Sep 4, 2008

Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Day of the Triffids

In a way, this novel struck me as being a zombie story as much as one of vegetables run amok. Same idea - slow moving, easy to avoid if there are few and you can see them, but gradually they overcome the survivors of whatever giant disaster by virtue of sheer numbers and blind (ahem) aggression.

And, okay, so it's not really a dystopia, it's post-apocalyptic, but it's close enough and I wanted to read it.

The last book I read before this was, of course, War With the Newts, and I found there to be many similarities. Man finds resource that he does not consider overly dangerous or sentient, spreads around world, is warned but ignores it, is later punished for his hubris. Newts delved much more deeply into the worldwide events and reactions, with Triffids being more of an adventure story, but as companion pieces they work.

As I mentioned before, I'm pretty sure this is one of Stephen King's favorite books. Not that I've ever seen him mention it, I just feel like he's adapted large chunks of it and used it to flavor most of his best writing. So, I just now looked up "Stephen King" Wyndham on the ol' google, and what's the first result? 'The famous American writer Stephen King has called Wyndham "perhaps the best writer of science fiction that England has ever produced".' Yep, you can tell.

final thoughts: I've already loaned my copy out and suggested it to a few different people. Easily one of the top 5 novels I've read this year.

6 comments:

Olman Feelyus said...

John Wyndham is so good. For me, it's the subtlety of the menace that makes him such a good writer. Everything always seems so normal on the surface, too normal...

downtown guy said...

Exactly. A master of the creeping menace.

John M. said...

I read Day of the Triffids last year and enjoyed it, but I thought it fizzled a bit at the end.

Once he established the menace and how to deal with it, there wasn't much more than reiteration.

Overall, I thought it was engrossing and well written but I was just a tad disappointed with the resolution.

downtown guy said...

I dunno, I always enjoy the creeping menace. It's that slow, it's coming for you feeling that gets me.

John M. said...

I'm totally with you on the creeping doom aspect, it's just that over the course of the story it really didn't resolve. I guess maybe I was projecting my own expectations.

downtown guy said...

Having read maybe too many dystopian tales lately, I have to admit that I've sort of given up wanting real resolutions, because they almost never offer it. Ambiguity is the name of the game in these books.