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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

What listeners say about Z for Zachariah

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great dark book with an optimistic protagonist

I first listened to this book in 6th grade. It may not be appropriate for all adolescents with out parental guidance.

As an adult experiencing this story with many more years of perspective. I admire this well crafted story, excellent writing, and the hope evoked with the words of this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

7 people found this helpful

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We love this book!

This is a great story on how to survive off the grid. I love how the author includes so much detail on how Ann made life work so well. I've always wished there was a second book.

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Good read But

I saw the movie that was based on this book. And this is one time where I liked the movie better. As the book went on I lost all sympathy for the Heroine. She had several chances to resolve the situation but took the Woosie way out. I hated the ending which I will not destroy for you here. I hate that this weak girl left things as they were and let a total Dooshbag win.

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powerful Story

A classic post apocalyptic story, published in the 1970s. Teenager Ann survives a nuclear winter living in a valley that shielded her and the family farm from radioactive waves. The last one alive, her world turns into a nightmare when Dr. Loomis arrives in a protective suit. Driven by power, a cat and mouse game erupts as Loomis tries to capture Ann, who evades him. YA fiction with a chilling sense of realism and potential horror of humanity.

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Diary format reading just like The Martian.

I highly recommend this book as the narrator guides you through her point of view on a series of events. The novel takes place during post apocalyptic times. A harrowing tale of loneliness and desperation. Diary style reading is amazing, really good story.

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Sad

This book made me sat and think about not having paerents and getting ingered to much so I hated this book

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great plot pretty firm story telling

was good writing up to the last chapter
heard his wife wrote that after he died

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favorite book

One of my favorite stories that was even better in audio version. This story makes me think about the what ifs.