"All Flesh is Grass" by Clifford D. Simak
"All Flesh is Grass" first appeared in 1965, when the author was already several decades into a career that spanned more than 50 years. Simak was also the author of "City," which has also been reviewed here.
The story begins in Millville, a small Midwestern town where Simak was born. Much of this novel seems to be autobiographical in nature, with the protagonist frequently digressing into meditations on small town life, the loss of personal acquaintances, and the changing pace of life in places like Millville.
About a fourth of the way through, this novel turns into a science fiction story, with less than satisfying results. The sci-fi elements seem rather unnecessary, and one wonders why Simak didn't just write a book about small town America. While annoyingly folksy, it is only the sections of this book that discuss his hometown life that really seem authentic, and the remainder seems borrowed from other sources.
The protagonist's thought processes also seem disjointed, and sometimes his actions just don't make any sense. I had trouble following his reasoning, and there were many points where I imagined myself in similar situations, coming to opposite conclusions. I still can't figure out why he would accept an envelope of cash and not have any idea what the money was for, regardless of how desperate he was.
"City" was a much better book, though that novel also had serious flaws. I would only recommend Simak if you've been through all of the more notable novels from sci-fi's golden age. If you haven't, I would suggest "Foundation," "Childhood's End," "Dune," or any of the other books from that period. All of them are much more fully realized than "All Flesh is Grass," and all of those books are novels in which the science fiction elements are more than an afterthought.