Difference between revisions of "The Day of the Triffids"

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[[Image:Day of the Triffids, The - Hardcover - UK - Michael Joseph - 1st Edition.jpg|thumb|256x256px|UK first edition.]]
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'''''The Day of the Triffids''''' is a [[post-apocalyptic]] novel written by [[John Wyndham]] and published in December 1951. In the story, something causes the majority of the Earth's population to go blind while, at the same time, a semi-intelligent carnivorous plant species begins killing off everyone.
 
'''''The Day of the Triffids''''' is a [[post-apocalyptic]] novel written by [[John Wyndham]] and published in December 1951. In the story, something causes the majority of the Earth's population to go blind while, at the same time, a semi-intelligent carnivorous plant species begins killing off everyone.
  
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==Media==
 
==Media==
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===Covers===
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<gallery>
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Day of the Triffids, The - Hardcover - UK - Michael Joseph - 1st Edition.jpg|UK, hardcover, 1st edition.
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Day of the Triffids, The - Hardcover - USA - Doubleday - 1st Edition.jpg|USA, hardcover, 1st edition.
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</gallery>
  
 
==Links==
 
==Links==

Revision as of 15:57, 24 November 2021

UK first edition.

The Day of the Triffids is a post-apocalyptic novel written by John Wyndham and published in December 1951. In the story, something causes the majority of the Earth's population to go blind while, at the same time, a semi-intelligent carnivorous plant species begins killing off everyone.

The book was made into a film, two TV serials, a radio program, a comic book, and served as inspiration for several other works of fiction.

Personal

The title song of the Rocky Horror Picture Show references the film based on this book, which was the first I heard of it in my 20s. I later learned that it was a classic science fiction book which piqued my interest in reading it.

Status

I don't own this book, but am currently listening to an audio book.

Review

Good

  • The beginning, where Bill Masen awakens in a hospital that is no longer functioning, is a great opening and really plays on the base fear of being reliant on someone else to keep you alive. Unfortunately, the tension is lost pretty quickly.
  • The various scenes of blinded people becoming miserable and slowly dying or killing themselves are well-written and very tragic.
  • As a whole, the book is a pretty good reminder that society can only progress after a certain level of security for most people has been obtained. Even if you have resources, if you fail to teach the next generation how to progress further than you, society will stagnant, and, probably backslide. Likewise, as technology becomes more and more specialized, we are more and more vulnerable to collapse if those trained in that specialization die off.

Bad

  • By writing more in the style of a memoir, the Wyndham kills a lot of the book's tension. We know the human race won't go extinct in the course of the book because he's writing after all the events have transpired. This similar tension-killer occurred in the earlier, The War of the Worlds which Wyndham admitted inspired him to write this book. In fact, a lot of the first half is describes meetings, planning, and acquiring supplies which really hurts the tension.
  • Josella Playton starts out as a pretty helpless damsel in distress. Thankfully, she quickly toughens up, even more so than Bill, but only to become a damsel in distress again.
  • Although the tragic scenes are well written, they're also quite depressing. Several people commit suicide or kill their own children to end their misery quickly, elderly and disabled people are left to die, even little children are killed by triffids, etc. I typically read fiction for pleasure, but I found many of these scenes to be quite disturbing.
  • Triffids are described as having no central nervous system, which makes sense as the book alludes to them being an artificially evolved Terran species. So, while it's fine that they're attracted to sensory input, they shouldn't have memory. To account for this, Wyndham could have described them with a mysterious organ, but, since he doesn't, the explanation is more magical. Also, since they're blind, they shouldn't be able to aim for people's heads when they attack.

Ugly

  • The book is definitely targeted toward male readers. Bill doesn't think too highly of women in general, and he later has a young attractive woman throw herself at him for security. Early after the blindness, he thinks women will go along with being raped by strange men to get food. Corker is even worse, going off on a woman for not knowing enough about engineering to get a generator running.

Media

Covers

Links

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