At first the virus wiping out grass and crops is of little concern to John Custance. It has decimated Asia, causing mass starvation and riots, but Europe is safe and a counter-virus is expected any day. Except, it turns out, the governments have been lying to their people. When the deadly disease hits Britain, society starts to descend into barbarism. As John and his family try to make it across country to the safety of his brother's farm in a hidden valley, their humanity is tested to its very limits.
A chilling psychological thriller and one of the greatest post-apocalyptic novels ever written, The Death of Grass shows people struggling to hold on to their identities as the familiar world disintegrates - and the terrible price they must pay for surviving.
With a new Introduction by
'Gripping . . . of all fiction's apocalypses, this is one of the most haunting.' Financial Times
Rachael Love, Penguin Classics Editorial Assistant, on The Death of Grass-
'The Death of Grass is more than just a sci-fi novel. It's incredibly prescient - in an age now where we obsess over global responsibility, the destruction of the environment and world-wide pandemics - The Death of Grass was ahead of its time. The novel sits happily alongside The Day of the Triffids - Wyndham's novel about genetic engineering and giant vengeful plants, but it also sits nicely next to Golding's Lord of the Flies, which was written in response to post-war complacency about superior morality. Christopher's novel picks up speed as the characters begin to have to fight for their lives, paralleling the speed at which, it could be said, their morality disintegrates. The latter half of the novel is about the luxury of morality in the face of fighting for survival; about theft and murder and rape. It's about the family unit, private law, group politics and survival of the fittest. A real page-turner!'
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780141190174
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Christopher Samuel Youd was a British writer best known for his science fiction published under the pseudonym John Christopher. His many novels include The Death of Grass and The Possessors. He won the Guardian Prize in 1971 and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 1976, Youd also wrote under several other names including Stanley Winchester, Hilary Ford and Samuel Youd. Robert Macfarlane was born in Nottinghamshire in 1976. He is the author of Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways and Landmarks. Mountains of the Mind won the Guardian First Book Award and the Somerset Maugham Award and The Wild Places won the Boardman-Tasker Award. Both books have been adapted for television by the BBC. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and writes on environmentalism, literature and travel for publications including the Guardian, the Sunday Times and The New York Times. He is currently working on an illustrated children's book about the natural world in collaboration with illustrator Jackie Morris.
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