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Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
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Alas, Babylon (1959)

by Pat Frank

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,5021141,514 (4.01)1 / 206
  1. 80
    On the Beach by Nevil Shute (lisanicholas)
    lisanicholas: On the Beach is another novel that picks up just after a worldwide nuclear war in the 1960s -- this time, in Australia, as the survivors await the arrival of the radioactive cloud that will doom them. Bleaker in outlook than Alas, Babylon, Shute's novel focuses on how individuals deal with the almost certainty of their own imminent annhilation.… (more)
  2. 51
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 52
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Ruth72)
  4. 20
    Lights Out by David Crawford (ajwseven)
  5. 31
    Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven (saltmanz)
  6. 10
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (benjclark)
  7. 10
    The Postman by David Brin (sturlington)
    sturlington: The Postman was influenced by Alas, Babylon.
  8. 00
    Arslan, or A Wind from Bukhara by M. J. Engh (infiniteletters)
  9. 00
    Forbidden Area by Pat Frank (BeckyJG)
  10. 01
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (benjclark)
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English (113)  Polish (1)  Italian (1)  All (115)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
Summary: Those fateful words heralded the end. When the unthinkable nightmare of nuclear holocaust ravaged the United States, it was instant death for tens of millions of people; for survivors, it was a nightmare of hunger, sickness, and brutality. Overnight, a thousand years of civilization were stripped away.

But for one small Florida town, spared against all the odds, the struggle was just beginning, as men and women of all ages and races found the courage to join together and push against the darkness.


What an excellent and terrifying book! The book was written in 1959, so in the middle of the cold war and nuclear bomb lust. It's really a tale about the beginning, end and beginning again of humanity. It was, at times, a very chilling read. I realized I am woefully unfit to survive on my own should I suddenly lose electricity, gas, and the ability to microwave meals (my husband cooks).

From wiki: It was one of the first post-apocalyptic novels of the nuclear age and remains popular fifty years after it was first published. The novel deals with the effects of a nuclear war on the small town of Fort Repose, Florida, which is based upon the actual city of Mount Dora. I live north of Mount Dora, so it was creepy reading about cities I've been to getting blown up. I did have to giggle about the description of the Orlando airport though - people climbing down the steps from the plane onto the tarmac *lol*. The main character goes out and greets them. Yeah, no.

The book is a weeeee bit outdated. There are some rather sexist comments - one included something along the lines of "women need men to keep sane" or some such. But again, the characters in the book are all men except for four women. These are guys who grew up thinking that little wifey needs to be in the kitchen pregnant and barefoot.

If you're interested, there's a pretty good plot summary (more in depth than I posted here) over at wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alas,_Babylon. ( )
  wendithegray | May 1, 2017 |
There's something different about this particular post-disaster book, not only in that it doesn't allow itself to dwell on the disaster, or fear or misery, present as the emotions are. Set in Florida, the book focuses on a small community that works to survive in the wake of a nuclear attack on the U.S., when most of the nation is lost, and when most of life as they know it is lost. And yet, Frank's attention to detail and character allows for not just hard realisms, and realizations, but also hope -- and community. Yes, it is a bit dated; how could it not be, having been written in the 1950s? But at heart, it's character that drives the book, and the details of what was left in the wake of such an attack then aren't, I don't suppose, incredibly different from the details of what might be left now, or at any point in the future. Regardless, humanity is there in the heart of the book, and Frank's attentions to prejudices, to fears, and to what matters... well, they're incredible, and more clear than in any other speculative fiction of this nature that I've come across.

I happened across this book by accident--I think it was the title and the cover that drew me in. Now, I'm only stunned that I never heard about in school, or while growing up. Three degrees' worth of reading in English/Writing programs, and I was never handed this? Well, I'm glad I happened onto it now. It's one I'll remember, and recommend. ( )
3 vote whitewavedarling | Dec 19, 2016 |
Read this back in high school, it was required reading and so I didn't pay much attention to it nor appreciate it- Now I need to re-read it!
  homeschoolmimzi | Nov 28, 2016 |
A post-apocalypse story that focuses on the short-term survival of a community of people in a small Florida river town. Much smaller in scale than books like Earth Abides or The Postman, very day-to-day. This was the first book of its kind I read, when I was in high school in the 1960s when some sort of doomsday scenario seemed all but inevitable. It was a book I couldn't put down and haven't been able to forget. It made a powerful impression on me, and it's still the one I measure the other's against. First rate. ( )
1 vote unclebob53703 | May 25, 2016 |
Henry Leyva
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank, PatAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brin, DavidForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frank, PatForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patton, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I have an acquaintance, a retired manufacturer, a practical man, who has recently become worried about international tensions, international missiles, H-bombs, and such.
In Fort Repose, a river town in Central Florida, it was said that sending a message by Western Union was the same as broadcasting it over the combined networks.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The story of a group of people who rely on their own courage and ingenuity to survive in a small Florida town that escaped nuclear bombing.
Haiku summary
The nukes fall on Florida
Soon after so does technology
And the honor of men

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060741872, Paperback)

The classic apocalyptic novel that stunned the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:45 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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