Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV’s review of The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham


One might never have read this book had it not been that Mumsie decreed it a winter project last year. One resisted as best one might, but in the end it is never wise to argue with one’s mater as a clout around one’s ear with whatever the woman has in her hand at the time can be injurious to both health and beauty.

One attempted to ask what particular merit the uninspiring looking volume was hiding under its brown paper dustcover. But Mumsie merely looked up from her copy of some other boring old book and slapped one large, square hand hard on the boards of the dining table.
“You,” she intoned in a doom-laden voice, “call yourself a writer. So you better effing well learn to write, and you just might do that by reading some people who actually can. Bloody read it. And don’t skip. There will be questions.”

Knowing when discretion is the better part of valour is just one of the things a public school education teaches. So I read it. And here is my review.

Précis: Something happens and lots of people go blind. Then some plants start walking about killing people. And there is a girl.

Review: This is absolutely black, plain and black. There is no artistry in the choice of words. No beauty in the language. No heroism. The story is told as colloquially as if the ‘hero’ (if one could call him such) was talking to his rough chums in some public house. There is no attempt to elevate the story of his struggle beyond the mundane and everyday.
There is not even a decent happy ever after. Does humanity triumph? Or do the plants win?  I couldn’t tell. I was left dissatisfied and unsettled. This is not a nice book.

Two stars. Awarded for proper spelling and punctuation.

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

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