John Wyndham's best-known novel, first published in 1951. Currently published by Penguin, ISBN 0-14-000993-0.

IMO this is the quintessential post-apocalyptic story. For some unknown reason everyone on earth save a lucky few, the narrator among them, is suddenly and terrifyingly rendered blind. A sentient (at least I think they're sentient; the book never answers the question) carnivorous species of plant, the eponymous Triffid, proceeds to subjugate humanity. Okay, it sounds stupid in blurb form. But Wyndham explains everything and makes one realise the terrifying possibilities he raises.

Being written in, and set in, the 1950s means that the book may have dated somewhat, but therein I feel lies its intrinsic charm. I remember years ago getting this out of the school library and trying to cycle home while still reading it. It was that good.

Some chap called Simon Clark, much later, wrote a sequel, The Night of the Triffids, which I urge everyone not to read.

BEWARE THE TRIFFIDS...they grow...know...walk...stalk...and KILL!



In 1963 this book was made into a motion picture. It was directed by Steve Sekely and starred Howard Keel and Nicole Maurey. 95 minutes long, color.

The movie is really quite bad, they don't really capture the horror of the situation like the book probably did...the man eating plants just looked too funny. It's a good B-horror movie to watch if you're into that.
The unknown reason all but a few persons are rendered blind, is that they had watched a fireworks show that circled the globe. Only the fireworks were what we have come to know as orbital atomic weapons.

Some sort of accident, of course, cascaded from one country's satellite to the next, initiated the colorful display. And everyone got everyone they could out to watch--and were blind the next day. (The narrator had somehow injured his eyes, and they were bond during the lightshow. There was noone to unwrap him, so he knew that something had happenned.)

And the triffids were a kind of animal-plant that produced an oil that was extremely useful. But they also had teeth, or clawlike appendages that were poisonous, or could kill. When they were removed, the oil was of a lesser quality, so, plantations of them were cultivated with the claws.

It was a great novel.

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