Customer Reviews for

Alas, Babylon

Average Rating 4.5
( 166 )
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(100)

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(9)

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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

12 out of 12 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 February 19, 2015

    Pierce

    Her conner welcome

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  • Posted January 9, 2015

    I Also Recommend:

    A sometimes forgotten mini masterpiece. No there aren't any zom

    A sometimes forgotten mini masterpiece. No there aren't any zombies (love zombies) or crazed animals but they are not needed. It's about our humanity and the importance of relationships and not giving up and million other tiny but significant things. Read this book.

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

    Posted June 11, 2014

    A classic of the post-apocalypse genre

    Although dated in some regards, this tale of surviving post-apocalypse is compelling and very relatable. Frank forsaw some realities of the future with astonishing clarity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2014

    My favorite

    I haven't read this version. I have the paperback copy and it is such a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    Alas babylon

    Read first time 30years ago loved it then love it no .stirs the imagination

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    Scary and Eye opening

    Amazing that something that was written in the 1950's could still ring true in today's times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    hey

    The novel, Alas Babylon, written by Pat Frank details an alternate outcome to the Cold War confrontation with Soviet Russia, in which nuclear war is not just a terrible nightmare, but a reality that the survivors of the nuclear bombardments face every day. The novel centers around a resident of Florida named Randy Bragg, who lives alone in the fictional town of Fort Repose. He has a brother, Colonel Mark Bragg, who after an accidental discharge of an American missile that hits a Soviet arms cache, decides to send his family to his brother in order to keep them safe in the out of the way town of Fort Repose. His prediction unfortunately proves prophetic as the soviets launch a preemptive nuclear strike aimed at destroying all major military bases, cities, and places of importance in America. Randy¿s ¿family¿ is awakened by a shaking, which just so happens to be Tampa being incinerated. As the day goes on news gradually flows in about the destruction of other cities through the inconsistent and often faulty CONELRAD system. As the weeks go on and no more bombs drop or any help comes the Bragg family and some of the other farmers living on the outskirts of the town band together in order to make a new life for themselves. One of the problems that Randy¿s new society has is that when the bombs hit, many criminals escaped from prison in the ensuing chaos, while other law abiding citizens turned criminal to support themselves and their families. When a group of criminals begins to prey on the town of Fort Repose, finally murdering the parents of two children, Randy uses his past standing as a member of the U.S. Marshalls to form a police force in order to hunt the criminals down. In the course of battle, one of Randy¿s good friends is shot and killed, however the encounter is not without positives, because as a result of the battle Randy is put into the position of nominal town leader. Eventually an army helicopter doing a flyby spots the town and lands to see if anyone is still alive. The man in the helicopter is randy¿s old friend Paul Hart. He tells Randy that Florida is a contaminated zone meaning no unscreened travel in or out and that it is quarantined. The new capitol is Denver and there is still no power or any other utilities in the U.S. anywhere. Finally Randy asks Paul what happened with the war, Paul replies ¿Oh we won we bombed them off the face of the earth, not that it matters¿ and so it ends.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2008

    Don't loan this book away!

    Few books will I read more than once. I have read Alas, Babylon three times-so far! I recommend this book to my friends seeking a stimulating read. After I have finished the book, I am still in it and its in me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2008

    Sweet!

    This book was awesome! I would have to say this is one of the best books I've ever read, and I was sad when it ended. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good survival or apocalypse story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2008

    Still Great after 30 Years!

    After reading Alas, Babylon in Jr. High, I finally found my own copy years later at a rummage sale. I continue to read and enjoy it 30+ years later. The book depicts what it was like growing up with the threat of nuclear war with the USSR.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    Timeless classic

    i read this book 23 years ago as a required read. I loved it then and love it even more now. This book could be a survival manual, so keep it close by you might need it some day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2007

    WOW!

    Scary and entertaining, and just as relevent today as it was then. Take the time to read the authors bio at then end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2007

    A reviewer

    I was happy to discover this books as still in print. My copy from 40 years ago had fallen apart. After reading some of the reviews that is was dated, think of the information it gives for living through a flu pandemic or when we overload the U.S. power grid and we have to go back to pre-technology era. Ask why you hate a book, it gives you insight into how you think about solving problems.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2007

    Couldn't stop reading

    A little slow at first, however read on because it picks up and becomes a book nothing short of an awesome read. Not only a story, but brings up the question, 'What if?' Jericho (CBS)is around the same idea, and is also highly recomended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2006

    Fabulous Book

    I had to read this book back in High School and loved it. In fact a couple years after I graduated I really wanted to read it again so I found and bought it. I now read it at least once a year. I started watching the show Jericho on CBS this year and all I could think was 'I'm watching Alas Babylon'. Love the book, definite must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2006

    Classic

    This novel is nothing short of brilliant. Part story, part warning, part survival manual. Absolutely breath-taking in its audacity. If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic literature, this is a must.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2006

    One of the best!

    Alas, Babylon is one of my all-time favorite books now! Even though I'm into fantasy fiction, this book definitely grabbed my attention! It was so eye-opening, because really: who knows what tomorrow will bring? I don't know if I could go on like Randy and the rest of the characters did! The book really opens you up to a lot of situations you wouldn't even think about. Who would think of needles and thread as a necessity, or how about how difficult it is to live without salt? Well, the people in this book surely learn that and many other things! An exciting tale of friendship, loyalty, and hope, and a powerful novel displaying the positive effects of banning together in times of trouble.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2006

    CONSUMING!

    One of the best science fiction novels of all time. I first read the book in High School as an assigned reading some 15 years ago. Since then I have read the book every year in the summer as it is my all time favorite. The colorful characters you can never forget as well as their neverending inventive ways to deal with life after a nuclear holocaust. I highly recommend this book to any apocalyptic fan, and to instructors for students. Truly a classic you will never forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2006

    An Amazing Piece Of Literature

    This timeless classic of how we, as people, have an undying need to survive. It seemed like none of the charaters were static, and it definitely showed almost directly after the Day. They all reacted so realistically to the event, and this really impressed me. What also took me by surprise was how risky some of the material was, especially how the author subtlely wrote how virtually unprepared America was for these kinds of attacks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2006

    Surprise!

    When I read a book pusblished in 1959 I expect a somewhat degraded theme, or one that is no longer relavant. This time I was pleasantly surprised because Pat Frank wrote with a constantly relavent idea- that human society is vulnerable to the loss of technology. The characters were well-drawn, and story line continued to evolve with excitement and anticipation. I was 15 when the book was written and my only wish is that I took so long to discover it, and the author.

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