cwelgin, September 25, 2011 (view all comments by cwelgin)
In order to read this book and enjoy it, you have to put yourself back in the time period in which it was written. This is a 'classic' sci-fi novel. Its dated.
First of all, you have over reaching elements of early space exploration (Sputnik), the cold war, and limited communication. If you think about the plot and the meteor shower that opens this story and the subsequent blindness worldwide, its sort of stretching plausibility. But if you go with it and read on, your in for a historical treat.
Im sure your aware, The Triffids are these carnivorous plants that humans originally planted for the oils they produced. Only when everyone went blind, the plants were able to break out and hunt down the humans. They could think collectively.
This is sort of like a zombie novel before Romero and Night of the Living Dead. This is also written as a memoir... from the point of view of a survivor. Its well done and holds up well.
patch, November 25, 2007 (view all comments by patch)
I read this knowing that it's on everyone's recommended reading list for great classic sci-fi, knowing I should read it, but I didn't really expect to like it. I got sucked into the plot and spat out again on the other side, looking at my garden in a very suspicious fashion. Some of the science and sociology seems a little naive, but the characterization is absorbing and the burning desire to find out "what happens next??" was more than enough to get me hooked.
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lukas, June 5, 2007 (view all comments by lukas)
An unjustly neglected classic of British sci-fi, "The Day of the Triffids," like the best of its kind, has all the thrills of the genre, as well as a deeper, daker social resonance. After a meteor shower leaves most of the inhabitants of Britain blinded, society crumbles and homicidal plants (seriously) take over. The survivors try to start again, but end up fighting with each other as much as they do the triffids. Wyndham's writing is swift, direct, and restrained; despite the outlandish plot, there is a real sense of dread, a harsh view of human nature, and a firm grasp of the apocalypse. Written during the Cold War, it certainly captures a dark and paranoid mood much better than its mainstream counterparts. In our age of bio-terrorism, failed states, and widespread poverty, the book has lost none of its relevance and power. The opening of "28 Days Later" (hero in hospital, deserted city) owe a lot to this.
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The Day of the Triffids (Modern Library 20th Century Rediscovery)
New Trade Paper
0 stars -
Modern Library -
by Ed Gorman,
"My son's middle name is Wyndham. Does that tell you how much I respect and revere the late John Wyndham? And The Day of the Triffids is the best of them all. He was a wonderful writer who was able to reinvigorate science fiction with spectacle and true thrills, and do so with a writing voice that created both suspense and elegance. A true master."
by Ramsey Campbell,
"A thoroughly English apocalypse, it rivals H. G. Wells in conveying how the everyday invaded by the alien would feel. No wonder Stephen King admires Wyndham so much."
by Joe R. Lansdale,
"John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids is one of my all-time favorite novels. It's absolutely convincing, full of little telling details, and that sweet, warm sensation of horror and mystery."
Wyndham chillingly envisions biowarfare and mass destruction in an account that seems even more prescient today than when it first appeared in 1951 at the height of cold war paranoia.
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