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The Death of Grass
  • Published: 8 May 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141192017
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

The Death of Grass



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 they are left alone, and 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.

Includes an introduction by Robert Macfarlane.%%%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 they are left alone, and 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.Includes an introduction by Robert Macfarlane.%%%A thought experiment in future-shock survivalism' Robert MacFarlane'Gripping ... of all science fiction's apocalypses, this is one of the most haunting' Financial TimesWITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ROBERT MACFARLANEA post-apocalyptic vision of the world pushed to the brink by famine, John Christopher's science fiction masterpiece The Death of Grass includes an introduction by Robert MacFarlane in Penguin Modern Classics.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.John Christopher (1922-2012) was the pen name of Samuel Youd, a prolific writer of science fiction. His novels were popular during the 1950s and 1960s, most notably The Death Of Grass (1956), The World in Winter (1962), and Wrinkle in the Skin (1965), all works depicting ordinary people struggling in the midst of apocalyptic catastrophes. In 1966 he started writing science-fiction for adolescents; The Tripods trilogy, the Prince in Waiting trilogy (also known as the Sword of the Spirits trilogy) and TheLotus Caves are still widely read today.Ifyou enjoyed The Death of Grass, you might like John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

  • Published: 8 May 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141192017
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

About the author

John Christopher

John Christopher was the pen-name of Sam Youd, a celebrated and influential writer of science fiction. Youd was born in Huyton, Lancashire in 1922, and began his career as an author after serving in World War II.

Many of Youd's novels for adults and children are considered classics, including The Death of Grass, The Guardians, and the four books in his Tripods series, which were adapted successfully for television in the 1980s.

Sam Youd died in 2012, aged 89.

John Christopher was the pseudonym of Christopher Samuel Youd, who was born in April 1922 in the village of Knowsley, near Liverpool. When he was aged ten, his family moved south to Hampshire, where he attended Peter Symonds' School, Winchester. Subsequently he has lived in London, Guernsey, and Rye.

He started taking writing seriously when, on leaving the army at the end of 1946, he was given an Atlantic Award by the Rockefeller Foundation. His primary target was the general novel, of which he eventually published ten. Additionally, under the stimulus of providing for a family which grew to include five children, he wrote genre novels - thrillers, light comedies, even a couple with a cricket background - under pen-names. As John Christopher, he wrote a series of books labelled 'science fiction', including The Death of Grass.

In 1966 he was asked to try writing for young people, and came up with the Tripods trilogy. He has since written many other children's books, including the Sword and Fireball trilogies and a 'prequel' to the Tripods trilogy: When the Tripods Came. His latest book was A Dusk of Demons.

Christopher Samuel Youd passed away in Bath, England on 3 February 2012.

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