An unjustly neglected classic of British sci-fi, "The Day of the Triffids," like the best of its kind, has all the thrills of the genre, as well as a deeper, daker social resonance. After a meteor shower leaves most of the inhabitants of Britain blinded, society crumbles and homicidal plants (seriously) take over. The survivors try to start again, but end up fighting with each other as much as they do the triffids. Wyndham's writing is swift, direct, and restrained; despite the outlandish plot, there is a real sense of dread, a harsh view of human nature, and a firm grasp of the apocalypse. Written during the Cold War, it certainly captures a dark and paranoid mood much better than its mainstream counterparts. In our age of bio-terrorism, failed states, and widespread poverty, the book has lost none of its relevance and power. The opening of "28 Days Later" (hero in hospital, deserted city) owe a lot to this

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