Alas, Babylon Audiobook | Pat Frank | Audible.com
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Alas, Babylon | [Pat Frank]

Alas, Babylon

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....
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Pat Frank's post-apocalyptic novel about a cold war that's finally boiled over into a nuclear doomsday over is over 50 years old, but it still feels entirely fresh. The post -apocalyptic world asks: Without our job, our social status, and our possessions what would we have left? Alas, Babylon answers unequivocally: our sense of duty to our fellow man, our bonds of love with family and friends, and, above all, our will to survive. Will Patton is electrifying as narrator, and his thunderous delivery of the novel's titular cry will remain with you long after you finish. — Michael

Publisher's Summary

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. Will Patton's narration paints this classic tale as an ominous picture of the terrible possibilites of the nuclear age.

©1959 Harry Hart Frank (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Fiction, 2012

"An enthralling and vivid story of the follies and failures of people, their courage and cruelty, their treachery and triumphs. Mr. Frank is a magnificent writer." (Chicago Sunday Tribune)

"A warm, continuously interesting story of what can happen to a group of ordinary people in a perilous situation." (New York Herald Tribune)

“Will Patton is a calm and steady narrator whose quiet intensity wraps around this post-apocalyptic saga...He reflects the tones of deference of women to men, nonwhites to whites, and children to adults. In a conversational tone, he quietly brings the characters and their relationships to life.” (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3534 )
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  •  
    James Springfield, MO, United States 02-25-12
    James Springfield, MO, United States 02-25-12 Member Since 2010

    New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More Please"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Phipps-chirrup The Tropics 01-05-11
    Linda Phipps-chirrup The Tropics 01-05-11 Member Since 2008

    Linda P-C

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    "Loved it, wished there were more of it"

    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.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelli N. Perkins Michigan 08-31-12
    Kelli N. Perkins Michigan 08-31-12 Member Since 2008

    Author of Stitch Alchemy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Doesn't Seem Possible that This Is 1959!"
    What did you love best about Alas, Babylon?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Alas, Babylon to and why?

    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.


    What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I felt deeply for the characters and looked forward to a conclusion which would bring them some relief from the unknown.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Akron, OH, United States 02-15-12
    Amazon Customer Akron, OH, United States 02-15-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Awesome"

    I loved this book. The naration was fantastic,story was great. I recommend this book to anyone considering it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy Winfield, IL, United States 02-07-12
    Jeremy Winfield, IL, United States 02-07-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Wonderful book with modern relevance"

    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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 01-06-11
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 01-06-11 Member Since 2008

    Audiobook addict.

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    "Wonderful"

    I have to add my voice to the other positive reviews of this audiobook. I found it very engrossing. Considering how long ago it was written, it has really stood the test of time. One of my all time favourite post-apocalyptic novels.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-30-10
    12-30-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Alas Babylon"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 12-15-13
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 12-15-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Sets the standard for the genre - period."

    This book popped up on my radar from time to time but because of some of the descriptions it never made it into my cart until a reviewer I follow mentioned it, so, needing something to download I half-heartedly put it in my cart. I have never been so surprised by a story in all the audio books I have listened to, it is simply wonderful.
    A lot, or overwhelmingly most, of the books that delve into this subject matter are not written all that well, some contain important messages, like One Second After, which it turns out the author of which was influenced by this book, but by and large the writing is not the strong point of the books in this category. This book is a game changer, it is written with brilliance - the dialog, the characters, the plot and circumstance encompassed within the covers of this book are excellent, it set a standard for literature that has not been met since in this genre, and I like and read a lot of stories in this genre. This is an exciting well laid out story with a message everyone should be exposed to, as even though it was written in the '50's it is still as relevant today as it was then, maybe even more so.
    The narration is also excellent, it does not get better as a match and enhanced the experience I am sure.
    Highly, Highly recommended. I should have listened to this book a long time ago.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Boston, MA USA 08-13-12
    David Boston, MA USA 08-13-12 Member Since 2009

    eDave93

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    "Classic post nuclear Apocalypse story"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ProbablyNotBob United States 06-10-11
    ProbablyNotBob United States 06-10-11 Member Since 2010

    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.

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    "An aging gem."

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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