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Alas, Babylon (Harper Perennial Olive Edition) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It seemed to me from reading the blurb that any story that didn't move location in its entirety must be somewhat lacking in its lasting appeal to the reader. Oh how I was wrong.
First off, I am a big sucker for this kind of apolcalyptic tale, stories where a small group of people watch society fall apart around them are perfect for portraying not only the often overlooked fragility of modern life but also the inherent animal strength of mankind forced to survive in a world torn apart.
Because of this Alas Babylon is one of my favourite ever novels, vying with the Day of the Triffids for that crown but where that story is fantastical and science fiction this is oh so real and chillingly possible.
I could go on for pages praising this book and its author but I won't! Suffice to say, this is an incredible novel. Not for fantastical settings or powerful character dynamics but for the simple and yet effective style in which it illustrates the world we know (albeit a somewhat old fashioned world) being blown apart and an average guy striving to look after those he loves.
For anyone who ever looked at the world around them and thought... What if? What if suddenly everything we rely on and base ourselves on was stripped away. Would I survive? Read it and find out.
What I enjoyed the most was recognizing the context of the times that this story was written and the writer's attempt to address social issues of that era. Pat Frank made an obvious attempt to give women power; the President is a woman and a young girl saves the day by catching fish when no one else could. This is interesting because the battle for passage of the Civil Rights Amendment hadn't really begun when this book was written. Although I did find his discription of the women's need to have a man to take care of rather outdated. But, it was interesting because I can't imagine someone writing those types of stereotypes today. Also, the writer touches (however slightly) on southern segregation. I felt that he tip-toed around this subject a little too lightly, but I don't think that he was writing about that subject so his light treatment of racism and segregation didn't bother me too much.
All in all I enjoyed this novel immensly. I wouldn't be put off by the fact that it was written forty years ago either.
Now, can anyone recommend any other post-apocolyptic novels to me? Please send any recommendations to: Aphrodite0000@yahoo.com
Randy Bragg lives in the small Central Florida town of Fort Repose. He is not a very successful guy, in fact he is mostly content with eating his inheritance... One day however his much more formidable brother, Colonel Mark Bragg, USAF, sends him a telegraph ending in the words, "Alas, Babylon", a pre-established code between the brothers warning of impending disaster. It appears quickly, that this disaster is a HUGE one...
This was one of the very first novels to describe the occurence and the consequences of an all-out nuclear war. The much darker and much more pesimist "On the beach" was published two years earlier and the equally dark and pesimistic "Canticle for Leibowitz" was published in 1960. "Alas Babylone", a much more realistic thing than those other two classics, made quite a splash when it was published. Unlike so many others, the author, whose real name was Harry Hart Frank, knew what he was writing about. He served in military during WWII and watched Korean War as journalist, he studied a lot about the nuclear weapons and it shows in this book.
The novel deals less with the nuclear war itself, than with what happens next. There are, quite obviously, survivors, in fact quite a lot of them, but the organised society as we know it initially collapses - the description of this process is quite fascinating. Then, as always, people regroup and re-organise themselves, facing challenges and solving problems. This is an uphill battle, but life always ultimately triumphs over death...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having read a number of these " apocalypse " books the theme is about the same. However I can`t put it down, an enjoyable read.Published 2 months ago by Raymond W Bailey
I found this interesting but I give more credit to the interesting subject than to the writing itself, which disappointed me in several ways. Read morePublished 11 months ago by hfffoman
My husband has been looking for this book, like forever, and he is delighted with it, immensely and if we are looking for a similar item again, we will come to you first!! Read morePublished 11 months ago by SandraPlitt
Terrible - dated, dense text shows how far the form has developed in last few decadesPublished 13 months ago by j
Being a fan of apocalyptic novels I wondered how I have never knowingly stumbled upon this novel until quite right recently. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kay Smillie
Unpretentious, well paced, exciting and hard to put down. I really cared about the fate of all the characters even though they were developed with glaring flaws. Read morePublished on 27 Aug. 2014 by David
A contemporary view of surviving nuclear war in 1960s Florida. Simple and I expect fairly accurate? But who knows. I liked the characterisation and writing. Read morePublished on 20 Mar. 2014 by Lesley
A good read, a bit dated, but nontheless a very good read. It is a very early example of the post-apocalyptic novel.Published on 23 Jan. 2013 by Mr. C. J. Murphy
As a post apocalyptic novel I rather enjoyed it and learned a great deal about the US military and nuclear technology. Read morePublished on 19 July 2012 by Mr T
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