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127 Reviews
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Death of Grass
Having recently read the Tripods books, and discovered others of the author's books, I was keen to try this one.

This is an absolutely brilliant book, of the calibre which I have come to expect from the author of A Wrinkle in the Skin. Once again, the author has taken a situation which to most of us would seem insurmountable and broken it down into a...
Published 21 months ago by Keen Reader

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2.0 out of 5 stars "I can visualize this land brown and bare, stripped and desert and children here chewing the bark off trees.",
When an ever-mutating virus destroys crops in the Far East, the British only pay cursory attention to the ensuing famine....until they realise it's hit their own shores.
This is a 'road story', following middle-class John Custance, as he attempts to make it to his brother David's farm - and stockade - in Westmorland. Accompanied by his family, a friend's family, plus...
Published 29 days ago by sally tarbox


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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit dated but has it's moments, 14 April 2009
Generally a good, easy read tho, after all the hype this book has had, I was a little disappointed. The main problem is that the story has been done to death, right through from its contemporary The Day of the Triffids, to more up to date stories such as the film 28 Days Later and the recently resurrected Survivors TV series. Also, like many books from the era, the woman come out of it very badly - portrayed either as sex objects or as domestic subordinates preparing breakfast and the like. An interesting read but not an enlightening one.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts off well and builds up the tension and excitement ..., 2 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Death of Grass (Penguin Modern Classics) (Kindle Edition)
Starts off well and builds up the tension and excitement gradually. Somewhat disappointing finish, but leaves the reader to work out his or her future scenario. Certainly a classic of science fiction.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking sci-fi, 5 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Death of Grass (Penguin Modern Classics) (Kindle Edition)
Although a bit dated The Death of Grass does add a different dimension to the eco-disaster genre. For the survivalist readership I would call it a must read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars God idea and I liked the characters, 28 Nov. 2014
God idea and I liked the characters, although it was a bit laboured and tedious at times.

Defnitely worth a read if you like the genre.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Death of Grass, 15 April 2009
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This dystopian novel came out at the same time - and was greatly overshadowed - by the success of Wyndham's Day of the Triffids. On similar themes - society being forced to go right back to basics, it is a much darker text. Bad Things happen, but it was more realistic than Wynhdam's similar theme. I found the ending a bit flat for my taste, but it is a gripping read nevertheless. I would recommend it, as it strikes a sombre chord with today's Global Warming.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dated, dull and unbelievable., 14 Aug. 2013
By 
chuchu "Worldlywise" (Essex,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Death of Grass was about as exciting as watching grass grow for me. The characters were extremely two dimensional to the point I can't really remember most of them a few hours after reading the book.. I'll be charitable and remember John and Pirrie and Roger. Roger was a civil servant I think with a wife called Olivia, but as there were no physical or mental descriptions of them, except I think that Pirrie was small and quite old, I forgot them immediately.

So the story....grass dies out and a group of smug middle class people get out of London and head up North to some imaginary valley (with no basis in reality). It was all almost completely unbelievable, it the rapidity of the disease, the fact that the protagonists went on holiday when they knew a disaster was just across the channel, their unpreparedness (even in the age of 1 channel TV and semi-censored news), the speed at which people took the law into their own hands. The thing which was most unbelievable however was the way they became violent themselves within 36 hours they were murdering each other, groups of straggler were killing each other and there was little description of what was going on around them, whether nuclear bombs had been dropped, all glossed over for the authors obsession with violence among the shallow characters he had created.

I'm afraid it read like the stilted screenplays of BBC science fiction of the 1960s but unfortunately it didn't do anything imaginative with its story line after about the third chapter. Not a classic in my opinion.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 23 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Death of Grass (Penguin Modern Classics) (Kindle Edition)
Good book
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved the writing, hated the story - possible spoilers ahead., 6 Dec. 2012
This review is from: The Death of Grass (Penguin Modern Classics) (Kindle Edition)
The most apalling introduction. Ever. Virtually gives away every significant event in the book including the end. I urge you not to read it.

The book itself...very mixed feelings about it. It is one I lay awake til 4 or 5 in the morning because I wanted to know what happened next, it is written in such a way it's almost impossible to put down but many of the plotlines simply don't ring true.

The men are driven to desperate murderous measures within hours of learning they may have to live on potatoes, women are depicted as meek, acquiescent, weak and thick. To the point that a teenage girl whose parents have just been murdered in cold blood happily joins the merry band and is 'taken' as a wife by one of them. The fact that all this is supposedly in a nation that merely a decade before had lived through rationing, blackouts and potential bombing for seven years just doesn't ring true.

My first thoughts as the plotline is given away in the introduction was 'that's a bit rich' when it is clear the protagonist is heading for his brother's farm. This was dismissed when, a little way into the book it is revealed that he was, after all invited...but when he starts adding to his motley collection and turns up with nearly 40 people, I found myself rolling my eyes.

Not a book I'll ever bother reading again. This has been compared to Day of the Triffids - it is not a (cabbage) patch on that novel.
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7 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Enid Blyton meets the apocalypse, 28 Sept. 2010
I was looking forward to reading this after reading snippets in a bookshop.

I think the problem with this book is that it is 'of it's time', written and set in the 1950s, as the attitudes and remarks made in it are appalling. I'm no politically correct whinging leftie, but I hated all the characters from the beginning and wanted them to die.

The principle characters are all grammar school types who express dubious views throughout the book. The virus originates in China - no problem, there are millions of them, let them die - it basically says from the beginning. All the bad characters are northern or cockney and working class, the dialogue is stilted, and it's littered with misogyny.

One of the characters kills a woman's parents pretty much in cold blood, then they take her with them (she seems fine with this) - then one of the most reprehensible characters takes her as his wife, which she also doesn't seem to object to.

Like I said, I read it wanting all the characters to be killed at some point, which of course, they don't.

It's like Enid Blyton meets the apocalypse.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars still topical 55 years after writing, 28 Sept. 2009
By 
I first read this book 25 years ago and having reread it I was surprised how topical it is.
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