I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
I opted for this novel because of North Korea's recent threats concerning its nuclear capabilities. Frank's 2005 book begins just before the US and Russia's nuclear holocaust and focuses on a small inland Florida community in the months thereafter.
The carefully thought-out details resulting from devastating shortages--salt and batteries, for example--and how the survivors deal with the loss of communication with other areas of the country are fascinating. Does the United States still exist? How do we feed ourselves and protect our loved ones from roaming highwaymen? What do we do without antibiotics, insulin, and anesthesia? What happens when the town's only doctor is savagely beaten by addicts who steal his meager supplies? How do we keep ourselves warm? On and on.
In a world without fuel-powered transportation, electricity, money, and the comforts we take for granted, the protagonists depend upon their ingenuity, common sense, and courage, and they strengthen the bonds of family and cooperation with neighbors so they can survive.
Effusive praise cannot do justice to Will Patton's narration. He puts you right there with the characters--men, women, black, white, young, and old, of every background. It was amazing.
Listening to this book was an unforgettable experience.
Yes, great survival lessons embedded in the story.
One second after. A reviewer of that book suggested this one instead. Thanks!
character voices and pronunciations.
If you read this book and were told it was written ion 2012/2013, you would not flinch. In fact it was written n the 1950's, yet it was not dated in its story. Great points about use of cash, material items and finally food as the ultimate currency. Likely true throughout time.
Say something about yourself!
note to self: see what else this writer has done and get it sight unseen.
In respect fro pat I should write a glowing review. in respect for pat someone who can write should do it...
word count again. hey its in Florida too even better! Cant vote but its got the creepy, carnivores thing going on with swamps, spanish moss hanging from low hanging live oaks covered in spider webs.
what happens to those spiders when that web wraps around your face?
Welcome to Florida! Come on vacation , leave on probation.
WARNING: the blurb characterizes this as a "true modern masterpiece." NOT TRUE. This book was written in 1959. It is extremely dated. An interesting look at how society used to think, with its references to ongoing segregation in the South, and use of the "N" word.
If you are looking for a historical view of what a nuclear holocaust was thought to be in the late 50s, this is your book. But it is FAR from "modern."
The story is well written, and well narrated. Some of the technical parts are downright laughable in hindsight.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
Will Patton's voice makes this the only way to go for this book. He has the right nuances and cadences to each of the wonderful characters in this book of a Southern Apocalypse. I don't believe just reading the book would do it justice.
Earth Abides comes to mind because I listened to that a few years ago. They both tell the stories of survivors of an earth ending event. I liked Alas, Babylon better, only because I thought it was a little more reasonable than Earth Abides, but EA does take place over decades while Alas, Babylon is only a few months. Both are wonderful stories!
Will Patton is one of my favorite narrators, I find myself searching for more books he has done. I think my next one of his will be Deliverance. He never lets you down.
I think when Helen makes a pass at Randy and he doesn't know how to handle it, but Lib does and explains to him what is going on in Helen's head. I liked the way it was handled with dignity and strength.
This story was written in 1959 so the story could come off as a little dated, but then I look at the world today with North Korea and Iran desperately trying to show themselves as nuclear powers and I think how pertinent this story still is. Take the time to listen to this gem.
Married with 4 children. Love listening to the books. I have a variety of interests in titles.
This book held my attention, and that's very important to me. Like others have said...it's still up-to-date. We just continue to hold our breath.
Equal. While the performance was well done, some of the voices seemed contrived. I'd rather fill in the voices myself.
When the citizens realized that they wanted to stay, even when offered escape.
When Peyton took more control, sort of "manned-up" to meet the needs of the community. I thought that was a turning point.
I enjoyed reading/hearing this 1959 novel so much more than when it was required reading in high school in 1975. The parallels to today were very moving: from politics to cultural differences to societal deficiencies and shining moments. I've recommended it to my whole family.
Yes - I enjoyed the narrator's voice.
I read this in paperback many times in the 1970's and again in the 90's. I guess the story just resonated with me...it takes me back to my days in elementary school when we had the nuclear fallout placards on buildings you were to go to if a nuclear war broke out and we children had to practice huddling in the hallways of our school. That is a very vivid memory I have from the 60's.
I can't pick one.
Very happy that Audible has put this into their library, and Will Patton did a first-rate job of narrating the story.
Of all the books I read in my late teens, only a few stayed with me. Alas Babylon was the one I most remembered. I bought it on Audible, not sure if I could bear listening to it again. Would it be less now, or would it still have the same powerful effect on me, and did I want to experience that again? I finally listened and yes, it is still powerful, thought-provoking, and haunting. But I'm glad I reread it. So many of the mystery/thriller/adventure stories that I read will be gone from the world in a snap. Alas Babylon will still be powerful, thought-provoking, and relevant in another 50 years!
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
My review is simple and concise: This is a great story, read by one of the best narrators ever. Don't hesitate to invest in it!
For those of us who grew up during the fifties and sixties when the spectre of atomic war was part of our lives (more so than even now -- when we really should be terrified), this story is not only an interesting fictional account of how things might have been, but a window into whether and how we might have survived.
Interestingly, in reflection, the citizens of the 50's were likely better prepared to fend for themselves and survive the end of civilization as we know it than we are today. Even the most hard core doomsday preppers should listen to this one!