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Publisher's Summary

Something terrible has finally happened. A nuclear holocaust has destroyed civilization. For one whole year, 16-year-old Ann Burden has lived alone on her family’s farm, somehow sheltered from the radiation in the valley. As she hears the final radio station going off the air, she believes she is the only person left alive. But when Ann sees smoke from a faraway campfire, she knows there is at least one other survivor. Soon an incredible figure wearing a green suit and carrying an oxygen tank appears on the road. With the intruder in her valley, she makes a chilling discovery: There are worse things than being alone.

Newbery Award-winning author Robert C. O’Brien won an Edgar Award for this suspense-filled science fiction tale of a young woman determined to survive on her own terms. Narrator Christina Moore places you on the scene with Ann in a strange world with an unknown future.

©1974 Sally Conly (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting but a bit troubling

This is an interesting though somewhat depressing story, though it tries to end on a hopeful note. The main character is very compelling, and easy to care for. But the scenario is strangely bleak and the situations she finds herself in are painful to experience. It is a survival story, a story of perserverance despite miserable, hopeless situation, and a strange comment on human nature in some ways.

It is odd to class this as a kid story. I think older teens might be appropriate but I don't know if I would say it is right for anyone 13 or under. It deals with some troubling stuff - attempted rape of a young teen, a murder attempt on the same teen by an older man, etc. Not to say that kids can't take it, but it just seems a bit mature in some of its material for children, in my opinion, so parents are warned and may want to listen first.

THe main character feels very real and human and well developed and it is easy to care about her. That said, the other main character, the man who comes into her valley is a bit dispicable and frustrating and her reaction to him is at times frustrating. She has more patience and goodness and strength in her than many would, I think, though it is hard to say as we don't live in a post apocolyptic world where almost no people are left.

Overall, it was a sad but interesting story, and her plight was engaging and she was very likable so easy to follow... But as I said, the material is too mature for kids I think, some of the relationship is odd and frustrating and hard to understand and despite its hopeful note at the end, overall it is a bleak and sad story... Still it was entertaining and I think worth a listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Loved it when I was 13, not so much 30 years later

After seeing the movie recently (much changed from the book), I thought I'd reread a book I had loved as teenager. I'm not sure why I loved it then. Didn't I think it strange that a 15-yr-old was thinking about marrying Mr. Loomis (she never calls him by his first name), a 30-something MAN she didn't even know? Wasn't I freaked out by his actions (including trying to rape her)? Didn't I find her actions somewhat ridiculous? Apparently I didn't.

Maybe some books one should not revisit.

As for the audio narrator, initially she sounded like a 60-yr-old to me. I got used to her and she began to seem a little younger sounding but I didn't like her voice or performance.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Eye Catching Book

I love this book it takes you to another world as you read it has fighting escaping multiple climaxes and I think you should read it too!

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  • Story

Post-apocalyptic Story of Survival

If you could sum up Z for Zachariah in three words, what would they be?

Invader ruins survivor's utopia.

What other book might you compare Z for Zachariah to and why?

Many post-apocalyptic stories of survival involve large groups of zombies, which ruins the stories for me. The conflict in this book, in contrast, is a single, human invader -- making the story more interesting.

Which scene was your favorite?

How the girl lives peacefully on her own before the invader arrives.

Any additional comments?

I read this book as a kid and loved it. Recently, I listened to it with my own kids during a long road trip. We all were riveted, while also frustrated that the invader had to shatter the girl's post-apocalyptic utopia.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Well Done!

It's a lot different than the movie! It's better. The plot differences may be spoilers. The narration's great too, and you actually learn the reason for the title. Check it out!

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book bad ending

This is a great book but the ending was tearable. Just leaves you hanging. He should of wrote a second book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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So many missed opptunities

Just not what I expected. I think there were many opportunities missed to make this a fabulous book. I hate to be left hanging. I think the female character was amazing, that part was certainly well written...always understanding her thought process.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very well done

I very much enjoyed the audible version of this story. The performance was spot on.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful