Customer Reviews


231 Reviews
5 star:
 (153)
4 star:
 (53)
3 star:
 (13)
2 star:
 (8)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant
Academics have written enough about this novel to fill an entire shelf at least, and that is perhaps not a good thing since it tends to detract from the fact that this is a marvellously entertaining and thought-provoking work, maybe the single best British SF novel of the Twentieth Century.
For those not in the know, triffids are genetically engineered six foot...
Published on 5 Oct. 2007 by Rod Williams

versus
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars CAUTION - Abridged Version!
Day of the Triffids is a favourite from my childhood that I revisit often. However, this is not the full text; some scenes seem to have been considered surplus to requirements: The suicidal doctor; Umberto and the exposition of the Triffids' origins and worldwide spread (I didn't read much further once I realised). They've made a mess of it too; Umberto is mentioned later...
Published 24 months ago by malcolm tent


‹ Previous | 1 224 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant, 5 Oct. 2007
Academics have written enough about this novel to fill an entire shelf at least, and that is perhaps not a good thing since it tends to detract from the fact that this is a marvellously entertaining and thought-provoking work, maybe the single best British SF novel of the Twentieth Century.
For those not in the know, triffids are genetically engineered six foot mobile plants whose main stalk ends in a trumpetlike `flower' from which a prehensile stinger can lash out. The stinger contains venom strong enough to kill a man. The triffids can also uproot themselves and walk on their three ambulatory roots. Also, they have sticklike growths which drum against the main stem, creating a rattling noise with which some believe they communicate among themselves.
For reasons we needn't go into, some years before the opening of the novel a large number of triffid seeds was accidentally released into the upper atmosphere ensuring that they were dispersed across the planet. Not so long after, triffids began growing and multiplying everywhere.

At the start of the novel however, triffid researcher Bill Mason, who has been in hospital after an accidental triffid sting to his eyes, awakens to a strangely silent world. As his eyes were bandaged he was one of the few people to miss a worldwide display of cometary debris burning up in the earth's atmosphere.
Soon he discovers that the strange fireworks have burnt out the retinae of everyone who witnessed them. In the days that follow, the very few who have kept their sight attempt to reorganise, but it is only Bill who realises that now the infrastructure of civilisation has disappeared, the triffids may now become masters of the earth.
Wyndham's three major works - this, `The Midwich Cuckoos' and `the Chrysalids' -all deal in their different ways with evolutionary issues and the battle between species for territory. It is here that the message is clearest, and shows an extinction event in which the triffids, until now contained and controlled by a more successful species, are suddenly given an evolutionary advantage. Triffids are carnivorous plants which may or may not have some form of rudimentary intelligence. It has been noted by Mason's colleagues that when attacking humans they inevitably aim for the eyes. Therefore, by a combination of circumstances, Wyndham quite chillingly shows us how a more successful species (which need not necessarily be a more intelligent species) could, in evolutionary terms, supplant us.
Much is made of Wyndham's rather quaint middle-class viewpoint and the fact that many of the survivors seem to be professional middle-class types. The interesting point about this is that it gives Wyndham a chance to have a swipe at some of the complacent attitudes of Middle England, such as the lady in charge of Tynsham Manor who would rather her community fail than surrender to immoral unchristian practices.
If nothing else it is an exciting page-turning wonder, in which we travel with the protagonists through the ruin of a Nineteen Fifties Britain, battling against not only the ubiquitous triffids, but the dark side of human nature.
Quite brilliant.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite ever novel!, 15 Sept. 2007
By 
M. T. Gibbs - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful, dramatic & fast paced piece of post-apocalyptic fiction, 6 Dec. 2006
By 
Chris Hall "DLS Reviews" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Day of the Triffids (Mass Market Paperback)
Back in 1951 John Wyndham first published his novel "The Day Of The Triffids". Since then the novel has been hailed as a sci-fi masterpiece and has become one of the cornerstones in the post-apocalyptic fiction subgenre.

Within "The Day Of The Triffids" Wyndham explores humanities need for power and its inevitable downfall towards its own destruction. Wyndam probes away at our lustful need for supposed `civilised development' whilst pointing towards greed as the real motivation towards such advancements.

Tackling the idea that humanity could potentially wipe itself out with not just one dramatic incident but the combination of two or more events feeding off each other, the novel's fictional premise holds key ideas for the state of the real world.

The tale follows the character, Bill Mason, as the world around him slowly collapses leaving just a few survivors who were lucky enough to escape blindness by not witnessing a once in a lifetime event. With ninety-nine percent of the world's entire population now sightless, the remaining visually sighted are left with an enormous moral dilemma as well as the seemingly impossible problem of survival.

The storyline delivers twists and turns throughout the tale, as groups of individuals attempt to reclaim what is left of humanity. The reader quickly learns that no two answers are right, with difficult decisions often seemingly harsh, are perhaps the only real solution.

