Survivalist Friday: Alas, Babylon

Posted 18 October, 2013 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Survivalist Friday: Alas, BabylonAlas, Babylon by Pat Frank
Published by Harper Collins Genres: Classics, Fiction, General
Pages: 352

"Alas, Babylon." Those fateful words heralded the end. When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness.

The first time I read this book was for my ninth-grade English class. Now, fifteen or so odd years later, it’s still one of my favorite books. 

Written in the ’50s during the height of the Cold War it explores what happens when mutually assured destruction actually occurs, centralized government is obliterated and a small town in central Florida has to survive on its own. For a YA book, it’s very real. There are no punches pulled on who might have survived on the ‘outside’. There are some flaws on how radioactivity actually works and affects objects and people, but I only know that because I used to teach Chemical/Bio/Nuclear Warfare Defense for the Air Force. Let’s just call it even with artistic license. 

This is a book about hope, survival, and of course the horrors of nuclear weapons. Even today, it brings a strong case for disarmament, which, for the record I am politically ambivalent about. It paints a picture of nearly the entire world destroyed accidentally. If that seems far fetched, check this out. 

It is very very good. Everyone should read this, at least once.


April @ The Steadfast Reader


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