy it here - Chocky
Watch the TV adaptation here - Chocky
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