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Publisher's Summary

What happens when the richest nation on God's earth is driven to the outer limits of starvation?

When the grain crop failed in Kansas it seemed like an isolated incident and no one took much notice. Except Ed Hardesty. Then the blight spread to California's fruit harvest, and from there, like wildfire, throughout the nation.

Suddenly America woke up to the fact that her food supplies were almost wiped out. Her grain reserves lethally polluted. And botulism was multiplying at a horrifying rate.

©2020 Graham Masterton (P)2020 Head of Zeus

Critic Reviews

“A true master of horror.” (James Herbert)

“One of the most original and frightening storytellers of our time.” (Peter James)

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  • Mr & Mrs Welch
  • 28-04-21

Very outdated

I have nothing negative to say about Russell Bentley's narration, and certainly I'm used to reading novels from a variety of eras. But for a book published in the early 80s, I was surprised by how casually placed, latent racism was woven into the telling of this story.

From the protagonist/hero, Ed, referring to his penchant for idyllic plantation living with 'darkies' (obviously black American *slaves*) as part of the backdrop, to the repeated references to 'black' looters, it seemed Masterton didn't want us to forget for a minute that he has no respect for black Americans and considers them second class citizens.

I've read loads of Stephen King novels from the 70s and 80s and never once have I read such biased references to people of colour from him... or anyone else for that matter. To make matters worse, Masterton isn't even American, so I'd at least expect him to have put in a bit of research to make sure the references he was making to a whole culture of people wouldn't be rife with unnecessary stereotyping. The story was ok, if not surely old fashioned otherwise, but Masterton's overt bias really took away from the story and made his protagonist a lot less relatable. What a shame.