Customer Reviews for

Alas, Babylon

Average Rating 4.5
( 160 )
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5 Star

(97)

4 Star

(41)

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(7)

2 Star

(5)

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(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

One of the greatest books ever written

My father introduced me to this book about a year ago, and I have found it so engaging that I have already read it three times. After writing this review, however, I have a strong feeling that I will be tempted to start over again.

The book takes place in a very re...
My father introduced me to this book about a year ago, and I have found it so engaging that I have already read it three times. After writing this review, however, I have a strong feeling that I will be tempted to start over again.

The book takes place in a very realistic (especially now) post-nuclear war scenario, written amidst the paranoia associated with the peak of the cold war. It has a wide variety of well, rounded characters that fit their roles exquisitely. After the Russians bomb a small city in Florida, Randy Bragg, his neighbors, and his brothers wife and children must show that the human spirit is able to endure even the most horrible of atrocities, which can be the only thing used to describe the tragedy of nuclear war, a very realistic possibility, especially today.
It is obvious, from this book, that Mr. Frank was extremely politically active. The attention to detail that he gave to making the nuclear war scenario realistic is almost unparalleled. All elements were in concert with everything else, and the book meshed beautifully. As a side note, he made excellent use of the third-person omnipotent point of view by accurately, and effectively giving us a view in to the troubled minds of the protagonist, and even many side-characters. It's shockingly realistic, and shows many different interpretations of the human condition, exemplified by the characters reactions. The protagonist (Randy) shows leadership by enforcing Marshall Law and regulating the city, and bringing his small community of neighbors out of the rapidly spiraling chaos of the squalid, vile, main city, and in to a state of relative prosperity.

If I didn't know any better, I would have assumed this was fact. It was so epically written, well thought out, and realistic that to not have assumed it had really happened would be the act of a mad man. It's enthralling, so much so that every time I put it down, I would always leave my finger on the exact word I was on so that I could begin reading again as soon as I possibly could. "Alas, Babylon" is incredibly addictive, and realistic. It shows how the human spirit is able to overcome human error. Everyone who reads this book will undoubtedly have a greater understanding, if not, a greater appreciation, for the very real possibility on nuclear war, and the genuine effects it could have on indisputably real people.

Pat Frank is an extraordinary author, avid politician, and a prophet, in the true sense of the word (someone who tells uncomfortable truths or truths that are not easily accepted). His book, no, his gift to the world, is one of the best I have ever read, or recommended to anyone. An extremely wonderful book, a classic, and a must read. It has stood the test of time, and remains just as wonderful a book as it was when it was written decades ago. The reality of it may have even increased.

posted by TheUbermensch on April 17, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Do not buy this version!!!

This version is not the original book. Huge and VERY IMPORTANT sections of the original story have been removed. The rest is poor edited. Pat Frank would be rolling in his grave. Whoever it was who decided to offer this awful rendition has certainly done so only for th...
This version is not the original book. Huge and VERY IMPORTANT sections of the original story have been removed. The rest is poor edited. Pat Frank would be rolling in his grave. Whoever it was who decided to offer this awful rendition has certainly done so only for the money

posted by 17592845 on July 10, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    Do not buy this version!!!

    This version is not the original book. Huge and VERY IMPORTANT sections of the original story have been removed. The rest is poor edited. Pat Frank would be rolling in his grave. Whoever it was who decided to offer this awful rendition has certainly done so only for the money

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of the greatest books ever written

    My father introduced me to this book about a year ago, and I have found it so engaging that I have already read it three times. After writing this review, however, I have a strong feeling that I will be tempted to start over again.

    The book takes place in a very realistic (especially now) post-nuclear war scenario, written amidst the paranoia associated with the peak of the cold war. It has a wide variety of well, rounded characters that fit their roles exquisitely. After the Russians bomb a small city in Florida, Randy Bragg, his neighbors, and his brothers wife and children must show that the human spirit is able to endure even the most horrible of atrocities, which can be the only thing used to describe the tragedy of nuclear war, a very realistic possibility, especially today.
    It is obvious, from this book, that Mr. Frank was extremely politically active. The attention to detail that he gave to making the nuclear war scenario realistic is almost unparalleled. All elements were in concert with everything else, and the book meshed beautifully. As a side note, he made excellent use of the third-person omnipotent point of view by accurately, and effectively giving us a view in to the troubled minds of the protagonist, and even many side-characters. It's shockingly realistic, and shows many different interpretations of the human condition, exemplified by the characters reactions. The protagonist (Randy) shows leadership by enforcing Marshall Law and regulating the city, and bringing his small community of neighbors out of the rapidly spiraling chaos of the squalid, vile, main city, and in to a state of relative prosperity.

    If I didn't know any better, I would have assumed this was fact. It was so epically written, well thought out, and realistic that to not have assumed it had really happened would be the act of a mad man. It's enthralling, so much so that every time I put it down, I would always leave my finger on the exact word I was on so that I could begin reading again as soon as I possibly could. "Alas, Babylon" is incredibly addictive, and realistic. It shows how the human spirit is able to overcome human error. Everyone who reads this book will undoubtedly have a greater understanding, if not, a greater appreciation, for the very real possibility on nuclear war, and the genuine effects it could have on indisputably real people.

