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Reviews of Grass (1989)

Review by ropie (2006-06-27)
For such a long novel Tepper's 'Grass' kept me reading at a rate that meant I had finished it within one week. It was a truly fascinating set up - the mysterious and beautifully portrayed planet of Grass, the eccentric and demonized ruling classes, the enigmatic and dangerous local fauna, all wrapped up in a plot involving an interstellar virus and religious extremism.

Really this book has everything going for it and in the way that LeGuin manages in 'The Left Hand of Darkness', Tepper effortlessly combines the cerebral with high action and drama. I can't think of any other writers who manage this as well as these two.

But, and depending on your point of view it's potentially a deal-breaker, the ending is just utterly banal. Not the *final* ending (as there is a sort of epilogue) but the *first* ending. After chapter upon chapter of stunning writing, the wrapping up and conclusion of these important affairs is quickly attained within a couple of shoddily written pages involving some equations and a bit of luck. I wasn't impressed at all. As I have mentioned though, the 'epilogue' helps to appease things somewhat and leaves things wide open for our heroine to continue her adventures (this is the first book of a loose trilogy after all).

Not counting the miserable ending, a fine, fine read and definitely a writer I will be looking up again in the future.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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