The Day of the Triffids

By John Wyndham,

Book cover of The Day of the Triffids

Book description

When Bill Masen wakes up in his hospital bed, he has reason to be grateful for the bandages that covered his eyes the night before. For he finds a population rendered blind and helpless by the spectacular meteor shower that filled the night sky, the evening before. But his relief…

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Why read it?

7 authors picked The Day of the Triffids as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

When I think of this book, the first thing that stands out to me is how we could be invaded by anyone – or anything – at any time. This was my first experience with that idea, and it shook me. Another element that gave me pause was the incidental blinding of millions of people and how that affected their ability to resist the invaders. As a visually impaired person, I can’t help wondering how I would fare in a similar situation.

A proper, old-school, British classic. When the entire world is blinded by comets lighting up the night sky, Bill Masen finds himself one of only a few people left who can see. Struggling through an apocalyptic London, Bill connects with other survivors, both good and bad. Trailing them all the way are the Triffids; intelligent, mobile plants that can strike and kill with lightning speed. Bill, Josella, the woman he connects with in London, and Susan, the little girl Bill rescues, try to start a new life away from the capital, fighting both the Triffids and other survivors who want…

From Richard's list on mixing horror with other genres.

In The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham tells us that nature is not just something to explore, exploit or take inspiration from, but something to fear if not treated properly. The triffids, giant plants that can walk and kill humans with a sting, begin to take over the world when a meteor shower makes everyone blind—everyone except for William Masen. In a dystopian, post-apocalyptic story of survival and societal collapse, we see the natural world fighting back against the self-righteous superiority of humans. This is a beautifully written, inspirational book that successfully delivers a strong message with a…

The creeping dread. The sense of loneliness. This book immerses you in a fight for survival. After something so devastating as 99% of the population going blind and the release of a deadly disease, how cruel then that the survivors must also cope with being hunted by the ‘fruits’ of humanity’s own creation, namely the Triffids (GM crops on steroids).

The triffids are a brilliant ‘monster.’ The ubiquitous plants were largely ignored and taken for granted, like weeds on the roadside. But once humanity is defenceless, their true menace becomes apparent. The global catastrophe provides the perfect conditions for these…

From Stephen's list on when something is out to get you.

My good friend (and co-editor) Jerry Määttä might have a bone to pick with me if I left this classic off of the list. And for good reason! Not only is it one of his favorites (check out his work on Wyndam in our collection and elsewhere), it is one of the first books people tend to think of when they think of plants in science fiction, heck, when they think of plants in literature! It is a sensational book about ambulatory plants that have jumped up the food chain, turning people into salads. A fairly early offering in the…

From Katherine's list on plants in science fiction.

Speaking of first chapters, they really don’t come much better than the first chapter of The Day Of The Triffids. The story begins in a hospital. We learn that there was a dramatic meteor shower the night before. Almost everyone went outside to watch. Bill Masen is a rare exception since he was in a hospital ward with his eyes bandaged. When he takes off the bandages he realises that he is one of the very few people who is still able to see. That would be bad enough. But what is worse – much worse! – is that…

From Huw's list on post-apocalyptic science fiction.

This thrilling post-apocalyptic novel explores what happens after nearly everyone in the world is blinded by some kind of meteor shower. The population then comes under attack from an aggressive species of walking, carnivorous plant which starts killing and eating humans. Combining horror with science fiction it is actually more believable than it sounds (!) and in the best possible way it poses many more questions than it answers. Older children only, perhaps.

From David's list on adventure stories for young readers.

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