Written by Mordecai Roshwald in 1959 at the height of the Cold War, this is the diary of a survivor of a nuclear attack, now sheltering 4,400 feet underground. All the participants are known by numbers instead of names, so P867 is a Psychologist, and the diarist X127 is a Push Button Executive, and the seven at the number end means they are on the deepest level, seven.
The book received critical acclaim at the time from luminaries such as J B Priestley, Bertrand Russell and Fred Hoyle. The quality of writing is excellent, and after just glancing at it I found myself sitting down to read it again. It took an effort to tear myself away and do something more important. My tattered copy is from the first Ace paperback publication, and reading it in 1962 was very scary for an impressionable youngster.
After fifty years it still stands up as an effective and telling indictment on the arms race and the inhuman way the general public were considered as mere fodder for the system.
Other books from the same period on a similar theme, but with quite different styles and very different plots are Nuclear Subtraction
by Colin Roberts and Yellow Inferno
by Luan Ranzetta.