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The Day of the Triffids [Hardcover]

John Wyndham
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1951
The triffids are a monstrous species of stinging plant; they walk, they talk, they dominate the world. The narrator of this novel wakes up in hospital to find that, by missing the end of the world, he has survived to witness a new world. But the new world that awaits him is fantastic and horrific.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; First Edition edition (Dec 1951)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071810093X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718100933
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 736,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


* I had forgotten just how real this 1951 classic seems - and am impressed by how eerily relevant it now appears. The Observer * by Alex Jennings, the clear-cut narration lends itself well to Bill's creeping sense of doom. The Bookseller * Jennings carries all the characters with consummate skill. * Remains fresh and disturbing in an entirely unexpected way. The Guardian --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

'One of those books that haunts you for the rest of your life' Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
WHEN a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite ever novel! 15 Sep 2007
Here I sit at 19, about to go back to university for my second year studying English and I find myself wondering how I can value a mid 20th century science fiction novel over all the classics and anything else on my bookshelf.

Then I look at the front cover and see the quote "One of those books that haunts you for the rest of your life" and realise that quote sums up in one sentence exactly why I love this book to the exclusion of all others.

I must have first read this at age 11/12 and having done so many times since it NEVER loses its appeal. A love story, a story of immense tragedy, of politics, of the fragility of modern life and above all of the undeniable essential nature of mankind Wyndham incorporates all these facets into a perfect tale.

Perhaps I am viewing it through rose tinted glasses because of the effect it had on me at such an impressionable age, but judging by everyone else's reviews I doubt this very much. I don't think I am being melodramatic when I say this novel opened my eyes to the true nature of the world. The characters are perfect, I felt like they were real people and at the end of every reading I am sad to close the last page and say good bye to them, if only for a short while.

My dog eared and much loved copy takes pride of place on my bookshelf. This is a novel for anybody out there who looked at the world around them and wondered... what if?
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Published in 1951 and continues to satisfy 2 Mar 2005
Some of the best sci-fi has a long shelf-life because it's long-sighted, prescient - prophetic even. Day of the Triffids is a fine example of a science fiction tale that has as much to say about what worries and frightens people today as it did over 50 years ago. It all starts in a comfortable, well ordered, peaceful Britain, where a man who has suffered an accident at work is waiting in his hospital bed, to have the bandages removed from his eyes. As far as he knows, everything is fine, except the clock has struck 8 O'clock and he hasn't heard any sign of the medical staff. The quiet, orderly peacefulness is deceptive though. Politics, economics, technology and, most of all, hubris have the world balancing on a knife edge and it will only take a chance slip or two to plunge human civilisation into chaos. The situation:
1) There are satellite weapons hanging in the sky - out of sight and out of mind, but threatening the world with germ-warfare, nuclear attack and other ghastly inventions of amoral science;
2) A plant has been bred or genetically modified by the dastardly enemies of democracy, to provide a very useful type of oil that is going to make fish oil and a range of other profitable oils obsolete, thereby threatening certain Western economic interests.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pageturner that poses countless questions 28 Jan 2006
Forget all the mental images you may have of this book; forget the film; in fact, forget men-eating plants altogether. Because this book is not about any of those things.
What it is about is hard to pin down. About how thin the veneer of civilisation is; about the dangers of global weaponry; about how different people would react to an apocalypse; about how society itself is best organised, or why societies are organised the way they are. What is certain is that, at various points in reading this book, you are forced to ask yourself questions to which there are no correct answers. And that is the mark of truly classic fiction.
What's more, this is a terrific story, impeccably told. A true pageturner that had me desperate to know what happened next, and yet wishing it never to end. And enough twists and turns to pack it full of incident. I'm now off to read Wyndham's other works, but I recommend you buy this now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars seminal sci-fi 3 Feb 2004
By S. Hapgood VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading this at last after having seen the old 1960s film numerous times, I had to banish memories of Howard Keel from my mind! The film wasn't bad at all, (I've seen much worse), but reading the book it was clear how drastically it had deviated from John Wyndham's original, and the book is undoubtedly better by a mile. I had never appreciated before quite how influential Wyndham's work was. Reading this I could see how it has influenced numerous films I've seen in recent years, from "Dawn Of The Dead", to "Threads", to "28 Days Later", and books such as Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend", and James Herbert's apocalyptic novels such as "The Fog", "Domain", and "1948".
"The Day Of The Triffids" is pure class from beginning to end. It moves at a cracking pace, and is told in the first person by Our Hero, Bill Masen, who reacts in a way to situations in this new world he finds himself in that I found completely believable. He runs the whole gamut of emotions, from excitement at first at finding himself free of Society's restrictions, (I think most can identify with having the freedom to run into shops to grab what you want, plus just snatching any vehicle and having the roads to yourself), to despair that human beings can ever carve out a new life with such odds stacked against them, to a worldly optimism that the new life is going to be extremely difficult, but not perhaps impossible.
Taking into account the age of it (it was first published in 1951) it hasn't dated that much when all is said and done. Bill's new life, finding himself one of the fortunate few that are still sighted in a world that has largely been struck blind overnight, will be very recognisable to anyone writing such a scenario now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Old but the writing was so good that it has not aged. High quality science fiction.
Published 6 days ago by Susan Jean McEwan
5.0 out of 5 stars great reading makes you think about what could happen with ...
great reading makes you think about what could happen with so many idiots tampering with so many things that should be left well alone and the brainwashed clowns we call... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Derek Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars A must to read
Slightly dated but a really good read
Published 18 days ago by Mr. Ra Jameson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fantastic read
Published 26 days ago by brian ayers
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the finest Science-fiction books ever written
Simply one of the finest Science-fiction books ever written.
Read it as a child and several times since.
If you haven't read this, you should.
Published 27 days ago by Flatpicker
4.0 out of 5 stars my husband bbought this ready for his reading group,
my husband bbought this ready for his reading group, no idea whatt he thought of tthe book but condition and delivery was excellent
Published 1 month ago by Pearl Peckham
5.0 out of 5 stars amazed and delighted
This was suggested by a friend and, being somewhat familiar with the story through television, I was dubious. However, I found the story both gripping and surprisingly 'current'. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Andrew Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars The day of the Triffids
As just as good as when I first read it so many years ago. Obviously, it's dated with the passing of time but is still an excellent read.
Published 2 months ago by Graham Watkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by R. Ardis
5.0 out of 5 stars books
pleased with the item
Published 2 months ago by Mr. K. M. Harrison
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