John Wyndham is one of the authors I discovered through Ariel Bissett – the only booktuber I follow – in this video about classics. Funnily enough, in the video she explained how she hated The Chrysalids because of her teacher at that time … no idea what convinced me to read the book she hated in high school, but I’m very happy I did 🙂

Both The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids are dystopian sci-fi stories, exploring post-apocalyptic worlds. They are super captivating and action-oriented, so if you’re looking for some bookish adrenaline, keep reading!

As an interesting fact, “John Wyndham” is considered to be a pseudonym, as the author’s real name was John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris. He also used other combinations of his name, such as John Beynon and Lucas Parkes. In case you are using parts of your real name, is it even a true pseudonym? Not so sure about that …

The books and my lovely flowers 🙂

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

Published in 1955, the story of The Chrysalids happens in a religious community where people with mutations (even minor ones), deviants, who do not fit the “normal pattern”, are banished. But what happens when David, the son of the most religious member of the community, has a very special and invisible type of mutation?

In case you’re also thinking chrysal … what?!, a chrysalid (or chrysalis) is a butterfly or moth in the stage of changing into an adult inside a hard case. I also heard this term in Murakami’s 1Q84 (my review), where there’s a story called Air Chrysalis.

One more thing – the book was published in the United States as Re-Birth.

Can you tell that my flowers are back in business? 😀

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Published in 1951, The Day of the Triffids tells the story of a world where most people are blinded by an unexpected event. Just imagine 99% of the population going blind overnight … quite intriguing, isn’t it? As if this isn’t challenging enough for the survival of the human species, an aggressive type of plant (the triffid) starts killing people. Trust me, this story is fascinating!

It seems that The Day of the Triffids is an archetypal “cosy catastrophe” – a story where the hero has a good time while everyone else is suffering (term coined by author Brian Aldiss). Bill, the hero of the book, has some surprisingly relaxing moments indeed – it reminded me of a Romanian saying “the country burns while grandmothers comb their hair”.

I hope these two mini-reviews raised your appetite for reading dystopian fiction. Both The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids are amazing dystopian stories, bizarre at times, sprinkled with funny moments, that I recommend with all my heart!

As dystopia is one of my favourite genres, I am super eager get recommendations! Pease let me know if you know any good dystopian stories 🙂 Thank you!

Also, if you’re looking for more dystopian stories, check out these 10 dystopian books I read recently – maybe you find your next favourite read!

‘Till next time … happy reading!


PS: the cover picture (also inserted below) is a stamp that was issued in Great Britain in 2021 as part of the Classic Science Fiction collection

2 thoughts on “Dystopic science-fiction worlds: The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (mini book reviews)

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