Thoughts on The Day of the Triffids
December 1987 (approximately)
Part of a special reading quest:
Famous Books No One Reads Anymore

In some ways, this book doesn't fit my quest. Not even the dreadful movie that is barely based on the book is that famous. Still, I did recognize the title once upon a time in a used bookstore, and bought it out of boredom. And I was stunned at just how good it was. It has the richest characters and the most unpredictable story I had ever read of all the various post-apocalypse stories out there, and the most unique premise. And the story is, for the most part, still quite relevant.

I have known just one other person who read The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. It was Ariel Dorfman, the famous Chilean writer. We talked about it in the publicity office at the Williamstown Theater Festival. It was the summer of 1988. I was just a lowly intern. We both admired what the book had to say about human nature, good and bad. It made me feel oh-so-important to have something to talk about with such hugely important human being other than the weather.

This is one of those books that, the more you read about it, the less you will want to read it, because the premise sounds absurd when described in brief. The less you know about it, the better. So, read the book. You won't be sorry. And maybe you will get to have a conversation about it with someone you really want to impress.


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