This is one of my all time favourites and I bumped it up my list of books to review this month in time for day ten of Blogtober! I first read it about seven years ago when I was eighteen, not long after watching the original 80s TV series at the recommendation of a colleague.
The Day of the Triffids revolves around two narrative points; bioengineered carnivorous plants have been accidentally released into the wild and cultivated for their useful oils; a meteor shower so bright that it blinds anyone that looks at it. The combination of these two things leads to a largely blind population (the exceptions being people who were incapacitated during the meteor storm and not watching) at the mercy of killer plants that have evolved without a sense of sight. They move, their stinging vines will kill a person and they now have the advantage. It sounds ridiculous, and it is, but I love it.
The Day of the Triffids is another one of those post apocalyptic novels that I love because it highlights the best in humanity. While 1984 and Brave New World have their place with their bleak outlook of our nature and futures, I do really like the kinds of novels that create strong relationships between characters in the wake of disaster. There’s rebuilding of civilisation where no one is left behind and families are forged amongst strangers.
In my opinion this is sci fi at its best. Fifties fears of interfering with nature, good plotting and characterisation and solid relationships between characters without the need to prioritise a romantic subplot unnecessarily. It feels like everything works well together, without being forced or not backed up by decent exposition.