The Death of Grass

John Christopher
The Death of Grass Cover

The Death of Grass


This book made quite an impression on me, owhen I read it in the early 1980s - because I was still being trained as a plant virologist at the time, and the story was frighteningly plausible.

Consider: ALL grasses are reasonably closely related to one another evolutionarily, including wheat, rice and maize - which just happen to be three of the major food crops on this planet.

Now, imagine what would happen if a disease agent infected ALL of them....

Christopher does this very well, and it is a great pity he did not write more. As it is, his characterisations are great, the science is good - and the story is frightening. It is especailly remarkable that this should have been written in the 1950s, when not that much was really known about plant pathological agents.