In this classic science fiction novel, triffids are plants that have been bio-engineered to produce a high-quality oil extract. They give off a poison, however, and have to be handled carefully. Catastrophe strikes when their spores are released into the atmosphere in what looks like a beautiful meteorite shower. Every human who sees it is left permanently blind. To make matters worse, the triffids have somehow learned how to walk!
The main characters are Bill Masen, a biologist who used to work with the plants, and Josella, a popular writer. The two of them are among the fortunate who did not see the triffid shower, and therefore still have their vision. They have to provide for themselves and the blind around them, while fending off the increasingly-aggressive triffids.
The story actually fits with today. We live in a world where science is constantly looking to alter nature. Animals are bred for specific traits. Our vegetables and fruits are genetically modified to produce higher yields. Chemical fertilizers are mixed into the soil to enrich it. New types of flowers are developed. Genes are spliced. Animals are cloned. When you consider all this, the idea of the triffids is not all that far-fetched.
This was a fun read for me. It was ridiculous and horrifying at the same time, much like a crazy dream that wakes you up with a pounding heartbeat. There was nothing very gory or graphic in the story, which was fine with me, as I have a very good imagination. I also liked the way the author focused on just a few characters, which kept the storyline simple and clean. If you’re in the mood for some old-fashioned sci-fi, this is your book!