Summary[ edit ] The protagonist is Bill Masen, a biologist who has made his living working with triffids —tall, venomous, carnivorous plants capable of locomotion. Due to his background, Masen suspects they were bioengineered in the U. Because of the excellent industrial quality of an oil produced by and obtained from the triffids, the result is triffid cultivation around the world. The narrative begins with Bill Masen in hospital, his eyes bandaged after having been splashed with triffid poison from a stinger.
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Summary[ edit ] The protagonist is Bill Masen, a biologist who has made his living working with triffids —tall, venomous, carnivorous plants capable of locomotion. Due to his background, Masen suspects they were bioengineered in the U. Because of the excellent industrial quality of an oil produced by and obtained from the triffids, the result is triffid cultivation around the world.
The narrative begins with Bill Masen in hospital, his eyes bandaged after having been splashed with triffid poison from a stinger. During his convalescence he is told of an unexpected green meteor shower. The next morning, he learns that the light from the unusual display has rendered any who watched it blind later in the book, Masen speculates that the "meteor shower" may have been orbiting satellite weapons, triggered accidentally.
After unbandaging his eyes he finds the hospital in chaos, with staff and patients without sight. He wanders through a chaotic London full of blind inhabitants and slowly becomes enamoured of wealthy novelist Josella Playton, whom he rescues after discovering her being forcibly used as a guide by a blind man.
Intrigued by a single light on top of the Senate House in an otherwise darkened London, Bill and Josella discover a group of sighted survivors led by a man named Beadley, who plans to establish a colony in the countryside. They decide to join the group. They are each chained to a blind person and assigned to lead a squadron of the blind, collecting food and other supplies, all the while beset by escaped triffids and rival scavengers.
Joined by a repentant Coker, Masen drives to the address, a country estate called Tynsham in Wiltshire. He finds part of the Beadley group, now led by Miss Durrant, who eventually tells him that Beadley went to Beaminster , in Dorset , a few days before he arrived. There has been no sign of Josella. Masen and Coker decide to follow Beadley to Dorset. They find small groups of blind and sighted people along the way but no trace of Beadley. Eventually they decide to separate, Coker returning to help at Tynsham, while Masen heads for the Sussex Downs after remembering a remark Josella made about friends she had there.
En route, Masen rescues a young sighted girl named Susan, whom he finds trapped alone at home, while her young brother lies dead in the garden, killed by a triffid. He buries the boy and takes Susan with him.
A few days later, during a night of heavy rain, they see a faint light in the distance. Upon reaching it, they discover Josella and her friends. They attempt to establish a self-sufficient colony in Sussex with some success but they are constantly under threat from the triffids, which mass around the fenced exterior.
While Bill and the others are reluctant to leave their own settlement, the group decide to see the summer out in Sussex before moving to the Isle of Wight. Their plans are hurried by the arrival of the militaristic representatives of a new despotic and self-appointed government, who arrive in an armoured car.
Masen recognises the leader as a ruthless young man he had encountered on a scavenging expedition in London and whom he had watched cold-bloodedly execute one of his own party who had fallen ill. The latter plans to give Masen a large number of blind people to care for, and use on the farm as slave labour; he will also take Susan as hostage. Creeping out of the house whilst the visitors are fast asleep, they disable the armoured car by pouring honey into the fuel tank and drive through the gates, leaving them open for the triffids to pour in.
An unabridged paperback edition was published in the late s, in arrangement with Doubleday, under the Crest Book imprint of Fawcett Publications World Library. Later, however, a cleavage of methods and views had caused biology there, under a man called Lysenko, to take a different course" Chapter 2. He witnessed the destruction of London from the rooftops of Bloomsbury. He described many scenes and incidents, including the uncanny silence of London on a Sunday morning after a heavy bombardment, in letters to his long-term partner Grace Wilson.
These found their way into The Day of the Triffids. Karl Edward Wagner cited The Day of the Triffids as one of the thirteen best science-fiction horror novels. Clarke called it an "immortal story". Francis McComas praised it, saying "rarely have the details of [the] collapse been treated with such detailed plausibility and human immediacy, and never has the collapse been attributed to such an unusual and terrifying source".
Philmus called it derivative of better books by H. Broccoli and Irving Allen purchased the film rights and in hired Jimmy Sangster to write the script. Sangster claims he was paid for his work but never heard from the producers and the film was not made.
He later said that he did not think that his script was good.
The Day of the Triffids
Origins[ edit ] In the novel , the origin of the triffid species is never explained. The main character, Bill Masen speculates as follows: My own belief. Had they been evolved anywhere but in the region they were, we should doubtless have had a well-documented ancestry for them. The seeds were spread across the globe when a plane smuggling them out of Russia was shot down during the Cold War. In the two-part TV series , the triffids are a naturally occurring species from Zaire , discovered by the West and selectively bred as an alternative to fossil fuels, to avert global warming. David Seed Liverpool University Press , , Name[ edit ] Triffid refers to the plantas three "legs", from trifidus,  Latin for "split into three parts".
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