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The Tea Tray of the Triffids

Have you heard of The Day of the Triffids?

Yes, as a movie.
92(45.1%)
Yes, as a book.
105(51.5%)
Yes, but couldn't say what it is.
6(2.9%)
No, I haven't heard of it.
1(0.5%)

Have you read The Day of the Triffids?

Yes.
79(67.5%)
No.
38(32.5%)


I have no idea when I first heard of The Day of the Triffids. I wouldn't be able to swear it was before I moved back to the UK. More likely, it was when some movie version of it was released. In any event, it wasn't staple reading for me, growing up as a science fiction reader in the U.S. I'm reading it now, with momentum from a local SF book club.

I don't remember why, over dinner last night with BSFA people, I mentioned I was reading it, but it was apropos of Englishness. Someone said it must be full of tea. At that point, characters had only drunk whisky. I promised I'd report back on the tea situation, so here I am: after innumerable alcoholic beverages and some coffee (made with more alcohol and canned milk), two of the characters finally have cups of tea approximately a third of the way into the book.*

A newly-met American last night had never heard the title, somewhat to my delight. C. was shocked to hear that it was possible to have avoided it. He grew up in England, you see, where it is a staple of people who grow up reading SF. I often say I become unread whenever I move countries, but it was nice to have such a specific scrap of evidence to back me up on it.

* For a full Triffids tea report, you'll have to wait until I'm done reading it.

Comments

pwilkinson
Jan. 27th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
Let me put it this way - I have a fairly full set of Wyndham novels, in 1960s Penguin editions, which I inherited from my parents. My father was only a very occasional science fiction reader and my mother not at all - but they were both English teachers and Wyndham novels were very regular O-level* set texts in the 1960s and 1970s (in my case, I think it was The Chrysalids).

So, I guess for about 10 years or so, any English child who grew up reading was likely to have read at least one Wyndham novel (and most commonly Day of the Triffids), even if they never read any other SF.

* For British under-40s, a predecessor of GCSEs; for non-Brits, an examination typically taken at the age of 16
frostfox
Jan. 27th, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
Chrysalids was one of our set texts (I was born in '63) at Secondary school in Cheshire.
In my usually manner, by the time the rest of the class had finished it, I'd read all the Wyndham's in the library. Did this with Alan Garner and CS Lewis too.

FF
momist
Jan. 29th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
'O' levels
Or for the over 60's - typically taken at age 15.