Amazon Rating: 4.5/5
The Day of the Triffids is an example of what John Wyndham described as logical fantasy. It is a science fiction/fantasy story but set in a world that was familiar in the time of writing (1951). It is what I call an "end of days / apocalypse story based on the idea of sentient plant life with illusions of world domination.
So basically there are these mutant plants called Triffids who try to take over the world, it seems as part of an out of space incursion. After most of the human race is blinded by a strange flare of lights, the hero wakes up in hospital. As he was there for eye surgery and had bandages around his face he didn't get blinded and this is the story of how he survives. They say in the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king but in this story you also see how in the kingdom of the newly blind, someone who was already blind in the first place also rules the new world.
Bill Masen is the name of the hero and he wakes up in a strangely quiet hospital and has to pull his own bandages off to go and find out what is happening. From that moment on he is in a struggle not only to survive himself but to reunite as many other survivors as possible. Fortunately he is a kind of early days genetic engineer and is familiar with the plants, popular as a curiosity because of their abilities to move and the fact that they are carnivorous. So Bill has some ideas of how to avoid them and how to kill them, useful skills that keep on helping out as he goes about making a life in this quiet new world.
As I described John Wyndham's author page one of the things this book is so clever about is blending the real life values and lifestyles of 1951 in such a believable manner that makes the book all the more terrifying to read. Even today (maybe especially today) there is a feeling that this could just happen any day and would be even remotely prepared to survive it if we did?
I know most of the world is getting ready for the zombie apocalypse but how prepared are we if the threat wasn't zombies or martians but blindness in a world full of intelligent man eating plants? Not many I expect. Although if you read this fantastic book you will have a better idea than before!
I hope you enjoy the book if you do choose to read it. I have every time I have read it.
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Happy Reading, Nici
P.S From Jess: I got into post apocalyptic fantasy when I was in secondary school with the aid of a fantastic history teacher. This is hands down one of my favourite of all times, along with Children of the Dust! Well worth a read.