First published: 1951
Pros: classic status, interesting ideas (including some feminist ones), fleshed out protagonist, novel documenting the collapse of civilization (as opposed to being straight post-apocalyptic)
Cons: slow narrative style, lots of exposition, minor characters get little if any development
This is the third novel by Wyndham I've read and the Chrysalids remains my favourite. The Day of the Triffids is written as a story narrated by Bill Masen, a survivor of the sudden demise of civilization as he knew it. The day before the bandages are removed from his eyes (due to an injury), a meteor shower robs the sight of everyone who watched the spectacle.
The world he, and a few other lucky souls, can see is much different from the one he was blinded in. People are scared, dead and dying everywhere. He happens on a young woman, Josella Playton, and for the rest of the book, both together and apart, Bill must face the realities of this new world.
A real threat to the blinded humans and well placed to take advantage of their weakness, come the triffids. The probably ends of a Russian experiment to produce better oils, triffids are meat eaters with 10 foot long stingers that lash out.
The book has some interesting ideas about how society would break down (with regards to speed and morality). His main characters are well fleshed out and some of their viewpoints are surprising given when the book was written. Lesser characters come and go so quickly I found myself forgetting who people were when they showed up again.
And the book is boring. The narrative is dry with a lot of exposition and back story told upfront, making it a hard read. Even when things start happening, it's so haphazard (on purpose given the events) that it's difficult to stay interested. Had it not been a classic I probably would have looked for something else to read rather than finish it.