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Malevil Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1975


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 590 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446796859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446796859
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
The characters are all very believable and interesting.
Taweret
Read this book over 20 years ago, wondered if I would like it as much now, liked it even more.
Angelo Eftimeo
If you are a fan of the post apocolypse genre, then you will appreciate this gem of a book.
Lesley West

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lesley West on November 19, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of the post apocolypse genre, then you will appreciate this gem of a book. It is difficult to find, but it is well worth perservering with a search.

The title of the book refers to an old castle in rural France, and which is owned by our hero, the narrator of the story. By a happy coincidence of ancient stone and being sheltered by a cliff, a small community survives the aftermath of a "clean" bomb by sheltering within its walls.

At first the community is obsessed with the everyday challenges of life - what to eat, drink, will there be fallout? But as the novel progresses, and we learn of other survivors, it begins to look at the very nature of human behaviour when stripped of the facade of civilisation.

This is a very "believable book", as much as such a horror tale can be, and it is interspersed with some very astute observations of human behaviour, with both acts of kindness portrayed as well as the abuses of power. The detail of how nature as well as the characters recover from the loss and shock of it all is well portrayed and keeps you turning the pages.

This is a treat if you are a fan of the genre. If you are interested in tales of human survival in horrendous times, this is also for you. As I said, hard to find, but well worth looking for!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brian Melendez on September 2, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was surprisingly good. The title put me off, since I inferred that it attributed the collapse of civilization to some silly supernatural struggle, like "Swan Song" by Robert McCammon, which I bought and barely began reading before I dropped it in disappointment. (Not that all supernaturally inspired apocalypses are bad stories: I really liked "The Stand" by Stephen King.) In fact, Malevil is simply the name of the little French community where the story occurs. It is a pretty good story about a subsistence economy arising after a nuclear holocaust. Unfortunately, you never find out what is happening in the world outside that little community, but it is pretty good nevertheless: there is no backstory about the disintegration or reconstitution of the national government, which is the part that I usually enjoy the most in post-apocalyptic fiction, but there is an amusing thread about the basis for the local ecclesiastical jurisdiction where the protagonist relies on some medieval warrants in order to trump the religious charlatan who has established himself as the ruler in the next town over.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charles Hack on July 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book in the 1970's, and have spent the last several years looking for it again. Probably the first Post atomic conflict book I had ever read and it still reads well after 30 years. For anyone ordering this as a used copy, be aware that of the two photos provided for this on Amazon, the white cover is actually the hardback edition, while the red cover with the mushroom cloud and a line of people in the foreground is the mass market paperback
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tivadar Mach on August 11, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love everything Robert Merle has ever written ...
I find it a great pity that only "Un animal doué de raison" and "Malevil" has been translated to English (honestly not his two best, and the movie "The day of the dolphin" butchered "Un animal doué de raison" sufficiently that few people seem to be interested in the books).

Still, take what You can get, read Malevil.

The prose style is very direct, much like Merle's historical novels, and the plot is very believable and human.
The only comparable post-apocalyptic novel (with a very different outcome) for me has been Shute's On the Beach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melonie K. on December 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Malevil is a must-read for anyone who enjoys the post-apocalyptic genre. If you can find a copy, definitely grab it and give it a read. Some of the gender role stuff will be an eye-roller for today's readers, but that's pretty common in this vein anyway. Lots to ponder - and who wouldn't want to live in a castle if we're going to get sent back to the Dark Ages?
If you have read Alas, Babylon and enjoyed it, you should definitely tackle Malevil next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Fiore on August 14, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have just re-read this old favorite after over a decade, and I found it better even than I recalled. It is a wonderful portrait of a group of people that find themselves left after the majority of their world has been annihilated. It deals honestly and believably with the array of emotions that would affect different types of people in this sort of circumstance - the depressions and the temptations, and the behavior of the megalomaniacs, the opportunists, the hard workers, and the generous-hearted.
As a female reader, I found the gender attitudes a bit grating. However, for the seventies, when this was written, this is not surprising. What did surprise me, and made me do some hard thinking, were the attitudes and conclusions about religious belief. It becomes obvious that all forms of community, from the family, to the neighborhood, to the town, to the religion, are part of a network that supports productive social life.
The book appeals to the survivalist and the practicalist within me. Only by returning to a functioning farm community can the survivors exist, and only by also learning simple tactics of guerrilla warfare can they deal with the roaming bands of marauders that inevitably spring up in the aftermath of the apocalypse. It is the sort of tale that makes you want to make sure you have a few basic tools around, and provides impetus to learn a bit about gardening!
It is a great read; the episodes keep you turning the pages at a brisk pace as you go from adventure to adventure. However, it is thoughtful and thought-provoking as well.
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