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No Blade of Grass Paperback – May, 1980


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Avon Books (Mm); paperback / softback edition (May 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380480093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380480098
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,186,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

A mutant virus has appeared, but it only affects certain plants, not humans or animals.
absent_minded_prof
NBOG has always been one of my favorite apcoalypse books, combining a fast moving plot with well defined characters and thought-provoking questions.
F. Sullivan
On the contrary, today almost all of John Christopher's nightmare scenarios seem only a few CNN headlines away...and thus more compelling than ever.
Raegan Butcher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By F. Sullivan on May 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
NBOG has always been one of my favorite apcoalypse books, combining a fast moving plot with well defined characters and thought-provoking questions.
Like most post-apocalyptic novels, No Blade of Grass ostensibly focuses on the effects of, in this case, an ecological holocaust, on the lives of a small band of survivors in post-apocalypse Britain. The tale turns on what these survivors must do to reach "safety" on a small farm in a protected valley far from urban centers. In this, the book differs quite dramatically from much of the rest of this genre. Rather than dwelling on the problems faced when the world's population is decimated, NBOG poses the much more interesting question: What happens when most of the food supply is destroyed while most of the population remains? Christopher's answers will provoke, even anger you. But, whatever your response, the situations he poses must be taken seriously.
This is a book well worth reading together with Earth Abides or Lucifer's Hammer. Though both books take the more conventional route of killing off 99% of the world's population (the first by disease the second by a meteor), they deal with similar questions regarding civilization yet come to different answers. For my money, while NBOG's answers are the most distasteful, they are also the most realistic.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Raegan Butcher on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
John Christopher writes some pretty gripping science fiction novels about alien invasions (The Tripod trilogy) catastrophic shifts in the earth's weather (The Long Winter) and terrifying tales of the savagery that humans revert to when civilization breaks down (A Wrinkle In The Skin)-- potent stuff indeed. His books share with JG BALLARD a fascination for post-apocalyptic settings but are really psychological character studies about how people change to fit their environments. This book is perhaps Christopher at his starkest and most frightening. A man simply tries to take his family safely out of London to his brother's farm in the North after a genetically engineered bio-weapon gets out of control and wipes out the world's food supply, causing anarchy and chaos to erupt all over the globe.It is interesting to note that on the page the protagonist's actions and "him or me" ethos seem to make much more sense than they do in Cornel Wilde's gonzo 1970 film adaptaion, where the main character comes off as much more trigger-happy and casually lethal & ruthless than in the novel; one might say its only a matter of degree once the civilized world has crumbled but that doesn't make it any more palatable. Sounds like a bad review, doesn't it? On the contrary, today almost all of John Christopher's nightmare scenarios seem only a few CNN headlines away...and thus more compelling than ever.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jerald R Lovell on September 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Most apocalyptic novels are marked by spectacular explosions, loathesome invaders, or the like. This one is not. Instead, in a very believable scenario, a rice virus develops in China, and the Chinese government tries to keep it secret. However, when the great famine develops, the UN comes up with an isotope that stops it. But the cure is worse than the disease, for this allows an all encompassing grass virus to come out of hiding.
What follows is a civilization ending virus that kills all grasses, including all food grains. So, in one swoop, livestock and grain are gone. The Eastern hemisphere descends into famine and cannibalism. In England, the site of the story, the government decides to use H-Bombs on the cities to alleviate the famine. All well and good, and frighteningly believable.
But what isn't at all credible, and what detracts from the book is the tale of a few people who go into a small, secluded English valley to live on potatoes and root crops. Except for a brief foray, the group faces no meaningful attack, and the book ends with the Western Hemisphere intact, and the valley's few survivors planning to build new cities. The ending is a sop to the desire to give some hope where none would exist. Personally, I much prefer George Stewart's much more honest approach in "Earth Abides."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H Pierre on February 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
It's been years since I read "No Blade of Grass." It's a story that should not go out of print, but has. It has the same haunting quality as "On The Beach," or "Alas Babylon." They depicted a world following a nuclear war, with differing results. This story uses a grass blight to achieve basically the same result, a world-wide disaster that presages the end of civilization as we know it.

The story itself takes place in England, and portrays the events following the destruction of all grass species by disease, including grains, with the resultant loss of grazing animals and looming human starvation.

The main story is the human reactions that follow--how the characters cope with the situation, and how they react and are changed by the anarchy that results. The story promotes thought about how much we rely on external controls in our daily life, and the necessity of individual internal control in our everyday struggle for existence, especially in such dramatic life-threatening situations.

A good book, if you can find a copy.

Joseph Pierre
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