In the world’s upper hemisphere, only one small group has survived World War III: fourteen people, sheltered deep within a limestone mountain in Connecticut and with enough supplies and equipment to maintain their subsistence for upwards of two years. The group includes a forward-thinking millionaire and his family, a levelheaded Jewish scientist, a playboy, an aging African American servant and his daughter, a gigolo and the glamorous woman who has been his mistress, a beautiful Chinese girl, a young meter reader, two children, and a Japanese engineer. Fully aware of the outcome of the war that had raged briefly above them, the survivors seethe with hatred, fall into depression over their losses, rise to moments of superhuman bravery, and lapse into behavior that reflects their human weaknesses. Philip Wylie mercilessly predicts the inevitable end of a world that continues to function as selfishly and as barbarously as our own.
About the Author
The earliest books by Philip Wylie (1902–71) greatly influenced twentieth-century science fiction pulp magazines and comic books: The Savage Gentleman was the inspiration for Doc Savage, Gladiator for Superman, and When Worlds Collide for Flash Gordon. A prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction, Wylie left a legacy of hundreds of short stories, articles, serials, syndicated newspaper columns, novels, and works of social criticism.
Table of Contents
[no TOC; 15 numbered chapters]
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Triumph based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
This was an intense but fascinating read. Written at the height of the Cold War, there is a strong anti-Soviet sentiment that may be a turn-off for some readers. Some of the details are fascinating -- the items this man thought to stock his nuclear bunker with are just astounding (roller skates? really?) -- while other details related to the human response to a bombing are sensible but sickening. The suspense continues up to nearly the last page -- will the group survive and be rescued, or will they die in their shelter? For those who can handle the psychological baggage of reading about the destruction of the entire northern hemisphere, this is a recommended title.
I could not put this book down. The idea that the USSR would destroy the entire world including the USSR in order to rule the entire Southern hemisphere is chilling! The characters are well developed, the plot is riveting and realistic, the detail is graphic.
¿Triumph¿ is the latest addition to Bison¿s series entitled ¿Beyond Armageddon.¿ Devoted to reprinting science fiction and fantasy that deals with life after whatever ¿final battle¿ the authors choose, this series has returned a good deal of seminal work to print. It is an important and exciting part of modern publishing. Philip Wylie (1902-1971) is perhaps best remembered today for his ¿When Worlds Collide¿ (co-written with Edwin Balmer), also a part of the Bison series. Over the years, his somewhat erudite writing inspired a substantial portion of American popular culture. His ¿The Savage Gentleman¿ is generally considered the seed for Doc Savage, just as his ¿Gladiator¿ supposedly formed the idea behind Superman. Some writers have gone so far as to claim that Flash Gordon evolved from ¿When Worlds Collide.¿ ¿Triumph,¿ originally published in 1963, concerns World War III and its aftermath. At the time of its publication, atomic war was considered almost inevitable¿and somewhat immediate. Wylie¿s description of that war in ¿Triumph¿ remains horrifying and sobering. As does the core of the book, which has to do with how human nature adapts to its circumstances while remaining essentially the same. It is unfortunate, Wylie emphasizes, that the destructive side of human nature will remain intact. Wylie¿s mix of characters is somewhat forced, almost like a menu of a modern ¿politically correct¿ cast list. The 14 survivors of the war ¿ holed up inside a Connecticut mountain ¿ include representatives of several races and all the economic classes. But Wylie¿s fine-tuned sense of knowing exactly what he wants to say rescues the novel from its own clichés. Bison¿s series also contains Wylie¿s ¿The Disappearance¿ and ¿Gladiator.¿