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The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
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The Day of the Triffids (original 1951; edition 1996)

by John Wyndham

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4,846146954 (4.02)4 / 472
Member:exfed
Title:The Day of the Triffids
Authors:John Wyndham
Info:Buccaneer Books (1996), Library Binding, 222 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (1951)

  1. 80
    The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (clif_hiker)
  2. 81
    Blindness by José Saramago (infiniteletters, juan1961)
    juan1961: Escritas con muchos años de diferencia, no cabe la menor duda de que enel argumento existen grandes similitudes, lo cual no quiere decir que tengan algo que ver. A quien le guste la ciencia-ficción, no debería desdeñar esta obra de Saramago, más centrada en la ciencia-ficción política o social.… (more)
  3. 50
    The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham (timspalding)
  4. 50
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (infiniteletters)
  5. 40
    The Country of the Blind and Other Science-Fiction Stories by H. G. Wells (sturlington)
    sturlington: Alluded to in the novel.
  6. 20
    No Blade of Grass by John Christopher (Rynooo)
  7. 20
    Dark Piper by Andre Norton (DisassemblyOfReason)
    DisassemblyOfReason: What The Day of the Triffids does with plants, Dark Piper may be said to do with animals. In both stories, a world has been given to large-scale experimentation with dangerous creatures - for commercial reasons with the triffids, while for more military applications with the animals on Beltane in Dark Piper. Both stories carry the suggestion that someone (possibly deliberately) turned loose various weapons of germ warfare not long after a major catastrophe, and both stories follow a small group through territory largely abandoned by humans, although unfortunately not by everything...… (more)
  8. 20
    The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin (Booksloth)
  9. 10
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (hazzabamboo)
    hazzabamboo: Two post-apocalyptic masterpieces, with much of their power coming from their focus on a couple of characters and the exotic horrors that threaten them.
  10. 21
    The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham (timspalding)
  11. 00
    The Night of the Triffids by Simon Clark (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Sequel by another author
  12. 00
    Mutant 59: The Plastic-Eaters by Kit Pedler (infiniteletters)
  13. 00
    The Furies by Keith Roberts (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: The Furies is definitely on the hokier side.
1950s (63)
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English (137)  French (2)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (146)
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
The title was of course very familiar to me, but having never seen either television series nor read anything about the title I knew virtually nothing of the story.
Written just five or six years after the end of the second world war, The Day of the Triffids is quite obviously a (just) post-Hiroshima allegory for the human potential for self-destruction. Much more a story of a man-made apocalypse than the simple tale of alien invasion I was expecting and all the more affecting for that. The author’s main theme is speculating on how a decimated society would deal with its altered situation, particularly when under constant attack not only from other countrymen but also from malevolent outside forces.
Surprisingly 'literary' yet with a good dose of B-movie clichés, what more could you want from your sci-fi? ( )
  stevierbrown | Mar 22, 2016 |
I saw the movie so I decided to read the book. Nice british science fiction with a good story and believable characters. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
The protagonist is Bill Masen, an Englishman who has made his living working with "Triffids," plants capable of aggressive and seemingly intelligent behaviour: they are able to move about on their three "legs", appear to communicate with each other and possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting that enables them to kill and feed on the rotting carcasses of their victims. The book implies they were bioengineered in the Soviet Union and then accidentally released into the wild when a plane carrying their seeds was shot down. Triffids begin sprouting all over the world, and their extracts prove to be superior to existing vegetable oils. The result is worldwide cultivation of Triffids.

The narrative begins with Masen in hospital, his eyes bandaged after having been splashed with droplets of triffid venom in a lab accident. During his convalescence he is told of the unexpected and beautiful green meteor shower that the entire world is watching. He awakes the next morning to a silent hospital and learns that the light from the unusual display has rendered any who watched it completely blind. After unbandaging his eyes, he wanders through a largely sightless London, watching civilization collapsing around him. Masen meets a sighted woman, novelist Josella Playton. She and Masen begin to fall in love and decide to leave London.

