All Flesh is Grass by Clifford D. Simak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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. :)
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