A Rustle In The Grass by Robin Hawdon

With the advent of the digital age, Robin Hawdon’s first novel, ‘A Rustle In The Grass’, written thirty years ago, has now attracted a list of remarkable 5 star reviews on Amazon. Consequently it has been republished by Thistle in a revised version.


‘ ….There are very few books that make me nostalgic for innocence and childhood.  This one easily tops the list….. Buy a copy, for yourself, for your kids, for any reason at all.  Treasure this.’

‘….A fantastic, well-paced, beautifully told story that grows on you more and more the older you get. I liked this better than Watership Down. A great gift to get children into reading…..’

‘This is one of those books I buy, whenever I see a copy somewhere, just so I can give it to someone or their kid.  The story is enchanting, the biology well-used, and the characters are simply unforgettable….’

‘I re-read this one every few years, it takes me back – a wellspring for nostalgia and fond remembrances. It’s wonderful – a celebration of hope and courage and dignity in the face of destruction….’

‘Although relatively unknown, this is by far the best fiction book ever written.  I love it, and I have no doubt that anyone who reads it will as well.  It is a magical story…..’

‘My favourite book until this day….. My teacher asked to borrow the book over the summer.  Two years later in our classroom bookshelf there was a 20-copy set of this book for all of the students to read!’

The countryside appears to stretch idyllically under the blue sky. Far from the wars and woes of man, nature moves through her timeless cycles. But look closer. For there in the secret world beneath the grasses lies an empire in turmoil. A great leader has died and, as the enemy prepares its armies for war, rebellion is whispered through the undergrowth. There, in the kingdom of the ants a young warrior searches for his identity as the old order collapses around him, and his turbulent community prepares to defend itself against the forces of tyranny.

rustle in the grass book cover
5 out of 5 stars

Amazon Reviews

Significance in Small ThingsMrs Marjorie Orr (Top Amazon Reviewer)

Rustle turns out to be a hidden underfoot world worthy of a David Attenborough series – an epic allegorical tale of ants fighting for survival in a changing world. Their wonderfully evocative names – old Five Legs, Black Sting, Dew-Lover, Still One, Dreamer, Queen of Queens – bring them instantly to life and linger long after the book is finished.

The descriptions of nature in the raw are beautifully and poignantly drawn by Robin Hawdon.
The stresses on a tightly-knit community challenged by war make this an exciting story with a clear moral thread and a wider message about the human condition. Superb for older children and would make a gripping animated film.

Deserves classic status!Phyllis Ann Karr (Top Amazon Reviewer)

I will never again deliberately kick in an anthill… Parables applicable to human society are going on here, with elitist vs. democratic forms of government and the menace of a ruthlessly totalitarian enemy. Above all, the main characters — all ants — become sympathetic individuals: These little creatures became very real to me, and I grew very concerned about who would survive, and how; saying more than once, “Oh, I didn’t want that one to die!” It is one of the very few books that, as soon as I had finished, I began rereading at once.

Other Novels by Robin

dinner with churchill - robin hawdon
number ten downing street book cover
almost famous boob cover