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apocalyptic fiction

An exercise in what ifs...zombies, earth changes, war, plague, asteroids, EMP, raiders....what would you do if the lights went out, forever.

Solon, OH, United States | Member Since 2012

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 43 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
5

  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4010)
    Performance
    (2977)
    Story
    (2980)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Nuclear Apocalypse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perhaps one of the best known post apocalyptic novels, Alas, Babylon, written by Pat Frank and released in 1959, paints a grim picture of what life might be like after a full-scale nuclear war between the US and former USSR. The protagonist, Randy Bragg, a relatively carefree bachelor, is forced to take a leadership role in the survival of his Florida town, Fort Repose, which narrowly escapes destruction from the ultimate in nuclear catastrophes. Surprisingly, many of the issues presented in Alas, Babylon, over 50 years ago, are still very relevant today. For example, Frank’s writing is clearly influenced by the Civil Rights movement that was gaining momentum during the time that this book was written. Alas, Babylon frequently references the still widespread segregation and racist sentiment that still existed in parts of the southern US during the 1950′s. The book portrays the complete collapse of civilization as the ultimate “leveling” of human beings, as each survivor shares in the struggle to stay alive, regardless of skin color, ethnic origin or social class. Though the Civil Rights movement has certainly altered the landscape of the US in a number of ways, racial tensions continue to be high today, especially with the recent death of Trayvon Martin. From a survival perspective, the issues associated with a total breakdown of civilization remain the same. Without electricity, public water, law enforcement, medical treatment, transportation, fuel, etc, people are forced to accept more personal responsibility for the safety and survival of their families. Nuclear tensions have changed in some ways since the end of the Cold War but with more countries in possession of “the bomb” than ever, the risk for a nuclear conflict continues. Alas, Babylon may be a little optimistic in terms of its somewhat “happy ending” but it serves as a reminder to us that we were once very close and that we are never very far away from the ultimate destruction of civilization.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Manel Loureiro
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (680)
    Performance
    (625)
    Story
    (631)

    A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news - it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men. A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. But he never expected that his anonymous blog and journal would ultimately record humanity’s last days. Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called Safe Havens are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.

    Keith says: "Just For Pleasure"
    "One of the Best Zombie Apocalypse Books!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Originally written in Spanish by Manel Loureiro, Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End vastly exceeds all expectations that one may have for a zombie apocalypse novel. Apocalypse Z is a harrowing story about a man and his cat Lucullus as they struggle to survive the first months of the zombie apocalypse. This apocalyptic book is flat-out awesome! Apocalypse Z is literally jammed packed with the most terrifying, vividly horrific scenes straight from the end of the world, zombie apocalypse hell. From the larger cities to the Spanish countryside, Spain has become a massive graveyard haunted by the most vicious zombies ever imagined, existing only to tear the living to shreds. The protagonist is a mild-mannered man who lives with his most faithful, loyal companion, Lucullus, the neighborhood tomcat, after he recently lost his wife to a horrible car accident. He is no hero. In fact, he’s a paper pushing lawyer and he’s absolutely scared out of his mind. He might have followed the herd to the slaughter in the so-called “safe zones” if it weren’t for the fact that they didn’t allow pets. Facing incredible odds from the start, he is pushed way beyond his limits. “…a def ear to fear.” Love and loyalty overcome paralyzing fear of hell on Earth. He doesn’t get many breaks and he makes plenty of mistakes. Indeed, he is an unlikely survivor. He is not an ex-special forces commando. He has limited experience with weapons and killing, or re-killing the undead, which is certainly not something that comes easily for him. (***NOTE: if you are a “mall ninja” who thinks you are going to shoot your way through the end of the world this book might not be for you…and by the way you’re an IDIOT…yes you…)

    Apocalypse Z is a uniquely human story. In a world overrun by the living dead, humanity is rediscovered. A rarity for the genre, Apocalypse Z evokes real emotional response. It made me so angry that I wanted to grab that Ukrainian ship captain and hang him up from a crane by his balls (don’t worry, he gets what he deserves in the end). It has moments of despair as well as some great laugh out loud moments. A book that creates a visceral response is rare. Perhaps that is what separates a good book from a great book. Even if zombies aren’t your thing, Apocalypse Z is an excellent story and in my opinion is an absolute must read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On the Beach

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By James Smillie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (63)

    Australia is one of the last places where life still exists after nuclear war starts in the Northern Hemisphere. A year on, an invisible cloak of radiation has spread almost completely around the world. Darwin is a ghost town, and radiation levels at Ayres Rock are increasing. An American nuclear-powered submarine has found its way to Australia where its captain has placed the boat under the command of the Australian Navy.

