I recently re-read this book and realised how apt it would be if it were published today, what with the current crisis (so they say?) over bird flu.
The Death Of Grass (UK title; the US title is No Blade Of Grass) is a 1956 post-apocalyptic science fiction novel written by the British author John Christopher. It deals with the concept of a virus that kills off all forms of grass.
As the story opens, the initial viral strain has already attacked rice crops in East Asia causing massive famine and a mutation has appeared which infects the staple crops of West Asia and Europe such as wheat and barley, threatening a famine engulfing the whole of the Old World, while Australasia and the Americas attempt to impose rigorous quarantine to exclude the virus.
The novel follows the trials and struggles of the narrator's family as they attempt to make their way across the United Kingdom, which is already descending into anarchy, to the safety of his brother's potato farm.
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