Tag: Humans

John Wyndham – The Day of the Triffids | Review

Title The Day of the Triffids

Author: John Wyndham

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 272

Rating 3.75/5

 

 

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham is a sci-fi classic for a reason. The blurb calls it a tale of an ecological apocalypse, and that’s about right. In fact, as I was reading it, I could see how it had influenced basically every zombie survival movie ever made. The only difference is that the antagonists here are not the living dead but rather man-eating triffids, huge plants with venomous stings that have reduced society to just a husk of its former self.

I particularly liked the scenes towards the end which showed how the triffids learn. They’re like ants in that individually they show no intelligence but they have a sort of group intelligence which teaches them, for example, how to avoid some of the traps that the humans were setting to keep the perimeter of their settlement clear.

Then there are the very human stories that are told here, and the fact that everyone who observed a specific comet was turned blind. Our protagonist can see because he was in hospital at the time undergoing an operation, but sighted people become a vital resource for the survivors and it’s interesting to see how this affects the story line.

After all, like all good post-apocalyptic stories, the main threat is far from the only threat. There are other people to deal with, too. My only gripe was that it was occasionally slow, but I countered that by reading a bit at a time.

 

 

Click here to buy The Day of the Triffids.

 


David Attenborough – Life On Earth | Review

Title: Life On Earth

Author: David Attenborough

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 324

Rating: 4*/5

 

David Attenborough - Life On Earth

David Attenborough – Life On Earth

 

If you’re familiar with the work of David Attenborough then you know roughly what to expect here. This is basically the great naturalist’s narrative on how life on earth came about, and it’s thoroughly fascinating if you’re interested in animals – although also occasionally intimidating as well.

My copy of it is maybe forty years old, but it’s still pretty interesting and it’s all up-to-date in most areas – except for where Attenborough said there were four billion humans on the planet. It also comes with plenty of high quality imagery because he wrote the book at the same time as filming the documentary series of the same name, so he’s able to tap into the footage from the show and from other wildlife photographers. Sometimes they take up both pages of a two-page spread, which means they’re shown in fantastic quality – and that it’s easier to whizz through pages than you might first imagine.

I think the most interesting aspect of this book is actually the little things that you learn about different animals, although I find it hard to think of a specific example. But it’s cool when he tells you about the animal with the largest eyes in relation to the rest of its body (I think it was a lemur at 250 times larger in proportion than human eyes) and then you turn the page and see a photo of it.

All in all then, this book definitely isn’t for everyone – and in fact, I suspect it’s meant as more of a coffee table book than as one that you’d pick up and read from cover to cover. Nevertheless, that’s what I did and I enjoyed it, and so if you’re an animal lover or you think that biology is just fascinating, you’re going to like it. If not, you still might.

 

David Attenborough

David Attenborough

 

Click here to buy Life On Earth.

 


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