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I read this book back when it was first published. It is a little dated but still a thought provoking novel. I would recommend this book to anyone. All about what could happen post nuclear war. A great book for preppers.
May 9, 2013
Classic Apocalypse Survival Book
This novel is an excellent read for many reasons, but it is an especially clear picture of the world as it was in the United States in 1959. Pat Frank is the pen name for Harry Hart, who wrote with journalistic clarity to reveal the political, military, and social world of the time, and he used the art of the storyteller to create characters that engage the heart of the reader. This is science fiction written in 1958 and set in 1959, but even though the war the author created did not happen, the story still lives as a reminder of the cold war and the possibilities that were present at the time. The scientific world did not know as much about nuclear fallout and nuclear winter, so those dangers were not included in the calculations when the bombing took place. Frank clarified his purpose for writing the book; he was responding to a question about what might happen to the economy if we had a nuclear war, and he covered the basics of survival quite thoroughly. The survivors had to become truly self-sufficient and equality was a natural result because everyone had to work to survive as a community and everyone was valued. Even the children had their work to do. There is a tremendous following of this book because it is considered the best of it stype from that era. The only negative comments I have heard from students and friends who shared this read is that the first chapters are slow starting. As a multi-decade English teacher, I find this is true only for readers who have watched too many action movies and don't appreciate character development. Mr. Frank takes the time to develop the characters who will make up this new community and creates sympathy in the reader that appreciates the intellect and hard work necessary for survival. This book is more than worth the investment of time and money and will usually be read more than once.
Jun 28, 2012
I love this book
I finally managed to get a hardcover copy of one of my favorite books, Alas Babylon. I discovered this book when I was in high school, a long time ago. Having grown up in the era when a nuclear holocaust was a distinct possibility, reading about how a town, and the people who lived in it, might weather such a catastrophy was encouraging, because most of the people I knew weren't. The only drawback, I feel, is that the ending is rather abrupt.
Jun 3, 2010
Loved it !
My favorite type of fiction is post apocalyptic and this was one of the best. It's very believeable and a great read.
Sep 29, 2009
I had to read this novel in high school, and I liked it then. I recently re-read it, and it was even better than I remembered! It'll make you think about the types of things you would need for any kind of disaster that left you without power and water - whether the disaster is natural or man-made. I highly recommend this book - for the survival tactics if nothing else!
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