    Jason says: "What could have been."
    "Nuclear War Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On the Beach, written by Nevil Shute and published in 1957 is a somber post apocalyptic novel that follows survivors in Australia after a nuclear war and subsequent radioactive fallout has contaminated most of the world. Much of the story revolves around an American nuclear submarine, the last of the US Navy, docked in Melbourne and under the command of Captain Dwight Towers. The post apocalyptic world has been contaminated with high levels of radiation stemming from the use of cobalt bombs by the Russian and Chinese military forces. This story is character driven, focusing on the struggle for people to maintain some sense of purpose in spite of their doom. It was slightly disappointing that most of the people in On the Beach basically give up and passively accept death. Why didn’t they attempt to create a shelter in which some people could survive until the levels of radioactivity decreased? (scientists mention several times that the radioactive cobalt has a 5-10 year half-life) Released at the height of the Cold War, On the Beach has elements of a warning or cautionary tale and is clearly written with some political intentions in mind. While On the Beach is a well written novel that explores some important ideas worthy of consideration, it is slow-paced and uneventful at times. If you are looking for excitement and entertainment you may want to look at some other reading options.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Postman

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By David Brin
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (218)

    David Brin's The Postman is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindled the spirit of America through the power of a dream, from a modern master of science fiction. He was a survivor - a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating war. Fate touches him one chill winter's day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale.

    Delbert Ealy says: "Excellent!!"
    "Great Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Postman is an insightful and inspiring story of a man in his quest to protect the flickering flame of civilization from the imposing dark ages of a post apocalyptic world. As Gordon Krantz makes his way across the apocalyptic wasteland, barely surviving among the ruins of civilization, he stumbles upon an old United States Postal vehicle that forever changes the direction of his life. What starts out as a lie to simply gain shelter and food becomes an idea that ignites a revolution. This is a story more about ideas that any particular ideology. In fact, David Brin often presents ideology as being part of the reason for civilization’s demise. For instance, the term “survivalist” becomes derogatory as some radical elements of the community have embraced the fall of civilization as an opportunity to subdue, pillage and conquer. Don’t fret preppers: The Postman was written in 1985, before the more recent, positive culture of self-sufficiency and permaculture which has become more widespread in recent years spreading through good people like Jack Spirko at The Survival Podcast. The power of ideas should not be underestimated. While it is easy to focus on the more negative examples of crooked idealism gone astray such as the case with hitler and the nazis (disrespect intended), Brin proposes that ideas can have an equally positive effect as he presents the United States as a successful society structured upon ideas that actually lead to a decrease in human suffering. Civilization is presented as an idea or a collection of ideas rather than a physical manifestation. The Postman is a substantial work of fiction that will provide you with considerable grist for the mill of contemplation, if you are so inclined. Alternatively, if you are simply seeking a great story with likeable characters, you will not be disappointed.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Cell: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (3320)
    Performance
    (1057)
    Story
    (1065)

    The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone's cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve.

    chris says: "Entertained"
    "Telepathic Zombies!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Over the years, Stephen King has created a number of fascinating apocalyptic tales. Indeed, most of his stories lead to the end of the world for somebody. It is as though he has some unworldly insight into the apocalyptic realm. Though the specific circumstances may change, his novels frequently share in his apocalyptic vision. For example, Randall Flagg, a character that appears in many of Stephen King’s stories, has a mysterious involvement in the apocalypse. While Randall Flagg is not a specific character in Cell, Stephen King once again shares his unique vision of the end of modern civilization through one of mankind’s most prized possessions, the cell phone. An event that comes to be known as “the pulse” somehow wipes clean the minds of those using a cell phone and transforms them into a type of telepathic zombie that is intent on eliminating those that have been left unchanged. The zombies in Cell share the viciousness of your typical zombie but are able to communicate telepathically and seem to be developing a common agenda. Cell is certainly an enjoyable read and will be quite satisfying for those of you that share in this strange apocalyptic preoccupation.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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