New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
I am extremely impatient and when listening to most books even if well written, I am anticipating the end shortly after the half way mark. This was one of those rare occasions, where I was sorry for it to end. This story is well thought out, very plausible, and though written in 1959, very accurate for today. The characters are well developed and interesting and seem true to life.
I was hesitant to buy this, since it was written in 1959 and it was held to much the same hub bub as Earth Abides by George Stewart. While Earth Abides was alright, it was long and I got impatient with it. Audible had this on sale, so I took the chance. It was well worth full price and now I am interested if Pat Frank's other books are anywhere as good as this.
The first half is mostly about the events that lead up to war. I believe anyone who likes military books, well enjoy this part especially. The U.S. is tricked into starting the war in an event that was surprising, yet I can see it happening today. The first half ends with the bombs falling, a very scary sight.
The second half is after the bombs fall and how one town deals with it. The characters are very 1950's, but this adds to the charm of the book.
Will Patton, the narrator, does an excellent job and adds to the pleasure of listening to the book. I have not read the book, but I got to believe this recording is better then reading the book. In the future if I see, Patton is narrating, it will help me decide to buy that recording.
This book is well written, well narrated and just very, very interesting. I've read other books on this general topic and some may be more specific in detail, pack more of an anti-nuke sermon, or describe a greater spectrum of the challenges to be faced in an event such as this, but this book was very satisfying and just a darned good read. I believe it's important to keep in mind the fact that the year is 1959 when judging the actions/reactions of the characters, and think the author did a great job with creating the feel of the times. I wish it had been longer, but a sequel would most likely be anticlimactic, and the ending leaves the reader with enough material to spend some idle hours imagining where the folks of this little Florida town will take their lives from here on. Highly recommended.
Author of Stitch Alchemy
I was resistant to trying this title because I always pick up on outdated technologies in a book and they don't ring true. I needn't have worried. This book is stunning and never for one second did I even realize that this wasn't present day America. Frank sticks to human nature as he explores a post-apocalyptic future, and human nature is the same generation to generation.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy is another view of a civilization gone awry, but with a different conclusion. Frank's account relies on the strength of human goodness to build a brighter outcome. We don't known which vision will ultimately be more realistic until the time comes.
I loved the narration of this book. Will Patton's everyman style of delivery was a perfect fit for the setting--small town USA. The characters came alive.
I felt deeply for the characters and looked forward to a conclusion which would bring them some relief from the unknown.
I'm still impressed that I read this fifty years after it was written and it was as fresh and insightful as if it had been written yesterday. That's the best compliment I can give an author. A timeless work of fiction that will leave you thinking about the past and the future and what your reaction would be to a similar emergency. A hopeful read.
Who would have thought a book written in the 1950s would have so many relevant messages and themes for today's world? Even sixty years later, with the Cold War a distant memory, Alas Babylon is a potent, chilling picture of what semi-rural America would look like after a nuclear attack. Today we don't fear a nuclear strike by the Soviets, but we live in fear, or at least heightened awareness, of a terrorist strike. With Iran making daily threats against the US and Israel, with Al Qaeda regaining strength, with Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations solidifying power in the wake of the "Arab Spring," the threats today are different but no less real than they were in Pat Frank's day. So the book is chilling and current even though the specifics of the modern era are obviously very different.
The book is very well written, with rich characterizations and great emotion throughout. Will Patton proves to be an excellent narrator--I would listen to anything he reads. I've seen him in movies and on TV but wouldn't have thought of him as a good narration candidate. Well, he's wonderful.
This book is highly recommended for its content, its story, and its reader. Very well done, and well worth my February credit!
I read this when it was first published and it served me well over the years in preparing for hurricanes, earthquakes (if that can be predicted) and now living in South America. Down to earth ideas from a time when we were all afraid of the Russians. This book is informative as well as having a good story line.
In Alas Babylon, Pat Frank provided one of the first atomic war disaster stories that is still chilling when reading it in 2011. I first read this book in the 60’s and will always remember the list of contaminated zones being read on the radio which included the phrase: “the New England States”. Although the story presents several of the difficult trials and tribulations affecting a central Florida town of Fort Repose, it does so in a fairly innocent way. The classic confrontations between roaming bad guys and the town seems more like a clash with bullies than the outside threat that other books describe. While it is a bit naïve, it was still fun to read again. I give Alas Babylon a good read.
This profile is under my husband's name since Audible merged with Amazon. So just call me Bob. Or wife of Bob. Or the reader in the family. Whatever.
If you ignore the flat female characters and the obvious chauvanistic dialogue that is endemic to scifi of this era, you will enjoy the ride. This book brings back memories of living through the cold war years as a child/adolescent and just knowing nuclear holocaust was going to happen any day. Definitely worth a listen, just give it a little latitude for being a product of it's era.
The book was written in the late 1950's, so some of the things they refer to (like Western Union telegrams) seem knid of quaint, but it's a good story and keeps your interest.
First I am so impressed with the narration talent of Will Patton. I admire him as an actor but I was amazed at the art he puts into narrating this story. Thank you Mr. Patton! You made the story come to life for us. This book was required reading when I was in middle school (a very long time ago). The story is still very intriquing and keeps you hooked. It's hard to stop listening. My wife finished it in 2 days - because she couldn't turn it off. I was so disappointed when it was over. Excellent writing / excellent performance. Bravo Mr. Frank & Mr. Patton!