I approached this book with apprehension. John Wyndham was one of the all time greats no doubt about it. Just look at Day of the Triffids or The Kraken Wakes. However, with this book the author suppressed its release because he wasn’t happy with it. It was in fact released a decade after his death as his will stipulated. The reason for my hesitation was I read another of his books he didn’t want published in his life time, that was A Plan for Chaos. A Plan for Chaos wasn’t a good read at all. Original story but very dull. So I was fearful of Web.
Web is more of a novella with only 141 pages. The idea is another interesting scheme of a group of scientist and investors to set up a society on a primitive island and become Gods. The story despite its length has a slow start but once they reach Tanakuatua things really pick up. The island picked for their utopia is infested with spiders, which have also formed a society and are intent on eliminating all other life on the island…
A good read but an unsatisfactory one. The book feels more like a first draft then a completed book. It’s interesting and has a good theme science vs nature but it’s not all there. The story also features a rushed tied up ending which feels tacked on.
John Wyndham was an excellent author and this book by many other authors would be a good read. By Mr Wyndham’s standards its certainly second rate. But still manages to be both enjoyable and scary at times.
3 out of 5.
Reviewed by Grant Foxon