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Alas, Babylon Audiobook

Alas, Babylon

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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 (7336 )
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4.5 (6039 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jay 01-13-15
    Jay 01-13-15 Member Since 2004
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    "Great 1950s View of Nuclear War"

    I enjoyed this very vivid description of how people who survived a nuclear war in an rural area could have created new lives and moved forward. This is significant since I think in those days so much attention to paid to how many megatons of bombs each side had that survival after the war was not a seriously researched subject. The characters are well rounded in a 1950s style (heroic men, women who cooked and cleaned) and the performance is very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 01-11-15
    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 01-11-15 Member Since 2013

    Love my family...along with guitars, road bikes, cameras, and a good book!

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    "WOW!! Alas, Babylon left me breathless!"

    I have read a lot of books that deal with the "end of days" scenario. Book upon book about zombies, nuclear destruction, and virus after virus that annihilates the human race. I like them all, to some degree or another, and so the fact that I enjoyed this one is not surprising.

    There are a few notable differences in this book, however. First of all, this book takes a very realistic approach. The author tried to put forth this story in a way of how this kind of situation could really go down. That is very enjoyable. Second, this book was written in 1959!! Man, I had no idea. This author was way ahead of their time! At the very beginning of the cold war, and not even close to the apocalypse craze that has hit us today. You also didn't have to worry about how this scenario effected technology, because there wasn't any! That left the story able to focus on the people. How they interacted, and reacted, to what was happening to them. LOVED that angle. So much cleaner!

    Lastly, I have to say how much I LOVED Will Patton's narration. I am a huge believer that the narrator makes up as much of the enjoyment of the audible book as the writer, and Will Patton may be my new favorite. I have listened to 3 books narrated by him now, and each time I am simply blown away. This is his best, so far, in my opinion. It just couldn't have been narrated any better. BRAVO!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david 01-06-15
    david 01-06-15
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    "Nuclear holocaust was more boring than I expected"

    Meh. It was ok but I wouldn't rush out and recommend it to people I like. But you might like it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Courtney Ashland, Oregon 12-15-14
    Courtney Ashland, Oregon 12-15-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Pulled me in and didn't let me go!"

    Loved every aspect of this book. Great story, character, and narration. Will Patton is one of my favorites!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy K. 12-04-14
    Nancy K. 12-04-14
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    "I Don't Know How I Got Through It!"
    What would have made Alas, Babylon better?

    I hate to speak disparagingly about writers because, as someone who wants to be one myself, I understand the blood, sweat and tears that goes into producing a single sentence of good prose. The WRITING was excellent. The story and the pacing, however, just didn't work for me. Far too slow and I couldn't really understand the greater picture. I love anything post-apocalyptic but I don't know... this just dragged and didn't work for me. At all. The writing was really delicious, though.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Pat Frank again?

    Probably not.


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

    I hate this question.


    What character would you cut from Alas, Babylon?

    Helen, probably... she was useless and annoying.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Fox 11-26-14
    Paul Fox 11-26-14
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    "A solid telling of classic apocalypse fiction"
    What made the experience of listening to Alas, Babylon the most enjoyable?

    The voice narration was very well done. The story was good, if a bit exagerated and naive in places.


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

    I would loosley compare it to The Earth Abides in that they're both post-apocalypse fiction and deal with the troubles of rebuilding a community of sorts. In Alas Babylon, they're quite a bit more restricted in movement due to the radioactive areas around them. Other than that, they both deal with having to make do without modern conveniences, though they do try to continue on with them as long as possible. Both books mildly address a return to primitive ways.


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

    I haven't listened to any of his other performances, but I did like this one quite a bit. He did a very good job developing voices for the various characters in the story and it was easy to keep track of who was who for the most part. Female characters are always a problem for male narrators and this performance suffered in that regard also.


    Any additional comments?

    A classic post-apocalyptic tale with a very solid voice performance. I would highly recomend this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobby 10-27-14
    Bobby 10-27-14
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    "Awesome"

    Never heard of the book before 2014.

    Very well written book and even better performance by Patton.

    I look forward to hearing more books narrated by Patton.

    Pleasantly surprised by a book I probably should have known about but never have heard of.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mettaphorica Australia 10-23-14
    Mettaphorica Australia 10-23-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Alas, Ending"

    I picked this book because it was one that was in the highly recommended list (I wouldn't normally do this, but decided to try something different). I sort of wish I hadn't done that.

    On the postive side, it was very well-narrated, which is always a big deal with me, and a theme in all of my reviews. As such, the story was compelling and kept moving you along.

    I won't go into a synopsis of the story, as this can be found in many other reviews, but I personally found the ending a bit predictable. This conclusion is probably a result of the passage of time - when it was first published, I'm sure this book was ground-breaking and considered in a class of its own. However, since its initial publication, time and technology and brilliant story-telling has seen swathes of similar, or better, stories based on the main theme - a disaster befalls the world and a few have to survive. I guess I've been exposed to some of these, wittingly or not - and so as a child of the modern age and modern entertainment, Alas, Babylon left me feeling, "Alas, Ending" for it's all too easy predictability (And no, I'm not going to tell you how it ends...)

    Still, I'm sure it was a masterpiece of its time and many will enjoy it now if for only this reason ("it was written then, and could still apply now!") which is why I guess people still love it so much. I just blame my birthplace in history for my failure to find a satisfying conclusion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tofuanator 10-09-14
    Tofuanator 10-09-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Two words Will Patton"
    Where does Alas, Babylon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was one of the listens where for me the narrator made the book for me.


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    All of it. He is amazing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Investowiz 10-05-14
    Investowiz 10-05-14 Member Since 2008

    Investowiz

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    "Chilling Story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    A little out of date as the story was written in 1959. Still, it likely portrayed a realistic picture of a US A-bombed by the Russians.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Realistic


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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