From the outset, "The Day Of The Triffids" keeps up a fast and nail biting pace, that never seems to let up. With each decision comes an unforeseen outcome that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Running for just 272 pages, Wyndham crams in a tight storyline that will swallow you in to this desperate new world.

Like in much post-apocalyptic fiction, the story has a bleak and downbeat atmosphere, with every positive action bringing a beaming ray of hope. Wyndham cleverly plays on this, until finally ending the novel with a question mark to the final outcome of humankind's survival.

This is an important and powerful novel that can be enjoyed by all ages. It's a book that you'll find yourself returning to time and again. This is one of the best pieces of post-apocalyptic fiction ever.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End of the world drama at its best., 4 May 2003
By 
Majuran Umapathee (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Very 'British' science fiction written (you can tell by the style in which it is written) from around the time of the cold war, reflecting a lot of paranoia from that era. The main character wakes up to find out that nearly everybody else on the planet has been stricken blind. 'In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king.' So think about it- if everybody but a select few people were sticken blind tonight, what would happen to the world?
If society were to break down, how would that come about? What would we be left with? Would it be any different in the less populated countyside to the cities?
If you were one of the gifted few to be able to see, what do you do? Do you help the helpless? (people stricken blind overnight would have problems finding food. There's even the possibility that they'd get together as groups to help each other. What if a blind mob found a seeing indiviual?) Do you look after yourself and leave everyone to their fate? Or leave the general area to try and find other people in a similar situation to yourself and try and start from scratch?
Add to the equation the 'triffids' (just a minor addition in the background IMHO)- deadly plants probably as a result of genetic engineering by the Russians by accident, kept as household items to look good, but need in need to trimming every so often in order to keep them safe.
Good science fiction challenges us, making us think what would happen if... This is no different and comes highly recommended.
End of the world drama at its best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars CAUTION - Abridged Version!, 25 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Day of the Triffids is a favourite from my childhood that I revisit often. However, this is not the full text; some scenes seem to have been considered surplus to requirements: The suicidal doctor; Umberto and the exposition of the Triffids' origins and worldwide spread (I didn't read much further once I realised). They've made a mess of it too; Umberto is mentioned later in the text despite having been excised, for example. I could see no mention of the fact that this is an abridged version. Avoid.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding, 6 Nov. 2014
When I first read ‘The Day of the Triffids’ I was still a teenager and I stayed up most of the night because I couldn’t put it down. It was written back in 1951, but when you read it today it still feels current and terrifyingly real. It is similar in some ways to Stanislaw Lem’s ‘Invincible’, where primitive beings have the ability to overcome intelligent and technologically powerful humans by acting in a swarm-like manner.

Wyndham’s vision of the disintegrating modern civilisation in which most people suddenly became blind gives the reader chills. A friend of mine who also read it throughout the night said that he was surprised to see people in the street the next morning. Personally, it definitely made me wonder what a fragile world we lived in; even more so today.

I watched all the film adaptations but I daresay that none really conveyed what readers imagine when reading ‘The Day of the Triffids’.

Some reviewers complained about undertones of sexism in the novel, but such political correctness ignores the fact that in a primitive society we would all be forced to adopt roles based mainly on our gender and usefulness to the group.
If you like SF and haven’t read ‘The Day of the Triffids’, you have missed a real gem.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Published in 1951 and continues to satisfy, 2 Mar. 2005
By 
Sally-Anne "mynameissally" (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Day of the Triffids (Mass Market Paperback)
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. The plant has some other more alarming qualities and therefore has to be 'imprisoned' and fastened to the ground;
3) An abortive attempt at industrial espionage spreads the interesting and profitable new plant over the whole planet;
4) Both accidents-in-waiting happen in quick succession: one or more of the satellites is (probably) struck by a comet, or something of the sort and explodes with a spectacular and devastating pyrotechnic display and possibly some virulent disease is also rained down - and then, when human-kind is incapacitated by the after effects of the previous evening's illuminations, the GM crops escape confinement and attack;
5) Civilisation turns out to be a thin veneer and desperate people adopt desperate measures in order to survive.
These nightmarish events are just the beginning. The tale is related by that hospital patient who started his record of events puzzling about where the medical staff had got to and why he hadn't had his breakfast or had his bandages removed. He's a biologist whose job in cultivating the new oil-rich plants had landed him in the hospital, where he was recovering from a blinding sting when the comets hit the satellites. When he emerges from the hospital, he finds a terrifyingly changed world. He tells how quickly order unravelled and how the few survivors devised strategies to stay alive.
John Wydham must have put a lot of thought into how people would behave under these conditions. He clearly gave careful consideration to the sorts of behaviour that would make the difference between continued survival and slow or sudden death, the psychological and physical demands of adjusting to a catastrophically changed environment, how people would have to change their way of thinking about ethical and moral issues. He highlights some of the best and the worst of human nature. It's an excellent book and I highly recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How little it takes to throw us off our tenuous perch on the top of the food chain, 12 Dec. 2014
By 
Susman "Sussman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is really about survival in the midst of disintegrating society. Add into the mix a relatively unique plant the Triffid - that is: large, venomous carnivorous, capable of locomotion and communication.

