The Day of the Triffids
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The Day of the Triffids

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  42,597 ratings  ·  1,326 reviews
The beginning of the end seemed harmless enough: a night of mysterious green flashes in the sky. When people woke up blind the next morning, civilization suddenly ground to a halt.

And then the triffids began to move in . . .

Facing loneliness, confusion, and constant threats from a world gone insane, one man must overcome his fear and discover a way to reestablish his world...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 2008 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1951)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nataliya
Some books can be quite ill-served by their title. 'Not enough triffids!' would complain those lured to this book by the promise of a fun sci-fi romp centered around carnivorous sentient plants - just to find something entirely different.

But you gotta agree - a more appropriate title for this unexpected gem of a book such as "How complete disintegration of society and civilization as we know it, the sudden helplessness and the painful realization how little it takes to throw us off our tenuous...more
Dan Schwent
Aug 15, 2008 Dan Schwent rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of survival horror and early sf
Shelves: early-sf
Everything seemed fine with the domesticated Triffids until the Earth passed through the tail of a comet, blinding much of the world's population. It was then the Triffids struck!

I love the proto-sf of the first half of the 20th century, when the lines between sf and horror were more blurred than they are now. Day of the Triffids is one of those books that many things that came later owe a debt to. The roots of the survival horror genre can be found within its pages, in my opinion. Many zombie f...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
This review can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud!
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Jun 23, 2013 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the apocalypse, classic sci-fi

A classic.

Sometimes classic is good.

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Sometimes classic is interesting.

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And sometimes, it's classic just because it was first, not best.

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For me, Triffids is a classic in the last sense, as one of the first novels in an era exploring the end of civilization. Colored by recent events of World War II, many writers in the 50s focused on nuclear holocaust. Wyndham went a slightly different direction, forseeing genetic manipulation and biological warfare. While his vision interested me, the didactic tone,...more
Penny
When I was about 14, I read my father's old Penguin classic copy -- a bright orange paperback from the 1950s. And absolutely loved it. I've read it countless times since, and is one of the books I think about most. Officially my favorite book.

Having said that -- it has no literary pretensions, most characters are fairly one dimensional, and the triffids themselves (walking, thinking, carnivorous plants) I have always thought of as a rather annoying distraction. What gripped me, and grips me sti...more
Stephen
4.0 stars. I am very glad that I finally got around to reading this classic post-apocalyptic novel. I really liked Wyndham's writing style and the way he presented the story. It was well written, well plotted and kept me interested throughout the book. As with most really good post-apocalyptic science fiction novels, the true point of the story is the exploration of human nature by showing how different people act when the society they have grown up in falls apart. Recommended!!!
Chris
I have a long fondness for Apocalyptic novels. The Stand was one of my early favorites from junior high school, and I really enjoyed its cousin by Robert McCammon, Swan Song. There's something about the End Of The World that just grabs me and won't let go. Maybe it's the thought that, should the world end, I would be one of the survivors. The rule of law would break down, all shackles of modern life would be loosed, and I would finally be free to choose my own destiny. Which, knowing me, would p...more
Jonfaith
Children have a different convention of the fearful until they have been taught the proper things to be shocked at.

Gauging our current run of apprehensions, one would be wise to explore this gem of the dystopian curve. The proliferation of hydrogen bombs and biological warfare certainly chilled the time of John Wyndham. The possibility in recent weeks of a thermonuclear exchange makes this novel all the more relevant today. Day of the Triffids is a meditation. There is no epic effort to capture...more
Algernon

I didn't plan ahead, but in a funny (or disturbing) coincidence, I've read this book on the fated day when the world ended, May 8 according to John Wyndham : When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere. The opening chapter is one of the best in the genre, with protagonist Bill Masen waking up in a hospital and trying to understand what is wrong with the world around him without relying on his bandaged eyes. It...more
Manny
Stop me if you've heard this one before. It's a shame we don't have some ham. (You're supposed to say "Why?")

Well, because then if we had some eggs, we'd have ham and eggs! Gotcha.

The Day of the Triffids is rather similar. It's lucky that scientists haven't used bioengineering to create a deadly but slow-moving carnivorous plant. Because then if a mysterious comet caused everyone to go blind overnight, we'd all be sitting ducks!

