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The Day of the Triffids
     

The Day of the Triffids

4.2 15
by John Wyndham
 

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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

Overview


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 a world in the wake of this unexplainable catastrophe.

Editorial Reviews

Gale Research
John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris is probably best known for Day of the Triffids, his novel in which the human race, blinded during a meteor shower, is threatened by carnivorous plants. A reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement wrote, "The language is excellent, and the description of London filled with the groping blind . . . has all the qualities of a vividly-realized nightmare."
Publishers Weekly
Short and sweet and to the point, the seven stories in this promising debut collection exuberantly explore the relationships that make life bearable. In a rueful examination of brother/sister love, "The Language Event," set at the Indy 500, manages to be rowdy and exquisitely wistful at the same time. Moore strikes another significant chord in "Big Pink and Little Minkie," conjuring magic by exploring the tenuous but often poignant truths to be gleaned from the mundane commuter experience. She hits the ball out of the park with the near novella-length "A History of Pandas," a flawless exercise in characterization. This sharp portrayal of sisterhood sings, as the narrator, called Sweet Pea, examines the root of her boundless adoration of her sibling Lydia, a preschool teacher whose early widowhood has forged a bond between the two that time can not diminish. In "Rembrandt's Bones," a professor of art history deals with two simultaneous deaths a student's suicide and the natural death of sugar-loving Opal, a childhood mentor who taught her to love words and always to appreciate the unexpected. Revealing a spiritual kinship with Lewis Nordan, Moore writes matter-of-fact yet outlandish sentences that read like tiny novels "Opal's Cousin Alma was married to my second cousin J.W. and when J.W. died, Alma showed up at the funeral with a lady-pink pistol and shot him five times in his open coffin before they could get the gun away from her. They couldn't figure out what to charge her with." Although all of the female narrators speak with nearly the same wry and self-aware voice, readers will enjoy this buoyant collection. Agent, Noah Lukeman. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"A thoroughly English apocalypse, it rivals H. G. Wells in conveying how the everyday invaded by the alien would feel. No wonder Stephen King admires Wyndham so much."
—RAMSEY CAMPBELL

"John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids is one of my all-time favorite novels. It's absolutely convincing, full of little telling details, and that sweet, warm sensation of horror and mystery."
—JOE R. LANSDALE

"My son's middle name is Wyndham. Does that tell you how much I respect and revere the late John Wyndham? And The Day of the Triffids is the best of them all. He was a wonderful writer who was able to reinvigorate science fiction with spectacle and true thrills, and do so with a writing voice that created both suspense and elegance. A true master."
—ED GORMAN

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345328175
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/12/1985
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
4.23(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.56(d)

Read an Excerpt

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 bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever.
But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.

Author Biography: John Wyndham (1903–1969) was a successful English author who wrote novels and short stories from the 1950s to the ’70s, focusing on science fiction and creating many classics still popular today, including Out of the Deep.
Edmund Morris won a Pulitzer Prize for The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, the first in a trilogy, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for the sequel, Theodore Rex, both available as Modern Library Paperbacks. He lives in New York.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A thoroughly English apocalypse, it rivals H. G. Wells in conveying how the everyday invaded by the alien would feel. No wonder Stephen King admires Wyndham so much."
—RAMSEY CAMPBELL

"John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids is one of my all-time favorite novels. It's absolutely convincing, full of little telling details, and that sweet, warm sensation of horror and mystery."
—JOE R. LANSDALE

"My son's middle name is Wyndham. Does that tell you how much I respect and revere the late John Wyndham? And The Day of the Triffids is the best of them all. He was a wonderful writer who was able to reinvigorate science fiction with spectacle and true thrills, and do so with a writing voice that created both suspense and elegance. A true master."
—ED GORMAN

Meet the Author

John Wyndham was born in 1903. After a wide experience of the English preparatory school he was at Bedales from 1918 to 1921. Careers which he tried included farming, law, commercial art, and advertising, and he first started writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925. During the war he was in the Civil Service and afterwards in the Army. In 1946 he began writing his major science fiction novels including The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysalids, and The Midwich Cuckoos.

