Welcome to the Apocalypse: Top 5 Post Apocalyptic Novels: Plants That Kill

20 01 2012

So far in my Favorite Post Apocalyptic Novels series we’ve had:

Top 10 Nuclear Holocaust Novels.

We have also delved into the best Post Apocalyptic Novels of 2011 with:

The Best Post Apocalyptic Audiobooks of 2011: Non-Zombie

The Best Post Apocalyptic Audiobooks of 2011: Zombie

This week, I have also reviewed a Post Apocalyptic Zombie Audiobook called Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore.

Today we are going to delve in a highly specific Post Apocalyptic novel type, Plants that Kill. There are a lot of Post Apocalyptic novels that deal with a famine of blight due to ecological collapse. Yet, this topic isn’t about an Apocalypse caused by such an occurrence. Instead, we are looking at plants that actively kill. Plants who directly cause the breakdown of civilization. Being that this is such a specific look, I will only be presenting five novels. They range from a satirical look at consumerism, to one of the darker post apocalyptic visions I have ever read. So, without further ado, my top 5 Post Apocalyptic Novels about Plants that Kill.


1. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Not only does The Day of the Triffids top this list, but it is one of my Top 5 Post Apocalyptic Books of all time. It’s scary enough that Wyndham came up with the concept of mobile flesh eating plants, but then to add on top of that scenario, an astronomical event that leads to the blindness of the majority of the world.

Audiobook Version: There are multiple unabridged versions of this novel, along with abridged versions and radio dramas. Audible has a version read by Graeme Malcolm that received an Audie nominations in 2011.

2. The Genocides by Thomas M. Disch

The Genocides is one of the darkest Post Apocalyptic novels I have ever read. It centers around an alien society terraforming Earth with 600 Foot tall tree like plants that destroy the environment and kill of the majority of the planet. While the unseen aliens may be villains, it is the Survivor’s moral ambiguity and survival rationalizations that give this novel it’s dark edge.

Audiobook Version: There is no audiobook version of this novel that I know of.

3. Greener Than You Think by Ward Moore

While Ward Moore’s satirical novel highlighting problems with suburban consumerism is full of dark humor, it can also be nightmarishly scary at time. It all starts with a door to door salesman selling an untested lawn care product, and ends with rapid growing grass that chokes all other life, and will practically swallow people whole. Written in 1947, it is definitely a product of it’s time, but it is also an overlooked classic of the Post Apocalyptic Genre.

Audiobook Version: There is no professional audiobook version that I know of, but Librivox has a free public domain version available.

4. Night of the Triffids by Simon Clark

British Horror novelist Simon Clark’s authorized sequel to Wyndham’s classic may not be up to the masters level, but it’s still a darn good book. In Night of the Triffids we travel across the pond to New York, and discover a very changed America full of dark secrets and giant wild triffids. Fans of the original may resist any attempt to enter Wyndham’s world, but Post Apocalyptic fans should find plenty to enjoy.

Audiobook Version: Chiver’s Audio, which eventually became BBCAudiobooks, then AudioGo put out an audiobook version narrated by the talented Steven Pacey. This version is out of print, but you may be able to score a used copy online if you are willing to pay good money for it.

5. Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh

Don’t be surprised to see Will McIntosh’s Soft Apocalypse appear on multiple lists in this series. Soft Apocalypse is about multiple Apocalyptic factors coming together to lead to one full on state of social upheaval. One of the more chilling aspects of the novel is a genetically engineered plant that is spread throughout the country, which grows rapidly, killing everything around it. There is an especially chilling scene in this novel when this plant is actively used as an instrument of death, and it’s an image that stays with you for a while.

Audiobook Version: Audible Frontiers released an audiobook version narrated by Erik Davies that I reviewed in 2011.



One response

20 01 2012
Sam M-B

We’ve seen the end of civilization, and it’s completely covered in kudzu.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: