Tuesday, October 25, 2011

John Wyndham's "The Day of the Triffids" (novel, post-apocalypse survival, free?)

Cover image of the 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
While post-apocalypse survival is not my favorite genre, I liked it a lot - probably because it makes mostly a light reading. Even gory scenes are presented in a way that mostly makes light reading.

Story summary.

One fine day, whole world goes blind - barring a very few that had to remain indoors, not watching a magical celestial spectacle that lasted over a day. Since human civilization depends on sight more than anything else, this is an apocalypse event.

Survival is made even more complex because of "triffids" - carnivorous intelligent plants capable of walking, talking among themselves vocally, & strategizing! These have been grown consciously often in large farms because of their highly desirable "oil". Vanishing of humans has freed them; so they're now hunters of hapless humanity!

Story follows William Masen, the narrator, a triffids expert, who was in hospital with eyes bandaged & so survived blinding.


  1. No definite cause of celestial spectacle or origin of triffids is provided, but we're given some speculation: that both were of Soviet military origin, that triffids spread across the world when soviets drowned a spy plane that was smuggling triffids seeds to West, & that celestial event was a Soviet satellite weapon that misfired.
  2. Triffids are supposed to have three stumps for legs. In a scene, they kill a little girl & a triffid is seen walking in her shoes. How come the shoes don't fall off since triffids don't have a foot like appendages? Or do they have them?

Fact sheet.

First published: 1951.
Someone seems to have put a copy online. I'm not sure it's legitimate, but the novel is from early 1050s - so may be.
Rating: A.


Anonymous said...

I love this book...must get it out again some time (also love Wyndam's Seeds of Time, and Chocky).