Every set-back and injury endured by the main characters in this book felt like a personal blow. What would I do with no electricity or running water? How would I care for myself and family and could I become self-sufficient with resources on hand? Probably not, but Alas, Babylon? made me feel like I was right there with them, lending a hand and solving problems.
Although I'd read reviews stating that Alas, Babylon seemed dated (it was originally published in 1959), the core concepts explored by the story remain fresh and pertinent: How do people react to (and recover from) a catastrophic event, especially as resources become scarce? Will Patton's narration was perfect for this story -- his southern U.S. accent and subdued delivery were a great fit.
This story was written in 1959 and it shows. I never before appreciated our politically correct world until I read this authentic pre-civil rights book. I don't think any author today could authentically write in this style. It is amusing and horrifying at the same time at how ignorant the US was about race relations.
At any rate, I enjoyed this book primarily because it took place in a fictional town in Central Florida. I currently live in Florida so this aspect of the book made it more interesting to me.
I also read this book after I read, "One Second After," which is a modern post-apocalyptic book. Reading "Alas, Babylon" helped explain many of the things said in "One Second After." It was also interesting to read a nuclear holocaust book written so shortly after WWII ended. I am not from the "Duck and Cover" era, but from "Red Dawn" and other nuclear holocaust scares. I enjoyed this book for that reason. It did get a little trite and slow toward the end.
I love Will Patton's voice and I could listen to anything he reads.
Tell us about yourself!
I guess once the apocalypse hits, it doesn't really matter if the survivors are from the 50s or today, the problems faced would be attacked much in the same way. This book, about survivors of nuclear war in the 1950s, follows a small town and its inhabitants through to meeting up with civilization again.
Will Patton was very good reading this one and bringing the grim circumstances to life. His tone was fitting for the style of the story and he seemed to be a natural extension of the author.
This one kept my interest and was fast paced and entertaining
Addicted to books, both print and audio-.
Yet another book I would have missed but for the Daily Deal. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The premise is frightening and all too believable, and the author treats it with seriousness and thought. In the second part of the book, the dialogue and descriptions veer toward the Wild West, but it's not bad, just cliched.
As other reviewers have mentioned, the women are such cardboard characters that it becomes funny. Hey, women can do stuff! They can, uh, sew! Make breakfast! Organize a household! And there must be something else they can do . . . uh, no, can't come up with anything else. Did I mention they make a damned good cup of coffee? It's so retro that it's amusing, not irritating. I know it's 1959, but even considering that, it's unusually pathetic. Perhaps the author didn't know many women.
Anyway, it's definitely worth a listen. It's a plausible view of WWIII and its aftermath. It would be interesting paired with James Howard Kunstler's The World Made By Hand and The Witch of Hebron, recent imaginings of the life of a small town after the breakdown of the U.S. political system and the disappearance of oil and electricity. I read both of these and can't comment on the audio editions, but I recommend both books.
Mother of 8, grandmother of 7, RN and book nerd
I enjoyed this book so much that I know I will listen to it time & time again. I always keep standby books loaded to my device for those times I want a listen that will be there when I'm looking to revisit an experience that kept me enthralled. This one just made my go to listen. It was absolutely awesome!
I am a reluctant reader who enjoys listening more than visually deciphering. I mainly enjoy Sci-Fi, but especially post apocalyptic worlds.
The story was very convincing and compelling. The narrators voice was very good and kept me interested. I really like Will Patton in the movies and now in audiobooks.
Randy Bragg is my favorite because he came across as a rugged survivor who would be capable of living through such an ordeal. He was also a fair tempered man with a good heart.
Will Patton is a very good actor. His voice has some gravel in it so it makes his characters sound more manly. He has a way of making the character become real that most actors lack.
When the bombs were going off and very quickly the world turned from civilized to primitive...no television, radio or phones. That is a shock to the system for us easy going civilians.
I gave only four stars for the story only because I think that some of the nuclear bombs that went off in nearby cities would have had a much more negative effect on their town. I think the author should have had the survivors gain access to some underground survival shelter so that way it would have increased the believability.
Seamless moving from character to character.
More of a mellow reaction. It was a survival tale without all the blood and guts.
I enjoyed this book. I cared about the characters.
While dated in some respects, if seen as the "period piece" that it essentially is, it holds up well. Much more enjoyable than the "mainstream" sci-fi that has been recommended to me.
As I was explaining to a colleague: the book leads you into thoughts of how you would cope with such calamities, which makes for interesting thoughts that last well beyond the reading of the book.
The audio is excellent, and just makes the wonderful words of Pat Frank come to life. I really enjoy Will Patton as a narrator and actor.
Needing salt, and remembering that his ancestor had the same problem.
This was a great book when it was published, and expressed so well the fears of the times. Here we are in 2013 and the same fears are facing us. We can learn valuable lessons from these characters.