The English Book Club
The English Book Club

Too few Triffids: “The Day of the Triffids”

We discussed John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids on May 16, 2024. This 1951 novel is sometimes considered the most famous catastrophe novel of the 20th century. When a freak cosmic event renders most of the Earth’s population blind, Bill Masen finds himself trapped in a London jammed with sightless mobs and yet another stalking menace: the Triffids—walking carnivorous plants with venomous stingers—rise up as humanity stumbles and falls.

PADERBORN2READ Rating for The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

2.5 out of 5

Members’ Opinions

“Felt like the OG version of Divergent without YA but with a philosophical aspect!”

“I am very sorry because I know this book is loved by so many, but it just didn’t work for me. I loved the idea of carnivorous plants basically taking over earth, but for a book called The Day of the Triffids it actually didn’t have enough Triffids. It focuses more on the effects on humanity and talked about some interesting philosophical aspects of being human in that sort of crisis. But it also talked a hella lot about the role of a woman in society. Which in this case is being mansplained by our main character Bill all the time. But she is just a woman, what should she want to have more than a husband and a baby, right? Definetly not too much of an opinion. Yes, it’s the 50s but come on. If you can imagine carnivorous walking plants and that 95 % of humanity suddenly becomes blind, you probably also could get a bit more imaginative when it comes to women. Equality itself even is addressed but in the end it just seems to be marriage and babies that matter.

The pacing of the story was very uneven. We follow Bill for pages and pages and in the end the really (at least for me) interesting conflicts are resolved/addressed in the span of 30 pages.

Also it did not have enough Triffids! (Yes, my expectations were probably a bit wrong).

I love science fiction, I love aliens. Let me end this with some recommendations that actually worked for me: If you liked the philosophical aspects concerning the end of humanity, but want a bit more, Dawn by Octavia Butler might be your thing. If you like aliens, but not murder and the end of humanity, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers might be your thing (it’s cosy scifi). And as I never cannot recommend my favourite scifi classic of all time, just try reading Dune by Frank Herbert.”

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Summer Term 2024

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