All Flesh Is Grass

For now, this will be the last post about Clifford D. Simak. All Flesh Is GrassRaw Feed: All Flesh Is Grass, Clifford D. Simak, 1965.

It was much more descriptive than Project Pope, and I loved its description — both pleasures, annoyances, pains, and terrors — of the small-town of Millville.  Simak did a wonderful job of evoking emotion:  bittersweet memories and nostalgia, annoyance, anger, hoplessness, despair, contentment and bewilderment.  The narrator was well done and not a glossy, saintly character.  He makes mistakes, shows annoyance (this is particularly true in his relations with Tupper — a lesser novelist would have had our character/hero always treat Tupper with patience, gentleness, and love).  Once again aliens come down and threaten, amongst other things, to inadvertenly screw up our economy.  The aliens are cleverly presented as flowers who pose as sinister possibility of ecological subversion.

As is usual in Simak, the aliens bring ideas and images of alieness (leading to possible disgust and revulsion) which will require change but are ripe with possibility.  Though a happy ending was totally expected, the idea of aliens loving to be held as beautiful was intriguing as well as sentimental.  Simak’s vision of a community of communing sentient beings is a characteristic one.  I like humanity having something unique to offer.  (The novel also had Simak’s typical themes of alien contact and alternate world/time travel.)  Simak well characterizes the ambivalence of alien contact (promise of destruction or salvation) and the imperfect comprehensions of alien as well as human.

 

More reviews of fantastic fiction are indexed by title and author/editor.

 

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