Originally released in 1956, The Death of Grass is a post-apocalyptic novel by John Christopher. (Yes, John Christopher is an alias, for Sam Youd. I'm reckoning that if someone has two first names as their whole name, odds are it's an alias.)
At first the virus wiping out grass and crops is of little concern to John Custance. It has decimated Asia, causing mass starvation and riots, but Europe is safe and a counter-virus is expected any day. Except, it turns out, the governments have been lying to their people. When the deadly disease hits Britain they are left alone, and society starts to descend into barbarism. As John and his family try to make it across country to the safety of his brother's farm in a hidden valley, their humanity is tested to its very limits. (From fishpond.)
Why I want it: It's dystopian. Society descending into barbarism, what a hoot! And the deadly virus, hello swine 'flu. Plus it's been compared to John Wyndam's The Day of the Triffids, and while I haven't read that one I love The Chrysalids. (And for Obernewtyn fans, definitely read The Chrysalids. Carmody was definitely inspired by that novel.)
It's just been re-released in the UK in April so I expect here in Oz very soon! FYI, the American edition was called No Blade of Grass as publishers there thought the public would confuse it with a gardening book if it was released as The Death of Grass. Are Americans sick of being treated like MORONS all ready?? As per Harry Potter and the SORCERER'S Stone?