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.