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Author: Pat Frank
The classic apocalyptic novel that stunned the nation with its vivid portrayal of a small town's survival after nuclear holocaust devastates the country.
ISBN-13: 9780553263145
ISBN-10: 0553263145
Publication Date: 2/1/1984
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

4.5 stars, based on 14 ratings
Publisher: Bantam
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

stargazer00 avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 151 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This book was written in 1959 during the Cold War era. In this scenario, the Soviet Union actually launches missles at the U. S., destroying most of the east coast and all major cities. This is the story of how a little community in Florida that managed to stay uncontaminated, learns how to survive without electricity, city water, grocery stores, medicine, gasoline and many other conveniences of modern civilization. I give it a 10 because I didn't want to put it down once I had started it.
catscritch avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 158 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I read Alas Babylon and thought my how things change. Comparing it to todays' doomsday books (The Road, In the Country of Lost Things, Zombie Survival Guide, etc), this book actually believed we could rise above our baser instincts and pull together to survive. Heck, they even seemed to improve their life being isolated like that, and naturally the commies started it but we won so that's a "plus". I have a remembrance of the whole bunker mentality, the duck and cover school drills. I found it interesting that the author decided to make it a livable existence if not even idyllic in the long run. Whereas, a few generations removed, it seems that today, everybody assumes the world will end but those that survive will be cave dwelling, isolationists bent on fearing what they don't know and killing what they do. I know that this book was a turn around OPEN YOUR EYES breakthrough at the time and I guess as long as there are people walking the planet, there will be fear of the unknown BOOM that takes it all away. But this fella actually made me kind of wish I lived in the surviving community
reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 296 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is the classic post-nuclear holocaust book, originally published in 1959. I read it at about that time, and remember the fear of nuclear war of that time!! (I was in elementary school then.)
reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Alas, Babylon first issued in 1959 was a well written scare piece. It seems just as scary today as it did then. NY Herald Tribune says "A warm, continuously interesting story of what can happen to a group of ordinary people in a perilous situation."
reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A brilliant look at the world after nuclear holocaust. The denizens of a small Florida town, forewarned of the impending disaster, pull together to survive when they are cut off from the rest of the country. Particularly interesting because of when it when it was written - the 1950's - and how the true fear of the Bomb comes through from that era. Still, the story feels timeless and seems utterly relevant to today.
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reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 612 more book reviews
I enjoyed reading this book very much.
melcoursey avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 5 more book reviews
I originally read this book in middle school and didn't remember much of it. It is a pleasant and quick read that reminded me of how real the nuclear threat of the late 50s and early 60s was.
reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on
Classic! Great "What if" book about nuclear consequences in Florida!
reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 625 more book reviews
Could you survive without food or water, light, power or transportation, while completely surrounded by deadly radiation? Would you react with helpless, trembling paralysis? Or would you have the courage and ingenuity to invent a new way of life. Could you surve an H-Bomb attack as the people in this novel do?
reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on
Set in the 1950's, this novel explores the horror of survival after a nuclear devastation of the U.S.

Living in a small Floria town, the characters struggle to invent a new society after their old one is completely destroyed.

There are many fascinating insights into 1950's racial attitudes, morals, and the pervasive fear that was so much a part of the Cold War era.
reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 16 more book reviews
One of the best post apocalyptic books I've ever read. Has a wonderful flow and keeps you motivated to continue reading.
darcyjo avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 79 more book reviews
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if a war came to our own country? This is Pat Frank's classic look at life in the US after a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union back in the sixties. Should be on the reading list of anyone who likes excellent science fiction or alternative history.
knitnanolu avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 5 more book reviews
Set in a small Florida town immediately before and after a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States, 'Alas, Babylon' reminds me quite a bit of 'Retrieved from the Future' by John Seymour, in that it is a contrivance to allow the characters to demonstrate what is lost when civilization crumbles and how life can go on using pre-industrial methods and knowledge. If you are looking for gritty, violent action, you will not find it here. While there is some life and death action in the story, it is fairly subdued, I think due to the time of its publication - 1959. It was published in a time of war for the US, after the Korean War and in the early days of the Vietnam conflict, and it reflects a seeming weariness among readers for violence. The struggle is there, but this is firmly a tale designed to show how life could continue after a nuclear holocaust. Racial tension is dealt with in the story fairly ably given the time in history that produced it, but the strong gender roles make it feel a bit like Leave it to Beaver from time to time. Worth reading in its own right, but also as a study in historical perspective.
chaclaw avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 22 more book reviews
I can't recommend this highly enough for the Post-apocalyptic genre fans. It is not all that smoothly written but well enough to serve its story. It is a classic in the PA world and just about required reading for this type of fiction. I will not list any spoilers as post-apocalyptic says it all.
reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 16 more book reviews
Although copyrighted in 1959 this book is still a very good story of survival and dealing with a breakdown of normal life conditions. Even though it is a fictional town, it is set in central Florida which made it interesting to me due to the fact I also live in central Florida. Highly recommend this book if you enjoy the survival fiction genre like Robinson Crusoe that deals with disaster recovery.
gotbks2 avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 29 more book reviews
Fast moving story of a post-nuclear disaster and how it affects the people in an isolated community. I really liked the main characters, how they pull together to survive and look out for one another, and stand up against the "bad element" that will always rise up in a crisis. Unlike more contemporary fiction, while there is violence, it's not disturbingly graphic, and there's very minimal profanity used, which I always find unnecessary and distracting. Also makes the reader think about what they would do if they found themselves in a similar situation, or how you might even be prepared beforehand in case something this widespread were to occur.
Willowgirl avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 294 more book reviews
I liked this book, the kind of book I am preferring these days. Except for cookbooks that is. Seemed to be pretty ok on how to be creative to survive. Don't think folks will be there in the nick of time in the real world to discover we have made it or be lucky enough to be in a 'safe'zone. Still a good read and not littered with sex like so many things are these days.
reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 5 more book reviews
A 'what if' book about life after nuclear war. An enjoyable story that offers hope that life can go on, differently, after a war of this magnitude.
amber1111 avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on
I think I'd rate this book as "pretty good". Not the best post-apocalypse book I've ever read, but not the worst either. It seems to give a pretty realistic view of the world after an atomic attack from Russia, though there are some bits of "dues ex machina" - e.g. the solution to needing salt and how they find other supplies. It was interesting and taught me a few things about radiation that I didn't know. Overall, an easy quick read if you like post-apocalype books. I still liked I Am Legend and The Cell better though.
Cattriona avatar reviewed ALAS, BABYLON on + 200 more book reviews
Although this story is much less dire than "On the Beach", it still brings home the reality of a potential nuclear war, as residents in a small town in Florida look for ways to survive in their new life without electricity or other modern conveniences and while trying to stay clear of radiation and contaminated materials. Highly recommended.

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