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- View topic - Day of the Triffids
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Day of the Triffids 
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post Day of the Triffids
Yes, I know this is over 50 years old. Someone recently mentioned it and it had been a long time since I read it, so I checked it out from the library. This copy has an interesting introduction penned for the fiftieth anniversary, evaluating it in the context of 9-11.

Wyndham is, I think, underrated, like a number of British authors (e.g., James Blish). Now you might think that anyone writing about the doom of mankind at the hand, er, tendril, of homicidal plants is justly underrated, but Wyndham sets it up expertly and credibly. The writing is spare and immediate: he does not waste time explaining the source of the meteor shower or how the triffids originated in Russia. He just gets right to the good stuff.

I think that the book is underappreciated because it is so veddy English - even though prim and proper English society had been dealt a massive attitude readjustment by WWII, by 1951 it still remained on a different social planet from the USA. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Mrs. Grundy character who responds to an announcement by a Prof. de la Paz-type character that the surviving men will have to take multiple wives and the women make babies, with the frosty retort, "Is the speaker advocating Free Love?" And yet - and yet - Wyndham then goes on to make an impassioned pragmatic defense of the prof's argument, through no less a character than a young attractive female, who was not only quite capable but had recently penned a book titled, "Sex is My Adventure"! Hence my review of this book here - this section is positively Heinleinian. Given the publication date, it's debatable who influenced whom, if at all, of course.

It now reads as somewhat dated, not just for the slightly complex phrasing but also the attitudes of yesteryear - survivors feeling guilty at taking items from abandoned stores without paying for them seems regrettably quaint now. But for anyone who hasn't read this book, if you never thought that walking plants could be a terrifying adversary, check it out.


Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:27 pm
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Post Re: Day of the Triffids

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:02 pm
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Post Re: Day of the Triffids
James Blish is an American author.

Wyndham also wrote under his birth name (or versions of it); he's got a triple-barrelled combination of names, but the only ones I can remember are "Benyon" and his last name "Harris." ISTR Day of the Triffids was the first written under the John Wyndham pseudonym

I've read half a dozen of his novels; Re-birth is my favorite. The Kraken Wakes/Out of the Deep has an oddly "thirties" feel to it.

I don't really know how neglected Harris is -- he's got four "classics" under his belt and has had numerous screen and radio adaptations. The Midwich Cuckoos gets adapted periodically, and I think BBC did a TV version of Chocky some time back. He's more current than most 50's-60's writers.


Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:39 am
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Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:55 pm
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Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:21 pm
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Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:35 am
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Post Re: Day of the Triffids

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:27 am
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Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:57 pm
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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:43 pm
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Post Re: Day of the Triffids
Any more of this and the thread should be split, but just for the benefit of any one reading this thread wondering, "Who is this Blish guy?", I don't want them to go away thinking that he was some transplanted hack who just wrote bad Trek novelizations.

To equalize the record, let me cite some of my favorite Blish books: The Cities in Flight tetralogy (They Shall Have Stars, A Life for the Stars, Earthman Come Home, A Clash of Cymbals); All The Stars a Stage; and a book I love very much, Jack of Eagles, which seems to get no attention whatsoever.

Yes, he wrote many other books, some more famous ones, but those are my favorites. Cities in Flight is a series I reread every few years like Stranger and the Foundation trilogy. Time to pick it up again, I think.


Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:22 pm
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