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Cannonball Read III: Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

By Lizella | Books | March 2, 2011 |

By Lizella | Books | March 2, 2011 |

I first read Alas, Babylon as required reading in 6th grade. I couldn’t remember the name of the book or author, but would remember bits and pieces and hoped I would run across it again one day. It was one of the first apocalyptic stories I read and introduced me to a genre that I have revisited frequently. After finally finding it again and giving it another read, it held up to my expectations.

Set in cold war America, Alas, Babylon explores the potential aftermath of nuclear war. While the specific circumstances of the threat to life as we know it may have changed, current threats are just as real, preserving its relevance. In many ways, the more technologically advanced our society becomes, the more varied and catastrophic the consequences.

Fort Repose, a small town in Florida is the setting for this survival story centered on a small group of neighbors. The book chronicles the hardships and triumphs, ingenuity and tenacity of people who have to figure out how to live without the necessities of modern life in a town cut off from the rest of the world. Frank explores the scenario in all aspects from loss of electricity and fuel, to the return to the barter system and upheaval of class and society infrastructure. The story’s structure puts the reader in the middle of the situation and makes you wonder how you would fare in similar circumstances. While Alas, Babylon does take some dark turns, on a whole, it is a story of hope despite an uncertain future.

For more of Lizella’s reviews, check out her blog, Lizella Reviews.

This review is part of Cannonball Read III. For more information, click here.

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