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Great post-apocalyptic books - what's your top 5?


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Showing 1-19 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 28, 2012 9:05:42 PM PDT
Booksmith says:
I'm looking for a well written and gripping post-apocalyptic book.

I loved "World War Z", "Feed", "Wool", "The stand", "The Old Man and the Wasteland", "Strained" and "The fall" out of the trilogy and "I am legend" etc.

I liked "The road" movie (with exception of the positive bit that didn't seem to fit) but haven't read the book yet. Same with "Day of the triffids".

What's your top 5?

Posted on Sep 28, 2012 9:12:18 PM PDT
KevsterS says:
My favorite is "The Passage" by Justin Cronin. I also really enjoyed "Lucifers Hammer", "One Second After", and "The Stand". Did NOT like "Swan Song".

Posted on Oct 5, 2012 9:37:03 PM PDT
tahoemary says:
Nevil Shute's "On the Beach" is the single best novel of this genre I have ever read. It's relatively short, but gripping. Written mid-20th century when the threat of nuclear war was very real and ever-present. Try it - you won't regret it!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2012 10:15:31 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
The Name of the Wind

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 3:12:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 6, 2012 3:13:32 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Did you know that the term "apocalyptic" doesn't mean disaster or the end of civilization as we know it? It means revelatory, which is why the last book of the Bible in the Catholic version is the "Apocalypse" and in the Protestant version is "Revelation". So "post-apocalyptic" books would have to do with revealing the truth, and not at all what the genre is usually taken to mean. A better term would be "dystopian", the opposite of utopian.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2012 4:49:42 AM PDT
Shad in DC says:
I thought Swan Song was AWESOME.

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 4:51:30 AM PDT
Shad in DC says:
Lights Out,
Last Ship Down
The Left Behind Series

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 12:37:40 PM PDT
Swan Song-I loved this one too!
Lucifer's Hammer
The Postman
The Road
The Passage: A Novel

I didn't include The Stand since you already read it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2012 12:40:42 PM PDT
Wouldn't post-apocalyptic then mean "after the revelation?"

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 12:33:43 AM PDT
Rebecca says:
I found Swan Song heavy going. I though
The Passage started well and had strong
Characters but lost the plot a bit. The Road
Was an excellent story, very depressing.
I've just ordered Brother in the Land as I read
This at school and it introduced me to this genre.
My two favourites though are Earth Abides and
Death of Grass. Monumental pieces of literature.
Please read them!

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 9:30:29 AM PDT
chartroose says:
Swan Song
Earth Abides
The Stand
Lucifer's Hammer
Emberverse Series (S.M. Stirling) He's still writing them. I think there are about 10 books by now, but I've only read 6. The first 3 are awesome -- after that I gradually lost interest.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 10, 2012 11:12:52 AM PDT
Alas Babylon and one second after!

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 3:10:23 PM PDT
Bruce Simon says:
I would recommend "Anthem" by Ayn Rand and"Fail Safe" by Eugene Burdick

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 3:31:13 PM PDT
Larry Kelley says:
Emergence, David Palmer. A very different book. A girl, 12-15 years old (read this book a long time ago) is the heroine, but it is written for adults. Easy to read. Fascinating. I think it is available on Amazon, but can't swear to it.

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 3:38:00 PM PDT
Shikantaza says:
The first post-apocalypse book I read - around 1967 - was Alas, Babylon, about post-Nuke central Florida. Written in the 50's (I think) it is dated ("nuclear winter" hadn't been coined yet) but is definitely food for thought.

A Canticle for Leibowitz is 'way post-post-Nuke, and is one of the best books I've ever read. "Deluvium ignis," as I recall the term. A must-read: it isn't SF, though usually classified as such. It is just a danged great book.

Lucifer's Hammer is very good, and is entirely plausible. Niven and Pournelle before they got self-absorbed by selling the US government a bunch of SF tripe (aka yet-to-be-invented SDI technology).

The best series I've read is the "Event" trilogy starting with Island in the Sea of Time. I recommend these books with top marks. Stirling followed up with a complementary series starting with Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change, which starts out being much more interesting than the Event series. I'm not sure where it's headed as Stirling teeters on a plunge into mysticism.

[As a BTW, "apocalypse" is a Greek word for "revelation." Shouldn't we be talking about "post-catastrophe," or some such?]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 5:19:17 AM PDT
I'm going to add the wind-up girl by paolo bacigalupi and the dog stars by peter heller which was pretty epic for me...just because. it's not an action book like some of the other books mentioned on this list, it's different.
really loved your reply nancy. I think that's probably one of the better responses to this post. it reminded that there are a lot of other books that could be thrown into here, but I won't.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2012 5:41:34 AM PDT
Bruce Simon says:
To Larry:

I won this book and haven't read it yet. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 4:27:27 PM PST
Patrick Tilley's Amtrak Wars series is at the top of my list. The first book is Cloud Warrior.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 10:06:29 PM PST
nameinuse says:
I read the Passage a while back and just finished the sequel The Twelve in two days....really really good.
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Discussion in:  Book forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  19
Initial post:  Sep 28, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 20, 2012

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