After being lured by a single light in an otherwise darkened city, Bill and Josella discover and join a group of sighted survivors at a London university led by a man named Beadley, who are planning to establish a colony in the countryside. Beadley wishes to take only sighted men who will take several wives to rapidly rebuild the human population. The polygamous principles of this scheme appall one of the other leaders of the group, the religious Miss Durrant. Before this schism can be dealt with a man called Wilfred Coker takes it upon himself to save as many of the blind as possible. He stages a mock fire at the university and during the ensuing chaos kidnaps a number of sighted individuals including Bill and Josella. Each is chained to a squad of blind people and forced to lead them around London, collecting rapidly diminishing food and supplies. Bill and his group finds themselves beset by escaped triffids and an aggressive rival gang of scavengers led by a ruthless red-haired man.

Masen nevertheless sticks with his group until the people in his charge all begin dying of some unknown disease. He leaves and attempts to find Josella, but his only lead is an address left behind by the now-departed members of Beadley's group. Thrown together with a repentant Coker, he drives to the place, a country estate named Tynsham in Wiltshire, but neither Beadley nor Josella are there; Durrant has taken charge and organised the community along "Christian" lines. Masen and Coker fruitlessly search for Beadley and Josella for several days, before Bill remembers a chance comment Josella made about a country home in Sussex. He sets off in search of it, while Coker returns to Tynsham.

Bill is joined by a young sighted girl named Susan; they succeed in locating Josella, who is indeed at the Sussex house. Bill and Josella consider themselves to be married, and see Susan as their daughter. They attempt to make the Sussex farm into a self-sufficient colony, but with only marginal success, as the triffids grow ever more numerous, crowding in and surrounding their small island of civilization. Years pass, during which it becomes steadily harder to keep out the encroaching plants.

One day a helicopter pilot representative of Beadley's faction lands at the farm and reports that the group has established a successful colony on the Isle of Wight, and that Coker survived to join them. Despite their ongoing struggles, the Masens are reluctant to leave their home, but their hand is forced by the arrival the next day of a squad of soldiers who represent a despotic new government which is setting up feudal enclaves across the country. Masen recognizes the leader, Torrence, as the redheaded man from London. Torrence announces his intention to place many more blind survivors under the Masens' care and to move Susan to another enclave. After feigning general agreement, the Masens disable the soldiers' vehicle and flee during the night. They join the Isle of Wight colony, and settle down to the long struggle ahead, determined to find a way to destroy the triffids and reclaim Earth for humanity.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this novel--much more than I expected to. Obviously, since this was made into a horror movie in the 1950s, it has been around for a while, but it felt completely fresh, and not dated at all.

It is a dystopia novel, about civilization in England after a mysterious meteor shower causes 95% of the population to lose their eyesight. Our main character is one of the few sighted people left, and the story is about how he recreates his life in the new society that arises out of this situation.

It actually raises some fairly complex moral issues, and it would have been interesting to see those taken a little farther--but that is just a quibble. All in all, I would definitely recommend this--don't be put off by its cheesy movie history. ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Wyndhamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergey, EarleCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bridge. AndyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doeve, EppoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langford, BarryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leger, PatrickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lord, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malcolm, GraemeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morris, EdmundIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viskupic, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, SamuelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willock, HarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Fiction. Dystopian. Science fiction. Post-apocalyptic. English.
Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever.

But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.
Бил Мейсън, заради травма, е с превръзка на очите и пропуска най-зрелищния метеоритен дъжд, падал някога над Англия. На следващия ден сваля превръзката и с ужас установява, че хиляди слепци се скитат по улиците. Скоро среща Джозела, друга щастливка съхранила зрението си. Двамата напускат града, осъзнали, че безопасният и така добре познат само допреди 24 часа свят, завинаги е изчезнал. Апокалипсисът бавно, но сигурно напредва с Трифидите - странни растения, появили се на различни места по Земята. Трифидите достигат над два метра, измъкват корените си от почвата, ходят и убиват човек само с един светкавичен замах на отровните си пипала.
И все пак, "Денят на трифидите" не е роман на ужасите, а мъдро предупреждение за риска, който крие всяка самонадеяна човешка безотговорност.
Haiku summary
Night of blinding lights,
Walking plants lurk in darkness,
Now who will survive?
(SylviaC)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812967127, Paperback)

In 1951 John Wyndham published his novel The Day of the Triffids to moderate acclaim. Fifty-two years later, this horrifying story is a science fiction classic, touted by The Times (London) as having “all the reality of a vividly realized nightmare.”

Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever.

But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:32 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

"Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever." "But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now posed to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185414, 0141033002, 0143566539

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