Alas, Babylon (Harper Perennial Olive Edition) Reissue Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 371 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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|Kindle, June 4, 2013||
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The result is a well thought out and well presented story of survivors in a small Florida town. The depredations they face and the courage they have to face the inevitable lawlessness that can follow when government and social networking fails is so realistic. There is love and grief and all the emotions that goes along with the story line.
The book is not about atomic war. It is about how we would deal with each other if there were no socio-economic barriers that keep us apart. The blue collar workers who were "kept down" and worked with their hands have a great advantage...they are closer to the "ground" than those economically above them, so they know how to live off the land not by the grocery store. The rich are reduced to having to work with those who previously they would never have had anything to do with.
“Alas, Babylon” falls into the dystopian literature category and it explores what would have happened if the US and Russia launched an all-out nuclear war in the late 1950’s. The book came out in 1959, and you can tell it is dated by many of the unrecognizable government agency names, the vehicles, technologies used, etc.
The book was interesting for its time, and the author chose to paint a rather peaceful aftermath centered around a small Florida town. The author touches on some survival aspects people had to figure out, but for the most part, it does not explore the more horrific things that would likely follow a nuclear attack such as what Cormac McCarthy wrote about in “The Road”.
One passage that stood out to me was “It was strange, she thought, pedaling steadily, that it should require a holocaust to make her own life worth living.” I thought that was an interesting take on all the luxuries and benefits we enjoy as Americans, and how deeply a nuclear war would impact life as know it. Perhaps it would take something like nuclear war or even a major terrorist attach to wake us up as to what is important in life.
I enjoyed the book and dystopian literature in general. I find it interesting to see how people plan for things, the struggles they encounter, and how they overcome problems. Usually, there is also a sense of hope coupled with a strong will to survive, and “Alas, Babylon” covers all these things.