    Pat Frank is an extraordinary author, avid politician, and a prophet, in the true sense of the word (someone who tells uncomfortable truths or truths that are not easily accepted). His book, no, his gift to the world, is one of the best I have ever read, or recommended to anyone. An extremely wonderful book, a classic, and a must read. It has stood the test of time, and remains just as wonderful a book as it was when it was written decades ago. The reality of it may have even increased.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    This is one of my favorite books. I have read it a dozen times!

    This is one of my favorite books. I have read it a dozen times! A quarter of the book is missing!! The editing is horrible!!! DO NOT BUY THIS RENDITION!!!!!!!!!!!!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2001

    Great Book!!

    I had to read this for my freshman honors english class and the i thought it was a wonderful book!! i would definitly recommend reading this book, and i am not a person who likes to read either

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Terrific!

    This is a classic story that still holds relevance and stirs the heart of the reader. Alas, Babylon gives a glimpse into a what if future where the cold war escalated to nuclear war resulting in terrible and terrifying consequences. The undeniable appeal of the story lies with the main character. He is so vivid and real that you can almost reach out to touch him through the pages. His struggle to survive and protect his family and adapt to a horrifying new world is vividly portrayed. The greatest message within the book is hope. Hope for the reader that such a world could never exist and hope for the fictional characters as they live through adversity.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    I've read this book more times than any other

    An at least once a year read for me, this is a book that both saddens me and at the same time builds my faith in the ultimate ability of humankind to adapt and overcome.
    I grew up in Central Florida, including several years in the (then) small town of Pinecastle mentioned in the book as Randy Bragg leaves his meeting with his brother at McCoy Air Force Base. By the way, if you've ever flown into Orlando Internatinal Airport on you r way to Disney Land you might have noticed the airport ID code on your luggage is MCO from the time when Orlando International was actually McCoy Air Force Base.

    In addition to the central theme of survival in a post-atomic war setting, the 1950's social norms are an eye-opening reality check.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2007

    A Tale of Survival

    I read this book many years ago as a teenager, and had the chance recently to re-read this book. It is still as powerful today as it was when I was younger. Having grown up during the ' Cold War ' era this book is a scary look at what could have been real life instead of fiction. The setting for this drama is Florida, and now that I live in this state, the story really hits close to home. This book is a classic, if you have not read this book , you are missing a real treat !!!! If you are a fan of the television show JERICHO, you will want to add this book to your collection.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    This was a great story! I've read it before and I'm not sure abo

    This was a great story! I've read it before and I'm not sure about sections missing from the original but I would believe it, the story seemed to wrap up pretty quickly. The editing is awful though, so many wrong letters or words that just aren't right! Not bad for 2 bucks but I wouldn't pay more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    A real classic in the disaster/survival genre! Must read for al

    A real classic in the disaster/survival genre! Must read for all fans of these kinds of books!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A Classic!

    I first read this book in 10th grade as part of our required reading. I have read this book at least once a year every year since then and I am now in my mid-forties! I can recite most of the book by heart and in my mind the characters are real people. This is a great look at the human will to survive and triumph. It is a story about humanity and inhumanty, love and apathy, brotherhood, friendship, teamwork and family. Mr. Frank's characters are so real and his descriptions of central Florida so accurate that I almost feel like I am there. I visit Florida's Space Coast every year and driving by Patrick Airforce Base always makes me smile because it reminds me of this great book. This one is on my Top 10 list of favorite reads!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Good read. It makes you think.

    This story is a good example of the kinds of things you might be faced with should there be a breakdown of society. This breakdown might occur from enemy attack (as in this story), economical meltdown, a natural disaster, or a combination of many things. NOW is the time to get prepared for any such emergency. Randy Bragg, the hero of this story, did not have the internet available to him for reference. Neither will we, once the disaster is underway. Research now!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    thought provoking

    Thought provoking and frightening, very real. Great read. I couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Great Book

    The only reason why I take oof a star is because there is some bad language in it though seem to remember that it was kind of smattered.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    Relevant even today

    I read this book when I was in school...liked it then, but in rereading it 20 years later I like it even more. It is shockingly relevant despite the era in which it was written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Classic sci fi of the post war atomic age

    Must read !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    One of the best!

    This is one of my favorite books. Everyone should read it. I was so happy when it was finally released on the nook.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    Good book, but nook version has problems

    I just read this on my Nook - the book was great, but it was FULL of typos...probably from when they converted it to digital format. Not a huge deal, but not good considering how much it cost. Just order a used copy on amazon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    Great book

    I read this book for high school. I usually dont like the books we read but this one was great. Dont listen to the negative reviews.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    I read this book when I was in High School years ago. I loved i

    I read this book when I was in High School years ago. I loved it so much that I went out and bought the book. I still have it to this day 25 years later!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2012

    This is a "don't miss" for sure...

    I first read this book in 1971, in my 11th grade English Literature class. At that time it was required reading--I loved it then and just recently bought it and have devoured it again. I shared it with my sister and she LOVES it. A great story!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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