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The Day of the Triffids | [John Wyndham]

The Day of the Triffids

Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere 24 hours before is gone forever.
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Publisher's Summary

In 1951 John Wyndham published The Day of the Triffids to moderate acclaim. Fifty-two years later, this horrifying story is a science fiction classic, touted by The Times (London) as having "all the reality of a vividly realized nightmare."

Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere 24 hours before is gone forever. But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, 50 years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.

©1951 John Wyndham; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Nominee - Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Audiobook, 2011

“The best what-if sci-fi ever.” (Lee Child)

"Graeme Malcolm creates the atmosphere of a classic Twilight Zone or Chiller Theatre production.... Malcolm’s tone of steady perseverance contributes to the realism of the plot." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (260 )
5 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.2 (206 )
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3 star
 (33)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (206 )
5 star
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4 star
 (84)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Mark Willis Woodstock, GA USA 09-09-10
    Mark Willis Woodstock, GA USA 09-09-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprisingly good"

    I recalled seeing the 1962 movie version as a teenager and had rather low expectation based on its typical monsters run amok plotline, But needing an easy read over vacation, I took a chance and was happily rewarded with well developed characters and situations. A scifi novel that holds up well even after all these years.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 04-23-12
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 04-23-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Cautionary Tale Ahead of its Time"

    I have loved this story for a long time. It was great to hear an audio version. The message seems so appropriate today in a world of genetic engineering, space defense systems, biological warfare, and intentional introduction of invasive of foreign plant and animal species. Every time I hear tapping sticks, I wonder if a triffid has arrived at my door. The BBC did a wonderful television production in the mid-80s. The production values are quite simple compared to today's but it is very effective.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Cole 05-12-14
    Dave Cole 05-12-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NOT unabridged."
    Any additional comments?

    This version is abridged. Not by the industry standard HUGE amount, but maybe as much as 25% of the writing has been taken out. It is as if the book were 'tightened up' by an editor who didn't realize how much brilliant social commentary was between the lines of Wyndham's digressions. The BBC has done an unabridged reading of this, as has (i think) Books On Tape. Both are better than this one by a long shot--and they are complete.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Helotes, TX, United States 04-15-14
    Paul Helotes, TX, United States 04-15-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Captivating from the very first paragraph."
    Would you listen to The Day of the Triffids again? Why?

    I like the easygoing style of the main character, and how we learn and experience the Triffids along with him as he struggles to survive. This will be a fun book to read again in a few years.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Graeme Malcolm did an OK job. I just consider his voice to be a little light and timid, especially during intense action scenes.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Man Parker Kailua-Kona, HI, United States 12-10-12
    Old Man Parker Kailua-Kona, HI, United States 12-10-12 Member Since 2009

    Me am Pop-Surrealist Tiki-Artist living and making Art on the active volcanic "Big Island" of Hawaii. Aloha.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A classic science fiction/horror tale. Very good."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The world ending my a "zombie plague" is so popular, this shows the end of the world by a plague of man eating plants that move a lot like zombies.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Day of the Triffids?

    When they find out the Triffids are turning the tables on humanity, and the girl finds her family and house over run.


    What about Graeme Malcolm’s performance did you like?

    Wonderful voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A good exciting ending.


    Any additional comments?

    like zombie movies? You'll like this!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-25-12
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2010

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Killer plants, as pets??"

    One thing that always bothers me in these books where there are Zombies, Aliens or Killer Plants invading the earth, why do these authors believe humans will sit by and do nothing. First we have these plants that kill and blind people and then eat them. According to this author we will make pets of them. It takes two years of these plants multiplying and ganging up to kill whole towns before somebody thinks we should start hunting them down.

    I don't know about England, but in gun loving America these things would have become a National sport day one.

    We also have these Meteors that blind people. The author does not seem to recognize that half of the world is in daylight while the other half is in dark. We are lead to believe the whole world is blinded in one night.

    Then when most everyone is blinded, they start killing themselves. An eighteen year old beauty who is blind offers herself to a man if he will help take care of her. He is to proper for that, but he does help her take pills to kill her self. A young couple throws themselves out a window. Blind people are considered totally helpless.

    The book is well written and there are some very good parts, it is just a little depressing on how down the author is on mankind.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bohemian Bon Vivant San Francisco, CA 05-10-12
    Bohemian Bon Vivant San Francisco, CA 05-10-12 Member Since 2011

    Bohemian Bon Vivant

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Just Killer Plants"
    If you could sum up The Day of the Triffids in three words, what would they be?

    Elevated above the killer plant aspect by the author's intelligent consideration and exploration of what various forms humanity might take given a cataclysmic accident like the overnight blinding of most of the world's populace -- from those who deal with the disaster in a military fashion, religious fashion, progressive fashion, and so on. It's a book that leaves one with much to ponder and consider long after the scary story elements that pull you in.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deborah Crestview Hills, KY, United States 04-19-12
    deborah Crestview Hills, KY, United States 04-19-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Ascary tale with a humorous basis."
    What did you love best about The Day of the Triffids?

    The scary "things" are a surprise and the story kept me wondering what was next.


    What does Graeme Malcolm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The performance genuinely encouraged your emotions.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alvin Wake Forest, NC, United States 05-14-12
    Alvin Wake Forest, NC, United States 05-14-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""The Earth Abides"--but with killer plants"

    Much more like George R. Stewart's end-of-the-world book The Earth Abides than I'd remembered, The Day of the Triffids backgrounds its vile green monsters in favor of an episodic post-apocalypse narrative in which an Everyman ping-pongs between various Human Responses to the disaster: despair, greed, idealism, profit, militarism, etc. As long as you're prepared for only occasional passages featuring the ambulatory killer plants of the title, and can staunch your disappointment at the lack of a triffid-centric narrative, you should find it a very suspenseful and moving novel, as I did.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict Austin, Texas, USA 08-01-14
    AudioAddict Austin, Texas, USA 08-01-14 Member Since 2013

    I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Starts great but then it sorta just drags on"

    STORY (sci-fi) - This book was written in the early fifties and is very well done. It was probably quite unique and shocking in its time but not so much today in 2014. The story begins with a very unique premise -- a meteor shower, people who have become blind, the triffids. (They're huge plants that can walk and kill people with a stinger thingy). Shortly after I became acquainted with the characters and the situation, however, I began losing interest. The story basically becomes one of meandering the English countryside, trying to find food and shelter while avoiding triffids and disease.

    PERFORMANCE - The narrator is male and has a British accent. He does a good job, though nothing special.

    OVERALL - No sex, cursing or graphic violence. There is quite a bit of death and disease, but I didn't find it gross or depressing. Both men and women might enjoy this story, but it's definitely not for children. The book comes to a satisfactory conclusion but the door is left open for the story to continue. At the very end the narrator mentions another book which can be purchased if you want to continue the saga. The Day of the Triffids is highly rated and was nominated for an award within the past few years, so you might want to give it a try despite my comments.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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