Just read, The Day of The Triffids, John Wyndham

I picked up The Day of The Triffids in an antiquarian bookshop on last trip to Lake District and thought I’d read it now as a break from background reading for my course on history of empires (currently re-reading Niall Ferguson’s Empire). What a marvellous little book it was. It was a little quaint perhaps, in the sense that some books from the 50s that I’ve read in the past few years are, in style of writing and language but that’s not a bad thing. It reminded me a little of Nevil Shute’s On The Beach, which I read a while ago and loved because it dealt with the end of the world scenario in a very human way. I liked how here, the breakdown of the society was seen through very normal, everyday characters and how, what followed the breakdown, was described by presenting different attempts at survival by different groups of people. It made me think of bad books I sometimes read, like Michael Crichton’s which set up an interesting scenario and then spend hundreds of pages not really developing it much and not really making much of a point either. Triffids was much more economic and simple and more powerful for that. Clearly quite influential too, am making a mental note to look into more sci fi books from the period.

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