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Alas, Babylon (Perennial Classics)


Alas, Babylon (Perennial Classics) Cover

ISBN13: 9780060741877
ISBN10: 0060741872
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"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.


< p> The classic apocalyptic novel that stunned the world.< /p>


A classic tale of the unthinkable--a nuclear holocaust in the United States--Frank's gripping story of survivors in a small Florida town includes a new Foreword by Brin.

About the Author

"Pat Frank" was the lifelong nickname adopted by the American writer, newspaperman, and government consultant, who was born Harry Hart Frank (1908-1964), and who is remembered today almost exclusively for his post-apocalyptic novel Alas, Babylon. Before the publication of his first novel Mr. Adam launched his second career as novelist and independent writer, Frank spent many years as a journalist and information handler for several newspapers, agencies, and government bureaus. His fiction and nonfiction books, stories, and articles made good use of his years of experience observing government and military bureaucracy and its malfunctions, and the threat of nuclear proliferation and annihilation. After the success of Alas, Babylon, Frank concentrated on writing for magazines and journals, putting his beliefs and concerns to political use, and advising various government bodies. In 1960 he served as a member of the Democratic National Committee. In 1961, the year in which he received an American Heritage Foundation Award, he was consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Council. From 1963 through 1964 the Department of Defense made use of Frank's expertise and advice, and this consultancy turned out to be his last response to his country's call. His other books include Mr. Adam and Forbidden Area.

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Alan Winston, July 15, 2010 (view all comments by Alan Winston)
I read this book when its apocalyptic visions were current and frightening, shortly after the first paperback edition came out in 1960; I read it again after the 35th anniversary edition came out in 1993, and was pleasantly surprised how well it had held up. I returned to it again recently after rereading Nevil Shute's "On the Beach," and again am quite surprised at how well it sustains its value, even though it was written to describe contemporary issues and technology of the late 1950s. There may be a certain quaintness about some aspects, some unfortunate racial and gender biases of the era - reported, not endorsed - in others, but I found that those informed and reminded of where we were more than they detracted. Having recently watched, or re-watched, both video versions of "On the Beach," I think "Alas, Babylon" could make a good film project in today's world. Certainly it is worth reading (or rereading) for the fiftieth anniversary of the first paperback edition.
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weidmakm, January 29, 2010 (view all comments by weidmakm)
Alas, Babylon is THE post-apocalyptic novel. First published in 1959, it remains the standard by which all other nuclear holocaust novels should be judged. The writing is accessible and easy, the language is compelling. The characters feel real, and we as readers feel for them. Their sorrows are our sorrows, and their triumphs are our trimuphs.

Starting about 48 hours before the Soviet Union and United States lauch massive nuclear strikes against one another, the novel follows protagonist Randy Bragg and other residents of Fort Repose, Florida in their efforts to survive and rebuild their lives and communities. Suddenly, the most basic amenities are a struggle, and life becomes both much more simple, and much, much harder. Survival is an uphill battle as the residents struggle with limited medical care, limited food, and the ever-present fear of radioactive fallout. Suddenly everything is potentially lethal, and some rise to the challenge, other give up, and still other revert to lawlessness. Still, there is hope, love, and birth.

It is important to note that Alas, Babylon was written in the late 1950s and some elements of the language reflect that. Though forward for the time it was written (the protagonist is very vocal about advancing desegregation), race relations are clearly strained, and the language reflects the time. The technology, of course, also reflects the 1950s. Even so, Alas, Babylon is as relevant now--or possibly more so--as it was 50 years ago.
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Sean Carr, May 13, 2008 (view all comments by Sean Carr)
A classic and timeless book. Terrific flow and tempo.
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Product Details

Brin, David
Harper Perennial
Foreword by:
Brin, David
Brin, David
by Pat Frank
Frank, Pat
Science Fiction - General
Nuclear warfare
Survival skills
General Fiction
Science fiction
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Perennial Classics
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.375 in 7.28 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Classics
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Featured Titles

Alas, Babylon (Perennial Classics) Used Trade Paper
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$7.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Perennial - English 9780060741877 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , < p> The classic apocalyptic novel that stunned the world.< /p>
"Synopsis" by , A classic tale of the unthinkable--a nuclear holocaust in the United States--Frank's gripping story of survivors in a small Florida town includes a new Foreword by Brin.

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