John Christopher's The Death of Grass, retitled with the less snappy No Blade of Grass for American readers, is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story in a similar vein to John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids, and came out just a few years after Wyndham's classic before going out of print for a number of years. A film version of the book did it no favours, apparently being so bad that even the author hasn't seen it. Penguin finally republished the book a few years ago, so hopefully it will get another audience, seeing as post-apocalyptic fiction has undergone a renaissance with a new set of fears – terrorism, environment, financial collapse, pandemics, overpopulation – igniting the public imagination. The first edition of The Death of Grass (top left), published in 1956, is now worth a lot of money. John Christopher, real name Samuel Youd, is alive and living in Rye, as this amusing blog post about the literary connections of the town testifies.
Previously on Barnflakes:
The Day of the Triffids book covers