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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  325 ratings  ·  46 reviews
A virus has wiped out 95 per cent of the world's population in just a few weeks, leaving the remaining five per cent to stay alive in a world devoid of the most basic amenities - electricity, transport and medicine. The few survivors of the human race are forced to fall back on the most primitive skills in order to live
Mass Market Paperback, U.K. Edition, 208 pages
Published May 27th 1976 by Futura (first published January 1st 1975)
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Jan 07, 2009 MisterD rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: John Wyndham fans
Whilst the recent TV series is clearly based on this novel - several of the main characters are there, as are key episodes - it has its own pace and scale. The onset and aftermath of the Death are well delivered, to the extent that we as quickly become innured to the scale of the morbidity as do the protagonists. We immediately become caught up in their daily struggle for survival. The post-apocalyptic world, and the variety of ways in which its inhabitants conduct themselves, is very much in th ...more
Given the current pandemic fears associated with the Ebola virus this book which I found in a charity shop seemed kind of topical.
The first thing I noticed was the authors name as I was aware of Terry Nation as the creative inventor of the Daleks(at least in real life in fiction Davros has that job) and also as the greater of Blake's 7.This book however is very different from the sci fi you may expect from Terry Nation based on this.
It's a apocalyptic tale told of a virus that wipes away much of
The reason why I decided to read the book is that I wanted to know how the BBC series (2008-2010) might have ended. Personally, I enjoyed the series much more. However, the book is all right though, very dramatic, especially at the end. The characters are interesting but not as compelling and profound as in the series. I felt slight disappointment of the book probably because the series set my expectations high. In comparison, the book may be quite simple but it remains riveting and exciting. Mo ...more
Lisa Murray
picked this up because I really enjoyed the BBC series and I was disappointed that it only ran 2 seasons. This is one of the few cases where a movie or film is better than the book. The book was fine, just not exceptional.
Jun 02, 2012 Kit★ marked it as to-ponder-sounds-interesting  ·  review of another edition
Recently watched the (2000's version) of the show based on this book and I loved it. Sad to hear they're not making any more seasons. Seen it was based on this book, so might like to read it if I ever find a copy.
Bronwyn Hegarty
The plot is good which explains why it was made into a TV series. The writing in three parts keeps you interested but it is simplistic with little characterisation or power to induce emotion. It was popular at the time as it was probably one of the first apocalytic novels, and as we know us humans are starving for this kind of stuff. It interested me as research to help with my writing and I will now watch the series. I expect this will have more depth to it which is unusual as it is often the o ...more
Survivors is an engrossing look at post-plague Britain, where only a handful of survivors have been left to eke out an existence. The characters are appealing, despite the rather matter of fact tone of the narrator. I wanted the characters to survive, and found the details of their lives fascinating. I have to confess that I watched, and greatly enjoyed, both of the BBC's Survivor series, the 1970's and 2010 adaptation; watching the series undoubtedly did help make the characters more accessible ...more
Sean Meriwether
I’ve been reading up on pandemics both real and imaginary to prepare to write my own book and I ran across the recent series Survivors inspired by this novel. While the BBC version was a lot more entertaining and satisfying, the novel touches on a number of "what if" concepts that the show never even attempts to approach. The novel kicks off with patient zero, a man who has died on a London-bound plane and is carrying a flu with a mortality rate of 95%; it spreads rapidly. London is plunged into ...more
Nick Sheridan
My longer review of this book is posted at

For those of you who don't know Terry Nation, he's the guy who invented the fucking Daleks, and near-single handedly penned Blake's 7, the grandaddy of story-arc science fictions like Babylon 5, ExoSquad and even Red Dwarf, which inspired a generation, brought some of our major writing current teams together in shared interest, and firmly stuffed a stencil of Oleg Gan's face in my "possible tattoos" folder.

The book falls down because
An odd book to discover if you remember (from the original or from a re-broadcast) the TV series, which - in my own case - is quite firmly burned into my memory, with some quite seriously harrowing portrayals from the original principals.

But what of the book itself? It is actually quite a clever variation on the standard post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel. It treads a very narrow path between the slight cosiness (although I disagree with the critics on this) of Wyndham, and the out-and-out savagery o
Andy Gibb
Published in '76 so this is of interest as an historical read if nothing else. I also hoped for better than the TV series, which hung a few stock drama plots round an ill-thought-out human dieback scenario.

Both book and television conveniently have everyone park their cars before dying to leave the roads empty and navigable. Petrol is also freely available. Perversely the power goes out everywhere and radio and TV fail. Later on, the fabric of the road system also stays intact without the contin
In the end Survivors turned out to be an interesting read with some thoroughly fascinating ideas of what could become of the human race if we were struck down by a pandemic. The book had a nice, steady pace to it that showed all the struggles of living in a world where none of the things we take for granted are available. The ending shocked me. I know that a happy ending wasn’t possible but the brutality of it struck me. The book was riddled with spelling errors and this really annoyed me becaus ...more
Jade Heslin
God, this was boring. I don’t remember actually being bored reading it, but the fact that I can’t remember anything about the plot, characters or style really speaks volumes about the author’s level of penmanship.

