Published first: 1951
Genres: Post-apocalyptic fiction, science fiction
Blurb: When a freak cosmic event renders most of the Earth's population blind, Bill Masen - one of the lucky few to keep his sight - finds himself trapped in a London jammed with sightless mobs who prey on those who can still see... But another menace stalks the blind and sighted alike. With nobody to stop them, the Triffids - walking carnivorous plants with lethal stingers - rise up as humanity stumbles and falls.
I'm not usually one who would indulge themselves in a science fiction novel, but this specific book really underestimated my expectations. I really enjoyed it because it wasn't one of those typical dystopian stories like Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, or even the Hunger Games, where you are first welcomed to a world that has already been met by disaster. The Day of the Triffids delved into a story of how humanity used to act before they all became blind, and then quickly after where everyone was running around in panic and chaos. This made it more interesting as you would observe humanity at their weakest position and learning how to cope with this new world.
The book told of a hypothetical situation which aroused the rhetorical question: What would life actually be like if humanity all went blind?
I think humans take for granted their ability to see; if we couldn't, the book alluded to ideas where the electricity and water wouldn't run any longer, food in homes and stores would either be stolen within days or rotten within weeks leaving everyone to starve to death. Life would become useless and hopeless, where people believe that they would have no choice but to commit suicide.
The Day of the Triffids is quite a confronting read, but it does pick up a bit throughout the story where at the end there may even be a glimmer of hope for the future.
What the book could have improved on?
I suppose the main climax of the story was when everyone lost their sight, but I believe the author could have utilised the motif of the Triffids more to make the story slightly more compelling to read. Although, there was a withstanding sense of trepidation that the Triffids offered during the read, causing the book to be given the comment 'One of those books that haunts you for the rest of your life' by the Sunday Times.