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Customer Review

on July 3, 2007
I first read this book as a teen in the 70s and it had a powerful effect on me then. The images conveyed by this novel have stayed with me ever since. There are scenes from this book that I vividly remember more than 30 years later and I recently decided to reread it. Judging from some of the other reviews, there are many readers who share this view and have returned again and again to this novel. There are lots of other reviews that contain detailed plot summaries which I won't repeat here. The story revolves around the survivors of an all-out nuclear war living in rural Florida in the late 1950s. The day after the attack isn't too different than the before for Randy Bragg and his family who are located far from any military or civilian targets. Over a few days though it dawns on Bragg and the other residents of Fort Repose that many of the things that have been taken for granted in modern society (like regular deliveries of food to the grocery store) are long gone and likely will never return. There will be no more deliveries of heating oil, money is worthless, and once the small amount of gasoline is gone, everyone walks. If anyone still believes in the folly of a 'winnable' all-out nuclear war, they should read this book. One aspect of this genre (and this book in particular) that I find compelling is how the author treats the problem of what things from modern society will disappear and how will they be replaced. There are many obvious things (electricity, refrigeration, medicine, etc.), but many more mundane problems (e.g. shoes) that will become progressively more important months or years after the initial attack. Randy Bragg and his cohorts encounter and overcome a wide range of obstacles in their fight to survive. If I had any negative comment about this book, it is in fact far too optimistic about the fate of the survivors. Randy Bragg and his family never seriously have to contend with the fall-out, famine, and disease that would afflict all survivors to a greater or lesser degree. These things are touched upon (and even encountered), but they don't affect the residents of Fort Repose in a severe way. In any case, this is a powerful story about survival and the attempt to maintain and rebuild civilization after the catastrophic destruction of our organized society. A great book though that you will never forget, definitely worth the money to buy as you'll likely want to read it again and again.
6 helpful votes
7 helpful votes
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