Terry Nation is a TV writer, and I’m sure he is very good at his day-job (he invented the infamous Darleks after all), but he should have stuck to TV instead of getting grandiose ideas of becoming a novelist.

I’m not saying that TV writers are any less worthy of praise, it’s just that th
Dana Stabenow
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dave Lefevre
I've wanted to read this for a while. The original Survivors series in the 70s was a great piece of television. Leaving the reason for the apocalypse aside it chronicles a group of people struggling from nothing to a new return to civilization at the end of the third season. The revival of Survivors is less successful as the producers felt they had to sex up Terry Nation's premise quite a bit. They added the bad-guy prisoner as well as a plot behind the plague. To me it's not as interesting and ...more
Stefanie Price
Having avidly watched the 1970s television series (why the recent series is on the cover is beyond me, when the story isn't remotely similar to the original 70s version, based around this, Terry Nation's novel) I was in no hurry to read this. First of all I was put out by the modern remake that it's featuring on this cover, obviously for commercial purposes, just insulting. The book's content, happily, was familiarly adjacent and in most places identical to the television series. I was gratified ...more
Made the mistake of thinking this book was the one the 2008 Survivors TV series was based on so I was quite disappointed. Why did I think this? Because the cover had the actors from the new series on it. I did look up the 1975 version on You Tube and I am guessing it is closer to the book.
Tim Rideout
Taut novelisation of Terry Nation's episodes from his landmark series Survivors, with a powerful ending that departs from the TV series. Extremely well read by Carolyn Seymour, the show's original lead, produced by Big Finish.
The beginning and concept of the plot was great but it soon ran out of steam.

I didn't like how there were numerous number of loose threads e.g. the different factions, characters just disappeared etc.
I decided to read this book after watching seasons 1 & 2 of the excellent BBC series Survivors, which was based on this book. Survivors is the story of a flu-like pandemic that kills 99.9% of the world's population. The book tells the story of a group that band together in England to scavenge and create a home. I think the series was much better because the story was updated (the book was written in the 1970's) and has more characters and gives provides the viewer with an in-depth view of th ...more
Damian Pearce
Not bad. What you'd expect from a British sci-fi/horror story involving an apocalypse... lots of practicality etc.

Sort of a less violent, less gory middle class version of The Walking Dead.

The original novelisation of the (much superior in my view) original series Survivors. Therein lies the crux of the matter: even if you just take the first series it's thirteen one hour episodes with key sequences crammed into a book 256 pages thick.

And that's what it reads like - a compendium of best scenes, lacking depth or any major characterisation, however it still remains an interesting document on where Terry Nation felt his story ought to go.

Terrence Farthyng
This is a good quick read and not to challenging. I vaguely remember the original TV series and this book is roughly the same story. It tells us of a few people who have survived the global pandemic but, to my mind, they generally do not have to bad a time of it. However, their attempt at self-sufficiency is a real struggle. Some people think it is rather a bleak story but not from my point of view, although it is darker than the TV series was.
I think this was a great story, but the way it was written was laughable. Out of nowhere, situations would happen to people with nothing leading up to it and I would be like, "What?!?". I never felt connected to any of the characters because it was like she was telling you about them, not making you feel close to them or learn their desires and wants. This book could have been so much better.
Topical story of pandemic and survival as 95% of world's population is wiped out.
I started reading this because I really enjoyed the show. And honestly, I enjoyed the show more. Nation is really good at writing descriptions, but his characterization and scene building weren't there for me. I sort of skimmed the last half, and was surprised at Abby's ending (different than the show, obviously) but otherwise was glad I skimmed it. Kind of a disappointment.
This was not exactly a riveting read. The characters are all one dimensional and it is difficult to actually form any kind of bond with them or care about what happens. I really hope the two versions of the TV series prove to be more interesting-though reviews on both of them have been pretty mixed.
Was kinda disappointed in the book, it could have gone so much farther than it did. The shock ending was good.
I watched the BBC series and really liked it and it was based VERY loosely on the book. I liked the series better than the book and was really disappointed when BBC stopped after 3 seasons.
Jun 26, 2013 Dustin marked it as to-read

My lovely wife is currently hooked on the BBC show of the same name, and while I'm mildly intrigued by it, the story seems too much like Stephen King's The stand, Ted Dekker's epic Circle series, and countless other dystopians...
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Terry Nation was a Welsh screenwriter and novelist. After briefly joining his father's furniture-making business and attempting stand-up comedy, Nation turned his hand to writing and worked on radio scripts for The Goon Show and a range of TV dramas such as The Saint, The Avengers, Z Cars, The Baron, The Champions, Department S and The Persuaders. He went on to write about 100 episodes of Doctor W ...more
More about Terry Nation...
Rebecca's World Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks and Exploration Earth Doctor Who: The Scripts: The Daleks Blake's 7 Blake's 7: Cygnus Alpha

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