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The Day of the Triffids (Triffids #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  62,430 Ratings  ·  2,173 Reviews
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
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 12th 1985 by Fawcett (first published 1951)
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Jan 08, 2016 Nataliya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
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
Jun 23, 2013 Carol. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the apocalypse, classic sci-fi

A classic.

Sometimes classic is good.


Sometimes classic is interesting.


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


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,
Dec 04, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, pre-80s-sf
“When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere”

Not exactly up there with “It was the best of times etc.” but a great opening line I think. The Day of the Triffids is John Wyndham’s best known and most popular book by far. A case can be made for some of his other books being better, The Chrysalids and The Midwich Cuckoos for instance, but “Triffids” is the people’s choice, and having just reread it, decades after
Jul 14, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audrey II: Feed me!
Seymour: Does it have to be human?
Audrey II: Feed me!
Seymour: Does it have to be mine?
Audrey II: Feeeed me!
Seymour: Where am I supposed to get it?
Audrey II: [singing] Feed me, Seymour / Feed me all night long - That's right, boy! - You can do it! Feed me, Seymour / Feed me all night long / Ha ha ha ha ha! / Cause if you feed me, Seymour / I can grow up big and strong.

John Wyndham published his novel The Day of the Triffids in 1951 and it’s influence on speculative fiction sinc
Megan Baxter
May 19, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, I had the impression that Day of the Triffids was about the sudden attack of man-killing mobile plants. So I was surprised when it was revealed that the triffids had been around for a long time and a worldwide case of blindness was the cause of the catastrophe - the triffids merely took advantage of it.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you
Sep 16, 2007 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Richard Derus
Sep 17, 2012 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud!
Oct 28, 2015 Alex rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
One of the reasons scifi gets a bad rap is that so much of it is so very shitty, and here's a prime example. There was a major strain of woman-hating, mansplaining, faux-intellectual, oft-Randian bullshit that sprang up in the latter 20th century, spearheaded by the idiot propaganda of Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury; this miserable 1951 book was a harbinger.

The setup is standard scifi: human overreaching leads to a holocaust. In this case the overreach takes the shape of mass blindness - like
4.5/5. // Have you ever been afraid of plants? No? Well, you will be after you've read this book.
Joe Valdez
Feb 11, 2015 Joe Valdez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The next stop in my end-of-the-world reading marathon was The Day of the Triffids, the 1951 man-versus-plants tale by John Wyndham. After an apocalyptic journey across the United States in The Stand and Swan Song, it was fascinating to read about how the U.K. might tackle doomsday and I have to say that the stoic and unruffled British response gave me hope for mankind's endurance.

With the first of several imaginative chapter titles (The End Begins) and cheeky wit, Wyndham introduces our narrato
Jan 09, 2010 Manny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
May 16, 2013 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

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
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!!!
This 1951 novel was written when nuclear war and the potential end of civilisation as it was known was a more immediate concern than today. Early in the book there is an oblique reference to Lysenko and the Soviet Union - which helps to date it to that post war period. Truly Wyndham's concern is not with the potential end of civilisation itself, but really with what comes next.

Destruction then, whether by bomb or plant, isn't the point of this book. It becomes a device to get to the Robinson Cru
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
For a person who claims not to like science fiction, I read and enjoy quite a lot of it! (In my professional life, I would now expect my students to rephrase their claim, as it is obviously not matching the evidence, but being stubborn, I stay firm!)

This is a thought-provoking novel, and it has not lost much of its message since its first publication. Humankind is still prone to self-destruction by carelessness and short-sightedness, and we still have diverse ways of dealing with and interpretin
Nov 24, 2016 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Reread or rather listened to the audio narration from Kindle Unlimited.

As a kid, I liked the movie. Needless to say, the book is better and much more detailed than the movie. Triffids, a mobile plant, have been around for a while. They are caged or anchored to spot and used as decoration. They also have a poison stinging whip that kills humans. One night, a green meteor shower lights up the sky and all that watch it are blind by morning. The great majority of the population is blinded. Only tho
Mar 24, 2014 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Apr 28, 2010 Elliott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 31, 2008 Bill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Hazal Çamur
Jul 03, 2016 Hazal Çamur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beklentimden çok daha farklı bir kurguyla karşılaştım ve iyi ki de öyle oldu. Krizalitler ile tanıyıp sevdiğim Wyndham, bu defa GDO'ya ve doğaya verdiğimiz tüm o bencilce zararlara ve hatta biyolojik silahlara kadar geniş bir eleştiri yelpazesi hazırlamış. İlginç olan, etobur triffidlerin bu kurgudaki asıl tehlike olmaması. Hatta kitabın sonlarına kadar küçük tehlikeler oluştursalar da, post-apokaliptik düzendeki asıl tehditleri kitabın kapanışına doğru ortaya çıkıyor.

Bu kitapta felaketi getiren
Apr 13, 2009 Ubik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
A. Dawes
I am a fan of the Chrysalids and John Wyndham. Wyndham wrote The Day of the Triffids way back in 1951 and was clearly a visionary of the field. I don't know why, but The Day of the Triffids didn't quite have the same impact on me as Wyndham's other work.

The protagonist, Bill Masen, is blinded (literally - he has bandages over his eyes) - during a bizarre meteorite shower in England.... Oh, what a difference a day makes....The next day, with his vision repaired, Bill is witness to an unsettling d
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

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
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
Feb 03, 2010 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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
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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'. ...more
More about John Wyndham...

Other Books in the Series

Triffids (2 books)
  • The Night of the Triffids

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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.” 134 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.” 97 likes
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