The Death of Grass by John Christopher is a tale of eco-disaster that takes place in the mid 50’s.  The book was out of print for years but was brought back as a penguin modern classic in 2009, it’s amazing to think that the book was ignored for all this time.

The death of grass A virus has taken hold of earth killing all varieties of grass, including rice and wheat; which causes worldwide starvation.  We are told the story through John Custance, a normal, working family man.  

John is a lucky boy, his best friend Simon works for the Environmental Health Department and is able to give him fair warning about the savage government and their plans to deal with the crisis.  Not only that, but his brother owns farmland in Cumbria, which he is sure will be a safe solitude for his family.  Now all he has to do is get there.

John has formed a group to take on the journey and it’s certainly a hard one.  The realistic and dramatic way that Britain falls into anarchy is truly terrifying.  There are no more laws or boundaries, just force and possessions.  Looting, fear and assaults become normal all too quickly.  John’s journey is that of a normal man into a man who is forced into making tough, sometimes unpopular decisions.  The strain quickly becomes a burden on his relationships, particularly with his wife and children who are scared about the man he is becoming.

The book is full of pro’s, there are well-developed characters and is filled with tension.  It is thought provoking without a doubt, it makes you think just how scary a future could be if Mother Nature just took away our food and left us for dead! (Stay calm Dale, Stay CALM)

The only con really is that there is some pretty disturbing stuff in there.  So it is not for the weak of heart.

Just imagine a world without this…

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What I read this week…. The Death of Grass by John Christopher
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6 thoughts on “What I read this week…. The Death of Grass by John Christopher

  • July 9, 2014 at 2:02 am
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    Great, prescient, terrifying book. Apparently one of the reasons Christopher wrote it was that he was tired of people saying that Nazism couldn’t have happened in Britain. The Tripods series are great as well…

    • July 14, 2014 at 6:28 pm
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      Interesting! I loved the way that the best mate turned out to be the nicer of the two in the end – it kind of ties in with some of the findings from those old Psychological experiments like Stanford and Milgrim etc doesn’t it?…. One minute you’re teaching primary kids and the next you’re upping the voltage on a stranger because someone told you to.

      Cheers for commenting and we’ll check out Tripods soon

  • July 9, 2014 at 2:02 am
    Permalink

    Great, prescient, terrifying book. Apparently one of the reasons Christopher wrote it was that he was tired of people saying that Nazism couldn’t have happened in Britain. The Tripods series are great as well…

    • July 14, 2014 at 6:28 pm
      Permalink

      Interesting! I loved the way that the best mate turned out to be the nicer of the two in the end – it kind of ties in with some of the findings from those old Psychological experiments like Stanford and Milgrim etc doesn’t it?…. One minute you’re teaching primary kids and the next you’re upping the voltage on a stranger because someone told you to.

      Cheers for commenting and we’ll check out Tripods soon

  • Pingback: What I read this week…”Intrusion” by Ken MacLeod (2012) | The Speculative Bookshop

  • Pingback: What I read this week…”Intrusion” by Ken MacLeod (2012) | The Speculative Bookshop

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