Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Day of the Triffids

I found The Day of the Triffids packed away in a box, and then I couldn't really put it down until I had read it all again. It really is a triffic book (heh heh), the definitive disastrous-end-of-civilization novel.

The emergence of the dangerous triffids happens a little too fast to be plausible, best exemplified by the triffid attack at Shirning Farm less than eighteen hours after the fall of civilization. Granted, even the character Dennis realizes that this is suspicious:
"I tell you, there's more to them than we think. How did they know? They started to break loose the moment there was no one to stop them. They were around this house the very next day. Can you account for that?"

So, it's "explained," sort of: the rapid attack of the triffids just shows how sinister and sneaky they are. I still find it a little hard to believe that dangerous undocked triffids could get free and wreak such havoc so quickly, in less than a day. Surely fences, passive safeguards, and simple isolation of triffid farms would have lasted longer than that.

Speaking of Dennis, he spent most of a day devoted to contriving a kind of helmet for himself. He had wire net only of a large mesh, so that he had to construct it of several layers overlapped and tied together. Umm, a wire mesh helmet? What for? He doesn't have to see out of it! He's blind! It would have been quicker and safer for him to put a bucket over his head.

An interesting usage: Outside it [Shirning Farm] had become spick. How often do you see something referred to as spick, without necessarily being span? Also: gasoline and Diesel oil. I wonder when we stopped capitalizing Diesel fuel.


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