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The Day of the Triffids

    The next book on my agenda is "The Day of the Triffids" by John Wyndam - an awesome read.  Classic Science Fiction - no talking swords or cats or humans turned into talking plants.  In the novel, the world as we know it is over.  The planet has been destroyed by Triffids, long stocky plants with vine like arms that whip their victims in the face.  And if they hit you, it's lights out because they secrete a deadly poison (unless, of course, you are wearing a modified cricket helmet for protection). The apocalypse rules because ninety percent of the population is blind due to a green comet sent by the Triffids.  Our main guy, Bill Masen, is saved because he was in the hospital with bandages over his eyes.   It is a story of survival.  A truly Canadian condition, I read somewhere in college.

    I cannot say enough great things about this novel.  The story was engaging and involving ... I was in a bucolic England with cottage style houses, open verdant fields,  beautiful gardens and someone reading Milton in the background.  Except for the nasty Triffids snapping poisonous leafage in your face while clicking their way across England.   

    Considering the book was written in the 50s, it has a lot to say about social and environmental situations today (an excellent indication of the resilience of the book).  The Triffids came to us in peace  and harmony (much like Mother nature herself) and what did we do?  We raped and pillaged the plants for our own greed - oil.  Now there's a nice prediction because we are certainly not an oil addicted society today, are we? And we would never destroy nature just to fill our own avarice? (He says with the touch of an ironic fist.)  The book is a warning - be careful what we do to nature, she has a nasty way of getting even.  She may even "blindside" us to even the playing field.  Another nice touch in the novel is the social commentary on how should we structure a new society after we have decimated our present one?    Military dictatorship?  Or humans cooperating with one another - true social democracy.  My only concern were the comments about women in society which seemed a little dated. Another nice idea in the novel how we treat the less fortunate in society.  At one point in the novel,  the disadvantaged slave the advantaged for survival.  "Seeing" people are held in chains as if they were seeing-eye dogs to help the "blinded" survive.  Quite the opposite of our society where the disadvantaged are enslaved by the advantaged.  But I guess the real question is, who is really enslaved?

    You move with the story and it doesn't matter if you read the book 100 years from now, it's still relevant, a great sign of science fiction.  Wyndam's apocalypse still matters, if not more today.