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.
"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)
I am a big fan of "after the blast" novels--who would survive, what would be valuable, what would lose its worth, and what skills would make successful survivors? This book addresses all these concepts, and offers interesting and convincing answers. I loved the idea that the town library became the place everyone turned for both amusement and information. It isn't too hard to get past the fact that the "Ruskies" are the big enemy and that computers and most of the electronic devices we all take for granted don't even exist, but the cliched roles assigned to African Americans and women become tedious. Well read by Will Patton, and helped to pass the time enjoyably on a long car trip.
I have to admit that I am not a fan of Will Patton as a narrator. He did not hold my interest in James Burke's books, and I find it difficult to listen to him with this book. As for the story: I found it difficult to continue to listen at times simply because I did not feel that the author did a great job of developing any of the characters. I never felt connected to any of them. The ideas are interesting and it does make you think about preparedness for such a disaster, but that is all I felt from it. Disappointed with this selection.
When the lady's cat ate her parrot and this was supposed to foretell the imminent breakdown of civil society, I knew we were no longer in the realm of great literature.
I found this survivalist tale amusing enough, but in a dime store sort of way. One thing, though, that was interesting about this book I thought was the way it brought back the feeling of the Cold War. It's a feeling that's not so easy to recapture in our post 9/11 society, where terrorism as replaced Soviet bombs as the fear most pressing upon the tranquility of our daily lives.
Audible recommended this book based on a high rating I gave "The Road." Except for the very similar premise, this couldn't have been more different. Problems that come with living after nuclear war-- shoot! Why did we buy all that ice cream?-- are predictably solved. The characters are paper-thin, and slanted slightly towards racist and sexist stereotypes. Waste of a credit!
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