zondag 17 juli 2016

"The Day of the Triffids" by John Wyndham

“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.”

How will the human race react to a catastrophe that is so terrible it completely destroys civilization as we know it? It's a very common theme in science fiction (think, for example, of the TV series "The Walking Dead" and "Survivors"), and John Wyndham's classic novel "The Day of the Triffids" is one of the earliest (and best) examples of this post-apocalyptic genre.

Bill Masen wakes up in hospital, after being temporarily blinded. He can see again, but his blindness has saved him from a catastrophe: flashing meteor showers have blinded most of Earth's population. Humanity is helpless now, and is attacked by a mysterious and deadly kind of plant, called triffid, that seems to have the ability to think and is determined to erase mankind from the Earth. Bill Masen flees the triffids, and meets lots of people, who all, in their own way, try to build up society once again.

The triffids are indeed terrifying creatures and it's a chilling and suspenseful tale, but it isn't a horror novel. It is in fact a very human story and the focus of the story is more on human society and how this evolves after the catastrophe. Excellent book and a true science fiction classic.

Author: John Wyndham
Title: The Day of the Triffids
Publisher: Gollancz, London
Year: 2016 (orig. 1951)
Number of pages: 273 p.
ISBN: 9781473212671

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