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Alas, Babylon (1959)

by Pat Frank

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,5081402,091 (3.98)1 / 226
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.
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Legacy LibrariesHarry S Truman
  1. 130
    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. 71
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    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Ruth72)
  4. 62
    Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven (saltmanz)
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  6. 20
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (benjclark)
  7. 20
    The Postman by David Brin (sturlington)
    sturlington: The Postman was influenced by Alas, Babylon.
  8. 10
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (sturlington)
    sturlington: These are two classic early post-apocalyptic novels.
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    Level 7 by Mordecai Roshwald (HenriMoreaux)
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    Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon (sturlington)
  11. 11
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  12. 00
    Arslan, or A Wind from Bukhara by M. J. Engh (infiniteletters)
  13. 00
    Forbidden Area by Pat Frank (BeckyJG)

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» See also 226 mentions

English (139)  Polish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (141)
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
A ridiculous, though well written, middle-class fantasy about surviving nuclear war. It descends into camp somewhere into the last third, when an increasing number of deus ex machinas occur to save the main characters. ( )
  TheEphemeraRemix | Jul 21, 2022 |
Oft recommended to me, i finally gave in - just because it was a convenient, between books time for me. Worth it. Nuclear war pops up in about 1960. Set in Florida, we run the gamut of food, gasoline and medicine shortages to reflections on the meaning of life and predictable rise of violence/gangs. Seemed familiar territory from The Road, and perhaps media portrayals? Still, worth it- well told, great page turning quotient and the classic "quick read". Having said those positive things, it is a bit pat and by the numbers account.... nothing surprising - at all- happens. That's a feat. ( )
  apende | Jul 12, 2022 |
"Alas, Babylon" by Pat Frank is a book that must be read while taking into the time period in which the book was written. I had to forget that with that many nukes flying about, the earth's atmosphere would be destroyed. I want him to get his story across, which is "what was the point?". It has been and returns to us now as a poignant tale in 2017. ( )
  nab6215 | Jan 18, 2022 |
Re-read 20/05 ( )
  dualmon | Nov 17, 2021 |
Alas, Babylon was well written and well narrated by Will Patton. There's quite a bit of tension in the beginning and the writing skillfully shows the beautiful horror of the unknown. It clenches at your chest at times.

On the other hand, knowing what I do of events at that time I couldn't fully immerse myself in the fear and worry. Everything was a bit silly when it had no right being that way. So it caught me off guard when history diverged from narrative. I had to take a moment and look at the book more closely to see the publication date and say, "ahha!"

Action from that point on had a different vibe and not an altogether kind one. Elements I'd considered included for historical accuracy turned out to just be plain old racism, and in the face of what was happening it all seemed the more absurd. Characterization fell apart and the story spiraled for me. I lost interest toward the end. ( )
  jamestomasino | Sep 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
Doom-minded and Cassandra-speaking, this author, who touched off the play in Mr. Adam in comic vein, and continued his warnings in Forbidden Area (1956) here looks at an all-out bombing that freezes and contaminates most of the United States. What happens to Fort Repose in central Florida- which escapes the worst -- becomes an account of survival when, slowly learning that all props are out from under, some few citizens work out a make-do, or die, program. Heading up a colony that manages to exist is Randolph Bragg, whose Air Force brother gives him the word and the little chance to prepare for the disaster of Russian attack, and, with his brother's wife and children, some neighbors -- white and black -- he finds out many ways to circumvent encroaching death. Death through lack of medicine, electricity, communications, through the threats of epidemic, mob attack, highway marauding, decline of authority and the sudden regression that results from the loss of ""civilization"". Bragg's efforts -- and those of his group -- pull them through when yesterday's history becomes archaic and changed rules must govern changed conditions. When hope comes -- of rescue and victory -- does it matter -- to those who have survived? Contemporary Robinson-Crusoeing.
added by Lemeritus | editKirkus Reviews (Mar 20, 1959)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank, PatAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patton, WillNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brin, DavidForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frank, PatForewordsecondary 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)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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

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