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Alas, Babylon Audiobook

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 (6482 )
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4.5 (5250 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Maineac 05-01-14
    Maineac 05-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Time well spent"
    Where does Alas, Babylon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 3rd...all around good book


    What did you like best about this story?

    One of the first appocalyptic books...1959!


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

    Great reader!...is he still alive?


    Any additional comments?

    Great book to start with to get your mind into prepping mode. Other books can contain too much reality and cause a would be prepper to be paralyzed with inaction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Hatfield Sierra Vista, AZ United States 04-04-14
    Jane Hatfield Sierra Vista, AZ United States 04-04-14
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    21
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    "Superb"
    Would you listen to Alas, Babylon again? Why?

    Yes. It would be like going back into my memories and experiencing it again with old, treasured friends. The characters are so real. Although the story line is tragic in many ways, it is filled with hope, faith, courage - a genuinely uplifting book.


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

    Will Patton is an extraordinarily talented narrator/actor. I have listened to his performances of James Lee Burke's books, but Alas, Babylon, has to be my favorite. I believed each character as a unique person, and at the end of the book, I hated to say goodbye to each and every one. Only Will Patton (or perhaps George Guidall) can accomplish that in my opinion.


    Any additional comments?

    It was sure a pleasure to hear a book of this caliber without crass language. More please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bethany 02-28-14
    Bethany 02-28-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book, but felt too shallow overall"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that this book and all that happened in it was quite realistic.


    Any additional comments?

    After reading other post-apocalypse books such as The Stand, naturally this book felt very short and even a bit shallow. Events took place quickly and the story although good, never seemed to really break the surface. A good quick read, but not the enthralling story I was quite looking for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vic Cova Northridge, CA 02-02-14
    Vic Cova Northridge, CA 02-02-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Review from an audiobook noobie."

    I hope this review resonates for those who haven't been lifelong readers and/or are new to audiobooks. At 34, I am the picture of the guy who was raised on the original Nintendo and bought every new system thereafter, even up to the PS3. Now that I have children, I am beginning to understand the value of reading.

    I twice attempted to listen to 2 different audiobooks but had an incredibly hard time following through. I figured I wasn't built for listening. It wasn't until I got this book that I realized all it took was an engaging plot in combination with a good narrator to really be able to enjoy the story.

    Alas, Babylon had both. It really rekindled my interest in reading. If your like me and trying to engage yourself in storytelling for the first time, this book is a great place to start. I learned a great lesson also. Don't assume newer books will resonate better. This story was written so long ago and yet it feels like the author was writing based on current events.

    Im glad I took heed to the reviews and gave listening another try.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wolfspyder Makato MN USA 01-19-14
    wolfspyder Makato MN USA 01-19-14 Member Since 2016

    AKA King Caspian II of Veritasia. (507) 344-0981

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A "Classic" of the Nuclear Age"
    Where does Alas, Babylon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have listened to this book several times now and enjoyed it every time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's hard to reckon with the fact that this story is more than 50 years old. By today's standards, the idea that we could survive or "win" a nuclear exchange is probably the campiest notion or the one requiring the greatest suspension of disbelief, but when we get past that, the characters are finely and sympathetically drawn. I particularly appreciated the author's stance against racism which was apparent throughout..


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

    Yes. It did take more than one sitting to get through,


    Any additional comments?

    Mature themes. Rated PG-13.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 01-16-14
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 01-16-14 Member Since 2011

    Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Great story with superb narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Alas, Babylon to be better than the print version?

    The narration was perfect for this book. The whole time I was listening I was thinking that the author did a great job with the material,


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

    Funny you should ask because I just got done listening to 1225 Christmas Tree Ln Which is a cedar cove novel. It was about a community of people who helped each other get through difficult situations. This book was about how the community helped each other through hard times. This book was written in 1959 about nuclear war. The other one was just about what to do with 12 orphan puppies. They both had the same theme. Alas Babylon was obviously more intense because the stakes were higher.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the youngest member of the community asked the oldest member of the community for advise. They both were feeling helpless to contribute and they both found out they did have something to offer.


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

    There were a lot of parts that moved me.it was about surviving and their perseverance to carry on. The main character, especially, decided it is not going to end this way.


    Any additional comments?

    I feel like the story and narration came together as a real great experience.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer SC 01-06-14
    Amazon Customer SC 01-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A story for the ages, or at least from here on out"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    An excellent story especially for those having experienced the real threat of nuclear war in the 50-60's.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters became favorites because of the length of time covered by the story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The fishing scene when the secret of true fishing was revealed to an unlikely character.


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

    When anyone good died in the book it almost felt like you would truly miss them and for the bad ones you cheered.


    Any additional comments?

    It's worth listening to again and periodically hereafter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie Schneider TULSA, OK, US 01-04-14
    Annie Schneider TULSA, OK, US 01-04-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How Have I Missed This Book?"

    I took a "chance" on this book on a recommendation. I can't believe I've never read it. Wonderful characters, story, performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caren 01-04-14
    Caren 01-04-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    5
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    "Ignorance IS bliss!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to Alas, Babylon the most enjoyable?

    Wow! As a child of the '50's - '60's who had to hide under their school desk in preparation for a Russian nuclear attack, I was blown away by the storyline should an attack actually had occurred! This book has many memorable characters whose thoughts and actions had me on edge multiple times - from rooting for their survival to being terrified for them. This is sort of The Walking Dead experience, sans "walkers", but with a whole boatload of issues one cannot even contemplate in their attempt to survive a nuclear war from a small city in Florida. Most interesting, being written in the '50's, the author had some serious knowledge regarding civil preparation, military tactics and geopolitical going-ons.


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

    Too many to list...probably the way they used auto Engines to power the short wave radio (no Directv in 1959, or when the doctor was beaten by the highway men or...


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    Don't usually listen to him - but he did an excellent job.


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

    Both.


    Any additional comments?

    Love, love, loved this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dea Draper 12-29-13
    Dea Draper 12-29-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    211
    29
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    0
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    "Naive & Simplistic"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Even though briefly touched upon, the reaction of the surviving countries. This something I don't remember even considering in the 50's and would have liked this to have been more developed. This is the part of the book that inspired after thought for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I felt some things like the "hidden door" in the attic a bit too convenient when the same results could have been obtained in other ways. For me the invasion & multiplication of wildlife was too quick, and the effects of radiation (especially in birds for instance) unrealistic, considering the wide spread scope and nearness of the bombing. And really, how many people would load up on fresh cut meat instead of canned foods--especially those who had even a day ahead of everyone else to think? And his bother had suggested pending catastrophe months before. After all, this was the end of the fifties and there was a lot of family camping without electricity, discussion of home bomb shelters and how to stock them was prevalent, and as few as 15 years before a certain portion of the population still used "refrigerators" that we called "ice boxes" because--that's what we put in them to cool the food...ice. These abandoned boxes were prevalent during the end of the 40's and beginning 50's--people saw them, talked about them, reported deaths of children suffocating in them. Electrical outages were not uncommon either. My point is, someone his age with that exposure to the recent past & ongoing present, surely wouldn't have planned on electricity continuing to be available. These are not huge objections, but I found myself irritated on occasion throughout the book.

    The characters became a little more alive to me in about the middle of the book.

    I liked Will Patton's read.

    I found the book interesting, but would not go in my top 500, and it would not occur to me to recommend it to others even if they were asking about post-nuclear stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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