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All Flesh Is Grass (1965)

by Clifford D. Simak

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7101732,272 (3.65)24
Long before Under the Dome, this novel of a town trapped within an invisible force field earned a Nebula Award nomination for the author of Way Station. Nothing much ever happens in Millville, a small, secluded Middle-American community--until the day Brad Carter discovers he is unable to leave. And the nearly bankrupt real estate agent is not the only one being held prisoner; every resident is confined within the town's boundaries by an invisible force field that cannot be breached. As local tensions rapidly reach breaking point, a set of bizarre circumstances leads Brad to the source of their captivity, making him humanity's reluctant ambassador to an alien race of sentient flora, and privy to these jailers' ultimate intentions. But some of Millville's most powerful citizens do not take kindly to Carter's "collaboration with the enemy," even under the sudden threat of global apocalypse.   Decades before Stephen King trapped an entire town in Under the Dome, science fiction Grand Master Clifford D. Simak explored the shocking effects of communal captivity on an unsuspecting population. Nominated for the Nebula Award, All Flesh Is Grass is a riveting masterwork that brilliantly reinvents the alien invasion story.… (more)
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» See also 24 mentions

English (14)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Story: 6 / 10
Characters: 7
Setting: 7
Prose: 7 ( )
  MXMLLN | Jan 12, 2024 |
Another good book by Simak. As usual his engaging and comfortable style make for good reading. This story is good but as always the aliens are unexpected. ( )
  ikeman100 | Nov 26, 2023 |
A flawed, dissappointing rehash of Ring Around The Sun (and a bit of Way Station). It has its moments, but for the most part it's a bit of a drag, a bit silly and rather sloppy. Not Simak's best. ( )
  TheScribblingMan | Jul 29, 2023 |
It's 1965, so there's a general sense of small town glorification and everymen are everywhere. This novel happens to be one of Simak's most firmly grounded in modern ('60's modern) society, and that's the expectations I had when I began reading.

And then we've got our WTH moment. How many impenetrable domes encapsulate small towns in SF, anyway? Stephen King did it twice, first in Tommyknockers and then in The Dome, but is there a direct line connection to this tale or how far back does the concept go? I was worried that I've already read this book before, albeit from later incarnations by later authors, but... I shouldn't have worried. Simak won't lead me astray and won't disappoint.

Suffice to say, it's full of lots of surprises and a wild alien invasion and discovery, time travel, alternate earths, action, betrayal, and a satisfactory end. The title may be referring to a bible passage, but I wouldn't take too much *stalk* in that. There are plenty of grassy knolls to stroll down, idea-wise, and enough new horticultural discoveries to confound any social scientist. Sense a theme? Yar, the aliens quite grow on you.

I give this novel full props for taking the SF in odd and cool ways, for staying grounded in '60's character tropes, and being immensely readable like all the rest of his novels. Its not the individual ideas, though, that make this great. It's the way he mixes the pot and grows the flowers. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
This SF novel from 1965 centers on one Bradshaw Carter, a down-on-his-luck small-town guy who finds himself in the middle of a series of strange events, including an impassable barrier around the town, calls for him on telephones that should not actually function as telephones, and a wealthy businessman giving him fifteen hundred dollars because mysterious voices told him to. All of which turns out to be courtesy of intelligent extra-dimensional alien flowers who either want to invade the Earth or to be humanity's friends. It's not at all clear which.

It's all pleasantly ridiculous, and although it's not played as humor, there's a sort of charmingly droll feeling to it all. And I was genuinely interested by the question of whether the alien flowers were friend or foe. It's a question that gets resolved at the end in an odd and rather abrupt fashion, admittedly, but I found enjoyable, anyway.

Simak was a very prolific writer, and his stuff ranged from the really good to the entirely forgettable. I feel like this is one that ought to be remembered more than it maybe is, because it's still fun. ( )
  bragan | Jul 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clifford D. Simakprimary authorall editionscalculated
Esteves, JanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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When I swung out of the village street onto the main highway, there was a truck behind me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Long before Under the Dome, this novel of a town trapped within an invisible force field earned a Nebula Award nomination for the author of Way Station. Nothing much ever happens in Millville, a small, secluded Middle-American community--until the day Brad Carter discovers he is unable to leave. And the nearly bankrupt real estate agent is not the only one being held prisoner; every resident is confined within the town's boundaries by an invisible force field that cannot be breached. As local tensions rapidly reach breaking point, a set of bizarre circumstances leads Brad to the source of their captivity, making him humanity's reluctant ambassador to an alien race of sentient flora, and privy to these jailers' ultimate intentions. But some of Millville's most powerful citizens do not take kindly to Carter's "collaboration with the enemy," even under the sudden threat of global apocalypse.   Decades before Stephen King trapped an entire town in Under the Dome, science fiction Grand Master Clifford D. Simak explored the shocking effects of communal captivity on an unsuspecting population. Nominated for the Nebula Award, All Flesh Is Grass is a riveting masterwork that brilliantly reinvents the alien invasion story.

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