It's not quite as bad as I'm making out. Admittedly, on a scale of s...more
Mark
Read this for the first time years ago, must have been when I was about 15 but suddenly thought I would post a few Wyndham reviews whilst eating my lunch cos he is a brilliant writer; although John Wyndham and a comfortably swallowed lunch probably are not the best of bedfellows. The story in some ways is of a skewed natural world in all its many guises rising up and seeking revenge. Whether it be, initially, the comet shower which most people go out to gaze upon and are then blinded by its affe...more
Bill
The Day of the Triffids had such a great and promising start to it. A man wakes up in a hospital only to realize that he has been spared from a cataclysmic meteor shower that has left most of the remaining
population either dead or blind.
Somehow, this has something to do with the Triffids, a bizarre plant whose origins are a mystery. As the story progresses, more facts and history of the Triffids unfold to reveal sinister characteristics.

Unfortunately for me, my interest began to wane halfway thr...more
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penny
I think this may be one of the most harrowing post-apocalypse stories I've read. (view spoiler)

That said, it was not difficult to read. The humour and tone of the narrator was fun and I had a great time running a...more
Ubik
WOW! This was so absolutely amazing and not what I thought it was going to be. I avoided it for years thinking it was "killer plants taking over the world 50s B-movie style" but I was fnugging WRONG. If ever there was a piece of literature (or any other media for that matter) that so understated yet made so believable such an at-first-glance ridiculous premise, it is this novel. The characterizations were wonderful. I really knew Bill, Coker, and Josella right off the bat in fewer words without...more
Elliott
The Day of the Triffids is representative of a certain type of Cold War English novel. It goes like this: England is the last bastion of politesse and moral rectitude in a world awash in Communism and licentiousness. I'm sure there are similar narratives in the Cold War literature of other countries but it always strikes me as a distinctly English point of view. In these novels, the hero is the quintessential Englishman: "Dash it all, woman, you've got no sense! Miraculous how I can drink such l...more
Jonathan

The Day of the Triffids was a fun, fast and entertaining classic science fiction novel. It also had a few deep ideas buried beneath its blockbuster movie script exterior. And most certainly this was a well written novel as with the other science fiction classics I have encountered.

I knew little about The Day of the Triffids save that it featured man eating plants (all thanks to cultural references the old film based on the novel). As a result I was pleasantly surprised to find that the plot had...more
Robert
I think this might have been one of the later Wyndham novels, because it has incident, which makes it easier to read than, say The Kraken Wakes, where civilisation is destroyed by some nasty creatures who live in the deepest parts of the ocean but probably arrived from space.
Wyndham was quite keen on destroying civilisation in his novels - in the Chrysalids nuclear war has wiped out most of the population. This time civilisation is destroyed by a bunch of genetically engineered plants!

This book...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
You surely would say: "This is similar to..." Well, yes, those zombie/vampire movies, "I Am Legend", "The Road", etc. But this must have been THE original and even if I was expected to dislike it without its "novelty", it was still and engrossing read for me.

Triffids are plants. One day, they suddenly decide to walk. They are blind, but they can sense and somehow hear. They do not move fast, but they can shoot poisoned arrows from their stems, they aim at your head, and if you're hit you die. M...more
Cindy
Wow! This is easily in the top 10 best books I've read in 2010.

It's the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story that most modern ones wish they could be. It's obvious most post-apocalypse tales have drawn their inspiration from The Day of the Triffids. So, if you dig stories like Blindness, The Postman, 28 Days Later, The Road, etc, etc, then make sure you read this book!

I think I naively thought, due to the title and the slim size of the book, that the story would take place over a day or a couple o...more
Katie
"It is that those of us that start on this task will all have their parts to play. The men must work. The women must have babies. Unless you can agree to that, there can be no place for you in our community."

Remind me when the end of the world comes to hold up in a Sam's Club and shoot anything with a cock that comes near me.

The amusing thing is that the women aren't mortified by the idea of forced breeding, but the abolition of *gasp* the marriage law! Good old 1950s sexism.

