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The Death of Grass (Sphere popular classics)…
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The Death of Grass (Sphere popular classics) (edição 1985)

por John (pen name used by Christopher Samuel Youd) Christopher (Autor), Steve Crisp; (Ilustrador)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,0205215,598 (3.82)66
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 Robert MacFarlane '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 Grassis 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 Grasswas 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!'… (mais)
Membro:fmqa
Título:The Death of Grass (Sphere popular classics)
Autores:John (pen name used by Christopher Samuel Youd) Christopher (Autor)
Outros autores:Steve Crisp; (Ilustrador)
Informação:Sphere Books (1985), Edition: Fifth Printing, 224 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:collapse

Informação Sobre a Obra

The Death of Grass por John Christopher

  1. 81
    The Day of the Triffids por John Wyndham (Rynooo)
  2. 20
    On the Beach por Nevil Shute (KayCliff)
  3. 21
    The Road por Cormac McCarthy (timspalding)
    timspalding: The Road is the better book, but they share DNA.
  4. 10
    A Wrinkle in the Skin por John Christopher (KayCliff)
  5. 21
    Flood por Stephen Baxter (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both are classic disaster novels from British authors.
  6. 11
    Lord of the Flies por William Golding (edwinbcn)
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» Ver também 66 menções

Inglês (51)  Sueco (1)  Todas as línguas (52)
Mostrando 1-5 de 52 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This book was written in 1956, over 60 years ago. There's a lot about this book that hasn't aged well (the casual racism and misogyny), but there's a lot that seems every bit as relevant today (the plant-killing virus that can't be controlled). It's got a rather simplistic view of the rapid decay of society, but I don't think that it's horribly inaccurate (although I really have to question the idea of England mercy-killing it's own people with atomic bombs). The purpose of stories like this is to make you question how you'd behave in a similar situation, hopefully with a sympathetic protagonist. Well, I DID question how I'd behave, and it differed quite a bit from John Cunstance. I did not find him to be a very likable character, and I was not impressed by how quickly he would initiate or condone violence.
Speaking of violence - there's quite a bit more cold-blooded killing in this book than I'm used to seeing in books from this time period. There's even some references to rape and infidelity - topics I'd always assumed were, if not taboo, at least considered Not Dignified.
If you're going to read this book - just a quick warning that it starts off DREADFULLY slow until about the 30% point, and then it keeps moving along rather briskly for the rest of the book.
Finally - I've got to point out that the book has a glossary at the back that I didn't notice until I'd finished the book. It has quite a variety of terms that the reader may or may not know, and they give an interesting insight into 1950's readers. Terms that today would not need to be explained ("aftermath","ammo","hybrid","millennium"), but also some words that I'd never seen before and had looked up the definition while reading the text ("concupiscence" (lust and sexual desire), "phlegm" (meaning calm nature, not nasal mucus), "prodrome" (preliminary book or treatise))
Overall, I'd like to give this book a better rating, but the slow start and the not-aged-well parts are going to keep this from getting any higher than a 3 star. ( )
  KrakenTamer | Oct 23, 2021 |
The Death of Grass is essentially a story about the collapse of human civilization. Since the agricultural revolution 12,000 years ago, humanity has been dependent on grass. Wheat, rice, barley, maize - all members of the Gramineae family - grasses. Even meat is grass, with grass being essential for raising pasture animals.

No matter the form is has or the processing it was subjected to before being finally consumed, grass constitutes more than half of world human calorie intake. John Christopher highlights humanity's dependence and voracious appetite for grass by providing a glimpse into a world without grass, and as you might expect - it ain't pretty. As global famine threatens, the thin veil of civilization is quickly stripped away as the world is consumed by hunger, war, and anarchy.

And all it took was a viral pathogen that targets Gramineae, humanity's primary source of calories.

