Gold Gato, March 26, 2014 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
It's always nice to know that sometimes I bring up the rear when it comes to reading certain books. Apparently, I am one of the last book lovers on earth to finish this sci-fi classic. Most appropriate, given the content.
"In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king."
The Wellsian short story served as the basis for this Wyndham classic, but the author also reached further into the ways the industrial revolution had made functionaries of humans. Civil service. Existence with no focus. Overreliance on so-called leaders (noted here as 'The Americans'). Take away the normal daily routine of the average citizen and chaos ensues. Other times, other customs. The spectacular becomes the commonplace. The various themes explored by Wyndham are spot-on and rather scary. As a reader, I certainly worried more about the remaining humans than I did about the plants. The hero grew on me, especially with his ability to adapt quickly because of the new freedom he perceived.
I also have strange plants in my garden. Echium (Pride of Madeira), which is nasty when rubbed against. They have now re-seeded without my assistance and are taking over most of the remaining space. They should be learning to walk soon...I plan to be on their side.
NOTE: while there was a movie title with the book's name, the real movie related to this book is 28 DAYS LATER. Replace the zombies with the Triffs.
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.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
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.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (5 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
The Day of the Triffids (Modern Library 20th Century Rediscovery)
Used 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.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.