An excellent story especially for those having experienced the real threat of nuclear war in the 50-60's.
All the characters became favorites because of the length of time covered by the story.
The fishing scene when the secret of true fishing was revealed to an unlikely character.
When anyone good died in the book it almost felt like you would truly miss them and for the bad ones you cheered.
It's worth listening to again and periodically hereafter.
I took a "chance" on this book on a recommendation. I can't believe I've never read it. Wonderful characters, story, performance.
Wow! As a child of the '50's - '60's who had to hide under their school desk in preparation for a Russian nuclear attack, I was blown away by the storyline should an attack actually had occurred! This book has many memorable characters whose thoughts and actions had me on edge multiple times - from rooting for their survival to being terrified for them. This is sort of The Walking Dead experience, sans "walkers", but with a whole boatload of issues one cannot even contemplate in their attempt to survive a nuclear war from a small city in Florida. Most interesting, being written in the '50's, the author had some serious knowledge regarding civil preparation, military tactics and geopolitical going-ons.
Too many to list...probably the way they used auto Engines to power the short wave radio (no Directv in 1959, or when the doctor was beaten by the highway men or...
Don't usually listen to him - but he did an excellent job.
Love, love, loved this book.
Even though briefly touched upon, the reaction of the surviving countries. This something I don't remember even considering in the 50's and would have liked this to have been more developed. This is the part of the book that inspired after thought for me.
I felt some things like the "hidden door" in the attic a bit too convenient when the same results could have been obtained in other ways. For me the invasion & multiplication of wildlife was too quick, and the effects of radiation (especially in birds for instance) unrealistic, considering the wide spread scope and nearness of the bombing. And really, how many people would load up on fresh cut meat instead of canned foods--especially those who had even a day ahead of everyone else to think? And his bother had suggested pending catastrophe months before. After all, this was the end of the fifties and there was a lot of family camping without electricity, discussion of home bomb shelters and how to stock them was prevalent, and as few as 15 years before a certain portion of the population still used "refrigerators" that we called "ice boxes" because--that's what we put in them to cool the food...ice. These abandoned boxes were prevalent during the end of the 40's and beginning 50's--people saw them, talked about them, reported deaths of children suffocating in them. Electrical outages were not uncommon either. My point is, someone his age with that exposure to the recent past & ongoing present, surely wouldn't have planned on electricity continuing to be available. These are not huge objections, but I found myself irritated on occasion throughout the book.
The characters became a little more alive to me in about the middle of the book.
I liked Will Patton's read.
I found the book interesting, but would not go in my top 500, and it would not occur to me to recommend it to others even if they were asking about post-nuclear stories.
I did not know what to expect from a book published in 1959. Although I worried that it might be dated, nothing could have been further from the truth. It was a well written and well narrated book that had just enough build-up, action and human drama. It was a surprisingly entertaining find.
This is one of the best audio books I have listen to to date. I would recommend this to everyone. If Audible gave this book away for free they would triple there sales as everyone would be hooked one audiobooks!
This is by far the best apocalyptic book I have listened to and or read.
Will Patton's narration was incredible. I actually logged back online to Audible after completing this audiobook to see what else Will Patton has narrated as he brought the story to life better than any other narrator on any book I have listened.
As I am writting this review I was thinking someone might think I was over the top but this audiobook and narration is truly my favorite to date and I have been an Audible subscriber since 2004.
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