What would happen if the world really did finally slip off the tightrope we've been precariously balanced on for decades now? John Wyndham explores thWhat would happen if the world really did finally slip off the tightrope we've been precariously balanced on for decades now? John Wyndham explores that question in a very entertaining way in The Day of the Triffids. This book is difficult to discuss while avoiding spoilers, but I'm going to do my best. Basically, a worldwide event makes 99% of the population 95% helpless. The other 1% must then decide what to do. Should they aid or abandon those left helpless? If they choose to aid them, do they aid everyone equally or ration their assistance to the most 'worthy'; and how is that worthiness determined? How do they move forward to try to rebuild society? Is it best to hold to beliefs and/or traditions or to forge ahead with new rules which may or may not be suited for the new circumstances?
This situation on its own is difficult enough to deal with, but add in a new race of beings which now have a distinct advantage over most humans and you have a whole new level of hardship to deal with. This book will make you realize just how thin is the line between civilization and chaos and make you pause to consider just how prepared you would be if you woke one day to find the world entirely altered. It's also enjoyably creepy.
Quotes from this source:
"From August 6, 1945, the margin of survival has narrowed appallingly. Indeed, two days ago it was narrower than it is at this moment. If you need to dramatize, you could well take for your material the years succeeding 1945, when the path of safety started to shrink to a tightrope along which we had to walk with our eyes deliberately closed to the depth beneath us."
"But it is a necessary part of our mechanism that we should be able to cry only for a time over even an ocean of spilt milk - the spectacular must soon become the commonplace if life is to be supportable."
"You'd think she'd be reasonable," he muttered. "Most people aren't, even though they'd protest that they are. They prefer to be coaxed or wheedled, or even driven. That way they never make a mistake: if there is one, it's always due to something or somebody else. This going headlong for things is a mechanistic view, and people in general aren't machines. They have minds of their own - mostly peasant minds, at their easiest when they are in the familiar furrow."...more
I felt like this book took me forever to read, but I really enjoyed it all the same. It wasn't easy to get into, but once I did, I found myself caughtI felt like this book took me forever to read, but I really enjoyed it all the same. It wasn't easy to get into, but once I did, I found myself caught in the spell of Bronte's masterful use of language and carried away to a world that felt very real and very relevant. I also learned a lot about the beginnings of the industrial revolution in England into the bargain!
Charlotte Bronte is a master at characterization and she doesn't disappoint here. From the main characters in the love quadrangle, to the supporting players, to the bit roles, all are vividly portrayed.
What a fun, silly, unique romp through the galaxy. I read this while staying with my parents at Christmas, and I kept getting amused looks b/c I keptWhat a fun, silly, unique romp through the galaxy. I read this while staying with my parents at Christmas, and I kept getting amused looks b/c I kept bursting out in uproarious laughter. I also kept reading passages to my mom until she told me to stop b/c she'd like to read it herself someday and would prefer I not spoil it entirely.
My advice? DO NOT take this book seriously! I tried reading it years ago, having heard of it as a classic of science fiction, but (I don't know how) not knowing it was supposed to be funny. I absolutely hated it! Then, a friend convinced me to watch the movie. While the movie wasn't great, it did lead me to understand the spirit of the book and convince me to give it another shot, which it took me a long while to get around to doing. I'm very glad I did!
It's not for everyone, but for those who can appreciate this type of humor, it's a really fun read....more