Monday, August 10, 2009

Day of the Triffids

I am a huge fan of the End-of-the-World genre of books, and there are some great ones out there! One of my absolute favorites is the 1951 sci-fi "Day of the Triffids" by the English author John Wyndham. The first time I read it, I was 13 years old in school, reading it during our Cold War/ Disaster literature classes. At the time I preferred The Chrysalids & Midwich Cuckoos, but I was very glad to rediscover this last year and it become rooted into one of my firm favorites.

Influenced by HG Well's War of the Worlds, Day of the Triffids has a two tiered plot.... the Triffids are potentially mobile killer plants that have inhabited earth under human control for years. For the most part they have been controlled well and caused very few problems. But the book opens with another seemingly harmless event, (a little reminiscent of War of the Words): a meteor shower. By morning, the effects are devastating: the millions unlucky enough to witness the falling comets are inexplicably blinded, with the lucky sighted few left to fend for the victims - and keep the Triffids at bay.

While the people of Britain await American rescue, society changes rapidly. And as they realize that help might not be coming, the small communities of survivors must learn how to keep the Triffids at bay.

Superbly written, albeit outdated with its gender roles, Day of the Triffids is still an absolute classic sci-fi and a must for EOTW genre lovers!

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