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)
Top 3rd...all around good book
One of the first appocalyptic books...1959!
Great reader!...is he still alive?
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.
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.
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.
It was sure a pleasure to hear a book of this caliber without crass language. More please.
I liked that this book and all that happened in it was quite realistic.
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.
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.
AKA King Caspian II of Veritasia. (507) 344-0981
I have listened to this book several times now and enjoyed it every time.
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..
Yes. It did take more than one sitting to get through,
Mature themes. Rated PG-13.
Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy
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,
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.
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.
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.
I feel like the story and narration came together as a real great experience.
An excellent story especially for those having experienced the real threat of nuclear war in the 50-60's.
All the characters became favorites because of the length of time covered by the story.
The fishing scene when the secret of true fishing was revealed to an unlikely character.
When anyone good died in the book it almost felt like you would truly miss them and for the bad ones you cheered.
It's worth listening to again and periodically hereafter.
I took a "chance" on this book on a recommendation. I can't believe I've never read it. Wonderful characters, story, performance.
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.
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...
Don't usually listen to him - but he did an excellent job.
Love, love, loved this book.
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.
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.
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