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Alas, Babylon (Harper Perennial Olive Edition) by [Frank, Pat]
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Alas, Babylon (Harper Perennial Olive Edition) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Length: 371 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


"Ingenious...Provocative." -- "New York Times""Frighteningly credible and exciting reading." -- "Library Journal""An extraordinary real picture of human beings numbed by catastrophe but still driven by the unconquerable determination of living creatures to keep on being alive." -- "The New Yorker""A warm, continuously interesting story of what can happen to a group of ordinary people in a perilous situation." -- "New York Herald Tribune""An enthralling and vivid story of the follies and failures of people, their courage and cruelty, their treachery and triumphs. Mr. Frank is a magnificent writer." -- "Chicago Sunday Tribune""Frank is successful enough in making us believe it could indeed happen here to send a small, fearful chill along our backbone." -- "Saturday Review"


The survivors of an H-bomb attack are forced to rely on their own resources amidst the ruins of Fort Repose.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1310 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reissue edition (4 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CD360ZQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Nuclear war viewed through the eyes of a small isolated Florida community.

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.
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By A Customer on 18 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
I have an affinity for post-apocolyptic novels. I was hesitant to purchase this novel because I was afraid that it would be too dated for me to enjoy. As it turned out, Alas, Babylon IS dated, but not so that it interfers with the story.
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
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this old classic about nuclear war and its aftermath. Written in 1959 it aged a little, but still is a GREAT read. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

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...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Alas, Babylon' is a novel that falls into the post disaster category, being about a Florida community trying to survive the aftermath of a nuclear war. It could be acccused of being a 'cosy catastrophe' - despite a continental holocaust little really bad happens to the main character and he actually seems to benefit from the experience in many ways. However, it is well written and since it was originally published in 1959 it gives an insight into the politics and societial structures of the time. If (like me) you've enjoyed the catastrophe literature of John Wyndham and John Christopher it's certainly worth a look......pity about the really flimsy covers of this edition though........
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