John Christopher Dies

When I was nine there was a book scheme at my school. The idea was to get young boys like me to start reading more. I was already a great reader but couldn’t give up the chance to read more. More importantly this was a chance to own a book, though I owned some books (mainly fairy tale and ladybird books), most of my books came from the library (it shows why libraries are so important and why they should never close) because my family wasn’t made of money. We were working class and books where borrowed and never bought. Yet, these books where a mere 75p. I know this because I still have these books, I recently re-read them and brought them briefly into my MA dissertation. The books? The Tripods. Over one term I bought all three books and at the same time watched the BBC series (pictured as a Tripod enters the city). I remember my disappointment that they never made the third book and more importantly how annoyed that the second series ditched much of the second books plot for some strange and bizarre nonsense that made no sense. I won’t spoil the series or the books for you. A few years ago I read the Death of Grass, by the same author, this book was aimed at adults and was, at that time, out of print. This was a dark tale that appealed to me even more. For several months I toyed with adapting it for TV but as these things go, it went on the back flame and never happened. I was sad to hear today that the author of these four books had died. John Christopher was a prolific author, driven by his own working class roots and the desire to feed his family. He wrote as if it was a job. I like that about any writer. Writing is a job. John Christopher showed me that and I will miss not him because I never met him, I will however miss the books he never got the chance to write. At least, I have a number of his words on my shelf.

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