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Publisher's Summary

This is a dynamic, modern dramatisation of a classic book by John Wyndham. Bill Nighy ( Love Actually and many other films) and Sarah Parish ( Cutting It) play Richard and Janet, a couple caught up in the goings-on of a sleepy English village in which all the children have golden eyes, blond hair, and a sinister talent for telepathy and telekinesis. (Wyndham's novel was filmed as Village of the Damned in 1960 and 1995.)
©2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd. (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Bill Nighy is terrific as Richard Gayford, drawn into the horror of a small village whose women all give birth on the same day to beautiful babies whose only intent, as they grow, is to survive - whatever the cost." ( Daily Express)

What listeners say about The Midwich Cuckoos

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Terrific specialty Bill Nighy

I have always loved the Midwich cuckoos a truly scary story. Having it with a full cast makes it even better. Hopefully this will get listeners to read the book. Although this is just marvellous.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 15-08-2009

Quite good - except for the screaming

I hadn't read any John Wyndham books since I was a kid, but lately I've been really into BBC radio serials, so I thought I'd give this a try (and heck, who can resist Bill Nighy? I always love his performances).

Overall, this is a great production, and fairly recent, so some of the more dated aspects (the whole stereotypical '1950s housewives' attitude was one of the reasons I hadn't loved the book whn I read it years ago, for example) have been toned down or confined to a general 'women are more attached to their children than men' approach.

However.

I don't recommend listening to this while lying on the couch trying to relax on a Sunday afternoon, because every 5 minutes some female character lets out the kind of ear-piercing, sustained shriek that has you jumping out of your chair and lunging for the EQ because you feel like your eardrums are about to perforate themselves. (The Chysalids dramatization has the same problem.)

So: definitely buy this, but it's best to listen to while, say, cleaning the house.

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  • Taj
  • 21-02-2019

Well acted and easy listen

I thought all the actors were great and the SFX were done well, and beautifully scored

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cynthia
  • 25-07-2017

Very creepy!.

Saw the movie when I was a child. This acting was great and and the sound effects were also for a radio book play.

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  • Andrew Migliore
  • 17-01-2015

Survival of the species

Good story with descent cast. The actor playing the professor is spot on. There are often times the dialog has a definite improv feel to it. Bill Nighy doesn't lend the needed gravitas to a situation were aliens have invaded with superior powers and about to go off to propagate their species... putting at risk the future of humanity. Personally I enjoyed the 1960s movie better but this is still an enjoyable audiobook.

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  • Thomas
  • 25-12-2009

First rate

Very well done. Bill Nighy is his usual delightful self, and Clive Merrison also contributes a solid performance. This is, in many ways, one of Wyndham's more horrifying stories. As a longtime fan of Wyndham's work, I'm happy to say that the spirit of his novel comes through loud and clear. If you appreciate good, intelligent radio drama, this is for you.

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  • Tim
  • 17-02-2007

Loved It

I am great fan of the original book and I very much enjoyed this interpretion. It did maybe over simplify the story a little too much in parts, but that did not distract from the overall enjoyment.

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  • Fiona
  • 08-06-2017

Perfect!

This is just perfect - a thought-provoking, clever book. The writing is beautiful - John Wyndham is an artist at work, and this is wonderfully acted. All the actors are great, and I'd pick out Bill Nighy for being particularly perfect in the role, and for having a lovely voice!

This book is a piece of the fabric our our world, and there really isn't any reason not to love it.

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  • Firenze
  • 12-07-2017

Excellence

Brilliant adaptation. Actor's are superbly cast. As a child I was terrified of the film!

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  • Jj
  • 04-02-2015

Gripping

I really enjoy these type of audio books. I sometimes prefer the narrators to be people I don't know so I can create my own images in my mind. Having said that it was well dramatised. Being such a classic it was thoroughly entertaining. Worth a listen

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  • Pippa
  • 10-11-2013

Fab - great dramatisation

What did you like most about The Midwich Cuckoos?

Good story, solid audio version, nicely interpreted and brought up-to-date

What did you like best about this story?

Great narration, and the updating for a modern twist.

What does the narrator bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Bill Nighy is great as a languorous, rather useless male!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Great version, highly recommended.

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  • Jim Richardson
  • 03-12-2018

Excellent

Beautifully read, acted and performed... What more needs to be said other than get it today....

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  • Steph H
  • 21-03-2016

Brilliant!!

I love this story and generally love all John Wyndham stories. This is a great adaptation of this and a really good listen.

Highly recommended

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  • Edmund
  • 17-04-2015

Really worth trying... spooky beyond belief.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This audiobook definitely deserves a recommendation. It is one of the few performances that generally gives me the chills.
The children are just too creepy and the performance makes that brilliant.

What does Bill Nighy and Sarah Parish bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Bill turns a god performance (as you would expect) his flippant nature turns to serious and Nighy shows his full amazing range.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This is one that can definitely be digested in one sitting. It can be done though there is a good point for a pause in the middle.

Any additional comments?

I would heartily recommend this. Not only is it a good production of a good story, its been performed brilliantly, bringing this chilling story to your (should be) eager ears.

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