For some reason, I had the impression that Day of the Triffids was about the sudden attack of man-killing mobile plants. So I was surprised when it was revealed that the triffids had been around for a long time and a worldwide case of blindness was the cause of the catastrophe - the triffids merely took advantage of it.
For the main character,
laid up in hospital with his eyes bandaged, he missed the spectacular
meteor shower that seems to have caused the problem, and is one of the
few who can still see. The end of the world John Wyndham paints is
curiously quiet. People are alive, and blind, but the main feeling the
main character encounters, with some exceptions, is one of absence, even
on the first day after the event. Much of the rest of the book is an
exploration of different ways to cope with the aftermath - from a newly
polygynous society, to a socialist attempt to try to keep the blind
alive, to a heavily moralistic colony, to a neo-feudal society with the
blind as slaves. (Although, given what Wyndham painted, that there are
enough blind people left alive three years after the event to make them
useful serfs seems somewhat unlikely.)
Through it all, we follow
the main character and the first sighted woman he meets, and later, his
attempts to find her after they are separated.
I enjoyed Day of
the Triffids, but I can't say I was deeply emotionally attached to the
characters. Something about the book felt detached to me. But it was an
entertaining and unsettling read.