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The Day of the Triffids 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Ashburysgr More than 1 year ago
This book was finished in record time for me. I read it in three days, which a book of this size would be a week. I like to take my time and absorb the book, but this just grabbed and and ran away! The plot is very unqiue and very life like, if large man eating plants can be life like. I don't know what training Wyndham had, but he got the human condition spot on. I ws kind of surprised that the Triffids did not have such a more pronounced roll in most of the book. Only in the beginning and end of the book, but it was just enough to keep you going on.
Madam_Fynswyn More than 1 year ago
After reading this book as a teenager it changed how I viewed the entire world. It made me realize all the things I took for granted and all the things that someday I/we may have to do with out. It made me wonder just how we would evolve regardless of what caused the changes. John Wyndham was a genius! Read anything you can get your hands on by him. Personally, I think of this book every single time I look at my sunflowers!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Day of the Triffids captures your imagination without all the ridiculous sex and violence so prevalent in todays literature. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.
TRFeller More than 1 year ago
This is the second time I have read this book, and I have also seen at least two movie adaptations. My science fiction book discussion group chose the book for April at my suggestion, so I re-read it. I had forgotten how good it is. The premise is the world suffers two calamities. The first is the appearance of walking, carnivorous plants called Triffids. At first they are kept under control and even cultivated because of the oil derived from them. Then a meteor shower causes the vast majority of the world’s population to go blind. The story is narrated by Bill Masen, who had missed viewing the meteors because he was recovering from a Triffid sting to his eyes. The main female character is Josella, a party girl who missed the shower because of a hangover. Otherwise, Bill and Josella are pretty ordinary people, although Josella is a minor celebrity, to her embarrassment, and the story is about how ordinary people are coping in a post-apocalyptic world. The book was out of print at one time, but I checked out the 2003 Modern Library trade paperback out of the library. This edition calls it a “20th Century Rediscover” with an introduction by Edmund Morris, the biographer of Theodore Roosevelt, and even a Reading Group Study Guide.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Thirty year old William (Bill) Masen lives in London, England, and is a biologist who works with triffids, strange tall plants that can move around on their own, have a very poisonous sting, and will even feed on dead flesh, but they are cultivated because their oil is quite valuable. One of Bill’s coworkers, Walter Lucknot, once noted that triffids would be better adapted for survival than people who are blind. Then Bill is accidentally stung by a triffid and spends a week in a hospital with bandages over his eyes. He misses the most spectacular meteorite shower which the world has ever seen, but removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of people wandering the city who have been blinded by the green flashes. He soon meets 24 year old wealthy author Josella Playton, another lucky person who has retained her sight because she took a sleeping draught and slept through the meteor shower, and they eventually fall in love. Bill and Josella discover a group of sighted survivors at the university led by a man named Michael Beadley, who plans to establish a colony in the countryside, and they decide to join the group. But before they can leave, a man called Wilfred Coker stages a fire at the university and kidnaps a number of sighted individuals, including Bill and Josella, each of whom is chained to a blind person and assigned to lead a squadron of the blind to collect food and other supplies. However, people begin dying of an unknown plague, and Bill escapes but finds neither Beadley’s group nor Josella. All the while, the triffids seem to be proliferating. What has happened to Beadley’s group? Will Bill ever find Josella? And how will he cope with the triffids? On Amazon there was a big discussion about modern versions of this book being edited, abridged, censored, and/or bowdlerized, removing a scene in Chapter 1 when Bill Masen encounters the doctor in the corridors of the hospital who commits suicide and other “adult” parts, and excising all cursing and similar expletives, ostensibly in an attempt to make the story more suitable for children and younger readers. My copy did not have the doctor’s suicide in Chapter 1, so it must be abridged, but it does contain other suicides along with a very significant amount of cursing and profanity, and some descriptive violence is found as when a sick person is shot through the head, so I would not say that it was necessarily censored or bowdlerized. Also, there are copious instances of smoking cigarettes and drinking various kinds of alcoholic beverages. Some relativistic thinking occurs, especially in a discussion of marriage and reproduction, and polygamy is implicit in Beadley’s scheme. A group with “Christian standards” is portrayed in somewhat of a negative light. At the same time, someone says, “Whatever the myths that have grown up about it, there can be no doubt that somewhere far back in our history there was a Great Flood.” One reviewer wrote that author John “Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.” It is an interesting story, and those who enjoy science fiction with a touch of horror should like the book. Simon Clark wrote a sequel, The Night of the Triffids (2001), set 25 years after Wyndham’s book.
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Wonderful book ( 5 stars.) I wanted to reread it after a 20 year gap.  But no nook version!  (- 2 stars)
Sammy28 More than 1 year ago
The only thing more amazing than this book is the fact that it was written so long ago. The author must have been able to see into our Monsanto future. Creepy! A must read for sure.
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