Wyndham's novel published in 1951, it envisions the apocalypse that follows in an almost universal blinding of the population after an extreme fall of brightly colour-laden meteorites - that somehow burns out the optic nerve. The Triffids had been used as a crop, as a substitute for food oil. However, due to the resulting collapse of their careful management and harvesting. They then get loose from their `farms' and literally walk out; they became the killers of humankind. They are also happy to eat the resultant decaying remains.

This narrative throws up painful moral problems about collective conventions and pacts, which are submerged into disarray when disaster hits humanity. The repercussions for successful survival, in a forever transformed world. This is when our moral compass, concepts, and what we believe constitutes humanity, may become outmoded. A book written in 1951 is very much the product of its time. The narrative is the backdrop mise-en-scène of the Cold War society. The outlooks of the characters are often quite paternalistic, especially when any women are concerned. A book reflecting the attitudes and conventions of the time it was written in. That said Wyndham's storytelling transcends time and makes this book endure to the present day as a classic that does not stop being germane. A subject that still makes you think critically about humankind, morality and civilization - and question matters that we are so used to taking for granted. Since I first read this book, I have reread it every now then and still come away with chill down my spine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Triffid Trouble - Terrible Termination of Terran Society., 19 July 2012
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
NOTE THIS IS A REVIEW FOR THE BBC AUDIO VERSION of Day of the Triffids.
(And not the book)
The trouble with Amazon is that they lump every version of the Day of The Triffids together.
Thus the books and this radio play which have many differences are intertwined).

Right to business.
I have had a wonderful journey listening to the fabulous series of the BBC audio Radio Sci Fi series and this is my 7th of the lot. I include a link to the others and really would encourage that you try them out there are some absolute gems and many at the right price on Amazon too!
The Midwich Cuckoos (Classic Radio Sci-Fi)
The Time Machine: Classic Radio Sci-Fi
The Chrysalids and Survival (Classic Radio Sci-Fi)
Chocky (Classic Radio Sci-Fi)
The Kraken Wakes (Classic Radio Sci-Fi)
(I have written reviews for all of them so far)

To the Day of the Triffids.

This is an excellent radio show of the book.
I will expand on that later.
The CD set consists of 4 CDs with the play being split into 6 parts.
It lasts 2 hours 50 mins and could easily have been stretched to 10 episodes and 5 hours. Cuts to the book have been made but this is perfectly understandable for a radio dramatization.

I said that this is an excellent version but with this Book being one that is well known and well loved- yes people having being exposed to the book always recall it fondly why?

Well the Triffids are one of the most memorable creations in the Science Fiction Universe- right up there with The Daleks and Alien. (Certainly in the vegetable world at least!). Then to couple the fact it's an end of the world scenario. People blinded by comet's debris. Society collapses humans need to build a new.
So we approach the play with very high expectations. This is a brilliant book- there's been a film and a couple of television series so we expect brilliance.

But I feel it could never ever match our too high expectations can it?

There is always the definitive supreme version in the back of our minds?
The book if anything has outgrown its own legend of excellence?

The cast are good. They perform very well and interaction between the actors is good
Gary Watson plays the lead Bill Masen and Barbara Shelly the romantic lead Josella Playton the seductive siren is underplayed a lot as Playton is the author of an infamous 'sexy novel'. A la Belle De Jour. And even Peter Sallis of Last of the Summer Wine and Wallace and Grommet makes an appearance as Coker a villain later redeemed.

Sallis' role of Coker is sadly under used in my opinion.
They used an adult to portray the young girl Susan and to my ear Jill Cary sounds too much like an adult imitating a young girl- if this were produced today they would cast a young girl for the job. But this was back in 1968 when things were run differently.

The play feels logical and runs to its end well.
I really recommend that you buy this set and I convinced you will be delighted.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creepily Effective..., 13 Mar. 2007
This review is from: The Day of the Triffids (Mass Market Paperback)
ONly just remembered the series, but decided to pick up the book not long after War of The Worlds - which it alwasy gets compared to. I found them different - Triffids seemed more about the collapse of society, and the problems thrown up by the Triffids rather than thier actual 'taking over' of the plants. Wyndham's skill ies in just having The Triffids skulking in the periphery, always there, adding to the woes of the poor, in-fighting human survivors.

A great book; a classic example of reserved but chilling british sci-fi.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 224 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Day of the Triffids
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (Mass Market Paperback - 28 Jun. 1973)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews