Bill Masen wakes up one morning in his hospital bed. His eyes are completely bandaged after an eye operation so he is unable to see. He immediately notices how still and quiet everything is. Having taken off his bandages, he discovers that both inside the hospital and out, the majority of the population (who watched a display of startlingly bright comets in the night sky the previous evening) have all gone blind, and realises that there is a terrifying new enemy for humankind to contend with. This is his thrilling, chilling and enthralling story....
When Bill Masen leaves hospital and goes into the centre of London, he finds that looting is rife as people are grabbing anything from the shelves of shops that they think they might find useful - mainly food.
While surveying the scene he comes across an attractive young woman who also wasn't blinded, Josella. Together they return in her car to her parents' home, only to discover everyone at the house has been murdered by the Triffids. The Triffids are walking plants which carry a vicious and lethal sting. Bill used to have one in his back garden, but far from being completely harmless they have now developed and are threatening to take over the world. They are also strongly linked to the mysterious comet shower.
Bill has an advantage over other surviors in that his job had involved him researching the Triffids. In fact, it was a Triffid sting that was one of the reasons he had been in hospital on the night of the comets, and this incident saved him from blindness. Together, Josella and Bill, whose bond to each other is growing, join a group of people, many of whom are blind but some of whom can see, with plans to head into the country...and their true struggle begins.
©1951 CSA Word; (P)2009 CSA Word
It goes without saying this is a great book and it is beautifully narrated, but it is ruined by horrendously loud discordant music that jumps up and catches you out every time. Its completely random and unless you keep your finger on the volume button it WILL startle you. I think this sort of musical addition during the narration to be completely unnecessary.
I wont be returning the book but will be looking for another version.
This story never gets old.
So many other books and films borrow from Wyndham.
Yes - 'The Kraken Wakes' also by Wyndham. Alex does an excellent job narrating both.
Danger - heavy plant crossing
Wyndham knows how to tell a great story - A classic.
I read this in the 60's and was taken with it then. It's still a great read.
Although written in 1951, it provides a remarkable insight into the future and like HG Wells it is uncanny how much the author predicted has come true as are issues that we as a society are grappling with today.
That said it's also a great adventure story and will appeal to many ages.
Alex Jennings as usual produces his incredible acting and story telling talents in presenting this great British classic. Don't miss it.
I watched the BBC adaptation as a boy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Never reading the book I thought it deserved a read and I was delighted with the experience.
The main protagonist, Bill Mason has to be my favourite character. His actions throughout the story never felt out of place and in his scientific mind always followed his biological logic.
No I have not, but I will not shy away from him.
Without giving too much away I enjoyed the closing moments of the book. It captivated a claustrophobic feel with a glimmert of hope, whilst maintaining an element of inevitability.
I would highly recommend this book and endeavour to explore more of Wyndhams work.
An absolutely brilliant story that still works as well today as it did when it was first written. Disturbing in the extreme...
"Brilliant, classic sci-fi."
I love this classic novel of an insidious invasion of Earth by the least expected of organisms. Wyndham's original narrative, read beautifully by Alex Jennings, is much more enjoyable than either the movie or the BBC radio production based upon the book. A truly enjoyable listen and a fabulous narrator.
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