Josella said, "If yo...more
Michael
Satisfying apocalyptic tale published in 1951. A mysterious massive meteor shower makes the vast majority of people on the planet blind, resulting in the collapse of civilization. The small population of sighted humans struggle with various strategies of survival and competition for resources. The disaster allows some unusual mobile carnivorous plants, widely nurtured because of valuable oils, to spread widely and threaten human extinction, the triffids. My memory of the book from my youth, dist...more
Kim
It has been a long time since I first read this and I was interested to see how it would differ in my memory. In the end I was only able to remember how the start went which I think was better as it was a fresh read.

I think the book was a great look at the breakdown of society but only it's own specific situation. You wouldn't be able to place the results on other post-apocalypse situations due to the presence of the triffids.

You might be able to make some parallels between triffids and somethi...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I gave this a 5 for nostalgia's sake and for "fun brain candy" value. It actually deals with some tough issues in a way. Will you leave the blind people depending on you when the plague starts? How about your morals, will you sacrifice them for survivals sake? A very good early science fiction read.

I found the questions raised in this volume almost as interesting as the story itself. The situation presages some of the questions and decisions that fictional characters will have to make later in T...more
Raegan Butcher
Jul 16, 2008 Raegan Butcher rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horticulturalists
First read this in the sixth grade and it has always been a rather fondly recalled experience.I'm a sucker for good first lines and Day of the Triffids has one of the best in the sci fi genre, right up there with the opening lines of I Am Legend.
"When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere."
Marvin
The most enlightening point in this novel is when a small group of survivors are trying to figure out what to do next. Most of the population is blind and poisonous carnivore plants are roaming the earth. Someone rises and states that things could be a lot worse. Hasn't the Earth been on the brink of destruction since Hiroshima in 1945?

Now there's a decision. Would I rather walk around blind and get eaten by a plant or do the day-glo shuffle in a nuclear holocaust? Let me think...

Actually, this...more
Gabriel
Jun 02, 2007 Gabriel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone interested in what makes people tick
The scariest part of this book is not the man-eating plants, but the surrounding circumstances. John Wyndham (whose novels have only impressed me) knows the focus of his book lies in dealing with the destruction of a society based on sight, not on the attack of the plants, and this raises the level of what could have been just a B Movie book to classic status.
GoldGato
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. Overr...more
Otherwyrld
Day of the Triffids is a story that most people know, at least in outline. A man, temporarily blinded by a weird plant known as a Triffid, finds himself one of the few sighted people left after a mysterious comet blinds the rest of the world. The story is then one of survival, particularly against the growing menace of the Triffids.

The opening chapter starts strongly, as Bill Masen (the narrator and main character) wakes up in hospital and quickly realizes that something is very wrong. Undoing t...more
Brian
The Walking Dead, Book One ... 28 Days Later ... and probably a dozen or so other books I've not read all have this novel to thank. Written in 1951, before Sputnik and the Cold War really kicked into high gear, Wyndham took the time to really think, and then play-out, some really deep issues about humanity and our ability to withstand a global catastrophic event. Yes, the plant-like, zombie-ish killing beasties may read like hard-boiled SciFi to our initiated 21st century sensibilities, but look...more
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  • The Death of Grass
  • When Worlds Collide
  • Hothouse
  • The Night of the Triffids
  • The Drowned World
  • Rogue Moon
  • Downward to the Earth
  • Earth Abides
  • Stand on Zanzibar
  • Last and First Men
  • Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
  • The Black Cloud
  • Mockingbird
  • Brain Wave
  • The Long Tomorrow
  • Dark Universe
  • Of Men and Monsters
  • More Than Human
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John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris was the son of a barrister. After trying a number of careers, including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, he started writing short stories in 1925. After serving in the civil Service and the Army during the war, he went back to writing. Adopting the name John Wyndham, he started writing a form of science fiction that he called 'logical fantasy. A...more
More about John Wyndham...
The Chrysalids The Midwich Cuckoos Chocky The Kraken Wakes Trouble With Lichen

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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.” 77 likes
“It must be, I thought, one of the race's most persistent and comforting hallucinations to trust that "it can't happen here" -- that one's own time and place is beyond cataclysm.” 57 likes
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