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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 (4630 )
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  •  
    joe Merredin, Australia 06-25-12
    joe Merredin, Australia 06-25-12
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    "Realistic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Alas, Babylon to be better than the print version?

    This man has a very good insight. I have read a lot of post war books, and without a doubt, this one beats the lot. No Heros, no wanna be's and very practical.Even though written in the late 60s this book still relates to modern times, This should be compulsory reading for all high schools.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Alas, Babylon?

    The smallest things you don't think of, are the most important.(eg) Salt over Liquor or coffee.


    Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Going to download the rest of his books

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Morgan Tennesse 06-23-12
    W. Morgan Tennesse 06-23-12 Member Since 2005

    I favor history, non-fiction, lectures, and the occasional purely fictitious work. I also listen to many children's books with my family.

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    "Great story - somewhat abrupt finale."
    What other book might you compare Alas, Babylon to and why?

    I was recently on a post-apocalyptic book run and listened to Earth Abides, The Road and Alas Babylon. I enjoyed each of these books a great deal. Each is different in a number of ways, but have the same general set of circumstances that the characters are faced with.


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

    The narration was excellent. I felt the narration suited the book and the pacing was great. I often find either the voice or the pacing a probable step-up from my own silent reading, in this case the pacing was the primary benefit to me even though the voice is very good.


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

    I really didn't have any extreme reaction. I found the tale to be enjoyable but it didn't have the impact of Earth Abides or The Road.


    Any additional comments?

    Glad I listened - well worth my time and credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Merle West Harrison, IN, United States 06-19-12
    Merle West Harrison, IN, United States 06-19-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Unexpected Pleasure"

    I hesitated buying Alas, Babylon, because of the science fiction description. But, how could I go wrong with Will Patton reading it? I really enjoyed the book and will listen to it again. The things I was afraid would happen didn't, usually....just like life! Good book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula ATLANTA, GA, United States 06-18-12
    Paula ATLANTA, GA, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Transported back to a time"
    What did you love best about Alas, Babylon?

    It reminded me of the early sixties when we were on the brink of nuclear war...or so it seemed to a 10 year old every single minute. There was a slice of southerness and the awful state of race relations and then how people came together. I hadn't expected to get caught up in the book and was delighted that I did.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tegan Bonnet Bay, Australia 06-05-12
    Tegan Bonnet Bay, Australia 06-05-12
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    "An eye opener to what might be..."
    Any additional comments?

    A great book, some slow bits and some lost time, but over all I found it informative, entertaining and a great listen... Walked away contimplating if I would be able to survive such a disaster...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlina Middleton, WI, United States 06-03-12
    Marlina Middleton, WI, United States 06-03-12 Member Since 2014

    Neena

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    "Alas, Babylon!"

    When I was in Jr. High School, I had to read Alas, Babylon for my Advanced English class. I don't think anyone else was as interested in it as I was but I found that from the moment I was brought into the kitchen of Florence, the Western Union operator I was hooked. I read it, wrote my paper, got and "A" and moved on.

    Recently, I was having a conversation with my husband, we were talking about the best science fiction we ever read. I remember Alas, Babylon, what stuck in my head was the fact that they were overrun with armadillos because of the lack of traffic and how I could sympathize with Randy being at a loss of what to do to prepare.

    I selected this audio book because Will Patton is one of my favorite book narrators, he is from Charleston and has that pleasant lilt that I always liked when I saw him in movies. His voice is very soothing and at the same time he manages to give different voices to different characters. For example, his depiction on "Preacher" Henry, sounds just like every old school African American Baptist "fire and brimstone"preacher I ever heard, and I have heard more than a few.

    I am so happy to have found that once again this book had me enthralled from the outset because it manages to show a snapshot in time. 1959 in the South, and it manages to tell the story of how people begin to overlook the outward features of someone, namely their race and ban together to make their life as pleasant as possible. And it does this without being too preachy about it. I admit that the points that made me cry in Jr. High School, also found me emotional again as an adult. And I still find Missouri's dance waxing of the floor a humorous moment before disaster strikes.

    I don't want to overwhelm or spoil this novel for you but I will say that it is a great audible purchase, and I will more than likely listen to it again in future. Will Patton is great and his voice adds to the beautifully tragic tale of a small town in Florida and how it copes with events after "The Day".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 05-29-12
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 05-29-12 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "This is why we had bomb drills in grade school..."

    and worried so much about not having a bomb shelter in the back yard. I enjoyed The Road and The Second After, perhaps a little bit more than this one. However, it was interesting reading this theme in the 50-60's setting. I asked my husband how many bullets he has at 2 AM the night I was listening... and let him know he needs more... and a hand crank radio too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharron Robinvale, Australia 05-22-12
    Sharron Robinvale, Australia 05-22-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Well worth the money"

    Will Patton is a real story teller. I really enjoyed the storyline and would strongly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck Tweedy Jr. Lancaster, CA 05-08-12
    Chuck Tweedy Jr. Lancaster, CA 05-08-12 Member Since 2012
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    "My Favorite Novel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Alas, Babylon to be better than the print version?

    Just a new way to enjoy a wonderful classic


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Alas, Babylon?

    Randy Bragg realizing how unprepared he was.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when Malachi gets shot


    Any additional comments?

    I have been reading this once a year since I was 13 yrs old back in the 80's. The audio version just made it better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    january huntersville, NC, United States 05-08-12
    january huntersville, NC, United States 05-08-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read this book!"

    I read this book when I was 9 or 10. Too young to understand much about the world, but old enough to know about being afraid of bombs. This book stuck with me. I saw it at the bookstore recently and thought, "Wow, I should read that again." But I didn't buy it. Then I saw it on Audible and bought it right away.

    When I read it the first time, we were still living through the cold war, there were no cell phones and no laptops, so it seemed current. Reading it now, I had to laugh about how dependent we've become on our gadgets. I mean, in a few years kids won't even know what a telegram was.

    The attitude toward women and minorities is hard to adjust to. But when you think about it, he was really progressive and forward thinking, realizing that a disaster of that sort would bring everyone together, regardless of pre-war thinking.

    I would recommend this book to anyone.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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