• When the Tripods Came

  • Tripods Series Prequel (Book 4)
  • By: John Christopher
  • Narrated by: William Gaminara
  • Length: 3 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (227 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The story of The Tripods was the basis of a popular BBC television series in the 1980s, in which humanity has been conquered and enslaved by "the tripods", unseen alien entities that travel about in gigantic three-legged walking machines. Humans are controlled from the age of 14 by implants called "caps", which suppress curiosity and creativity and leave recipients placid and docile, incapable of dissent.

In this first instalment of the classic book that inspired the series, 14-year-old Laurie and his family attempt to flee England when the Tripods descend from outer space.

©1988 Samuel Youd (P)2011 Audible Ltd

What listeners say about When the Tripods Came

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

classic story, worth the money. entire series rock

narration is great and the story is an old time classic in my eyes. read this as a kid and listened to it as an adult. if you like tripod style aliens, youll love this book

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Loved this narration!

Excellent in every way. Highly recommend a listen, and already anticipating the other books sounding just as great.

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sound quality a bit off.

I vaguely remember some of this series from my childhood, I think I only read the first one. In this one, the narrator was great, although I felt it jumped around a bit and the sound was quieter than other books I've listened to, so I had to have the volume up.

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An old favorite.

I have enjoyed the Tripod series for years. Getting to hear them read was an interesting experience. The story is interesting, with some enjoyable characters. Essentially, it's all about if humanity failed to stop the alien invasion.
The reader does a wonderful job of adding extra character to the characters. He added a whole new level to the story.
I would highly recommend checking the whole series out. Especially with this reader.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Chapters out of order

The chapters were labeled out of order. I had to search manually to find the next

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Short

this one merely sets the scene for the trilogy. entertaining for sure. must read if you have listened to the others.

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A Good Prequel to a Great Trilogy!

I read When the Tripods Came right after listening to the Tripod Trilogy. The prequel was good, but I expected more after reading the epic adventures in the trilogy. I still enjoyed this book, especially how the "Trippie" cult came about and how the Masters gained control over the planet. This one definitely does not have the character development of the trilogy, and I found myself not really caring about the characters at all. William Gaminara does as good of a job as on the other three books. Have a listen to this one to complete your Tripod readings if you're a fan!

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Dated preteen almost-science-fiction....

This review will cover the prequel (When the Tripods Came) and the trilogy (The White Mountains, The City of Gold, and The Pool of Fire.) These are all more than slightly dated, quite British, and definitely pre-teen fare. A very young male audience may enjoy this series. I found the story modestly interesting but more than a bit derivative and conventional.

The prequel can be read before the trilogy, but it does not add much that is not described in the trilogy. The characters in the prequel are less developed, the action less compelling, and the story more predictable than the trilogy. The trilogy has decent British boy character development, and an interesting story with some (not very intense) action and a few interesting twists. Perhaps being written in the 60???s is some excuse for weak science (but there is a lot of great pre-60???s science fiction.)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon
  • 04-12-13

'Tacked on' to the Trilogy

This is mediocre book, and sadly nowhere near the standard of the original Trilogy. You don't gain much insight, if any, by reading it. It only slightly elaborates on things that were actually best left hinted at in the Trilogy. Some character's are shallow and pointless and the whole book just feels like a bit of an afterthought, trying to make a little go a long way. I prefer to think of the Tripods as just a Trilogy, without a prequel.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • bhavna
  • 04-26-11

the Tripods

This was a great book, I listened to it again and again and again and again and again.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maedsl
  • 06-30-19

The beginning of the end

links in perfectly for the white mountain book 1 of the original tripod trilogy. Unlike many prequels this flowed naturally and could easily have been the original tripod story

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wirral Bagpuss
  • 08-06-22

Echoes of Will Henry and Beanpole!

What a superb story! I do wish this story was followed up! I want to know what happened to everyone! What a wonderful way to spend a sunny summer afternoon listening to a story and the words used!! 👍

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  • Wayne Morris
  • 01-05-21

Classic British Sci-fi.

This really triggers nostalgia. Loved it. Life has changed so much since then. Worris now are much the same as then though, the unknown still brings nightmares. Listen with the light off.