Even though this story was written in 1956, it remains as relevant and thought-provoking as it was back then. Perhaps even more so today than it had been six decades ago. Despite human ingenuity, something as mundane as grass is as much of a mortal weak point for our civilization as it was thousands of years ago. Gramineae is both our food supply's backbone and our civilization's single point of failure, and the book manages to bring this point across this in a grim, bleak way: Humanity is nothing without grass. And if the grass goes, human civilization will follow. ( )
  fmqa | Sep 5, 2021 |
Still powerful. Very nicely written and structured. The characters are not strongly drawn but that is a strength in some ways as it is easier to believe that (almost) any of them could be any of us. Just after reading I visited several iron age forts in Shropshire and was touched by the ebb and flow of people, peoples, and under that the land itself (ancient and complicated geology in Shropshire). ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
It is the 1950s, and a devastating virus is sweeping Asia. It attacks grass, and grass feeds the world. Wheat is grass. And cows, sheep, etc all live on grass. At first people in Britain watch in horror as it strikes at the wheat supplies in those far-off lands. But the Chung-Li virus could never come as far as England, not without science coming to the rescue. And even if it did, surely British society would cope. Civilization would find a way to ration food and the hold things together until a fix was found, and surely that wouldn’t take too long.

But Europe and Britain do not remain unaffected for long, and in London John begins to wonder if he should take his family across the country and try to make it to his brother’s farm. It is isolated, and the valley has only one entrance, it can be defended.

But what effect will this virus have on people. How long will civilisation hold up under this threat?

This was written in the 1950s, and it really is a book of its time. It was hard to ignore the sexism, classism, and racism. Straight away, once the old order was stripped away, the men took charge. Not even a hint that any of the women might prove useful. And every time a woman showed up she was classified as weak and in need of defence. For the most part they were nothing but wives, an aside to their menfolk. Women and children were constantly referenced as being the same, in need of leadership, protection, and telling what to do.

Likewise the racism was blatantly obvious.

Right from the start the ‘Asiatics’ were referred to as not as civilised as the English. And in such a manner that you could read nothing but racism into it. There was also a mention to the Mediterranean-types, the Latins as being of a temperament that wouldn’t respond well to such disaster.

It is hard to look past those, but at the same time the reader can’t assume that those are the attitudes and beliefs of the author, instead they are the attitudes of the characters, and I am sure that there are plenty who hold similar views today, let alone back in the 1950s.

Books like this one always make me think that I must have a very positive view of humanity. I don’t think that people would revert back to such barbarity so quickly. At least, not all of society. But perhaps I am misguided. I mean, I have never lived through such panic or through a collapsing society. Christopher would have lived through world wars. Maybe he is more accurate than I would like to believe.

Apart from my possibly naive view of people, and the racism etc I have to say that I quite enjoyed this book. It is really well written, a gripping book that doesn’t bother to waste time with anything. It dives straight in to the story and the disaster, but at the same time it doesn’t feel rushed at all. ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
Reading vintage sci-fi can be pretty interesting. Recently I've been on a "Readers Also Enjoyed" kick stemming from a John Brunner novel, and have mostly been catching dystopian and apocalyptic stories.

I found this particular novel to be highly realistic in its premise, especially in light of modern farming techniques where fields upon fields of the same crop are grown year after year. The details of this story are obviously somewhat dated, but the concept that a virus could wipe out entire families of food crops is not too far fetched (see: banana).
( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 52 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
An appropriate survival-morality story for our crisis-ridden times. To what lengths should we, and would we, go to ensure our families' survival in the collapse of civilisation?
adicionada por KayCliff | editarNational Housewives Register Newsletter, Hazel K. Bell (Sep 1, 1976)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (4 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
John Christopherautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Galli, MarioTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gaminara, WilliamNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
García Fluixá, ÁngelTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Macfarlane, RobertIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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As sometimes happens, death healed a family breach.
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Published as The Death of Grass and No Blade of Grass
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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 Robert MacFarlane '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 Grassis 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 Grasswas 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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