By the Waters of Babylon
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By the Waters of Babylon

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  234 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Do your students enjoy a good laugh? Do they like to be scared? Or do they just like a book with a happy ending? No matter what their taste, our Creative Short Stories series has the answer.

We've taken some of the world's best stories from dark, musty anthologies and brought them into the light, giving them the individual attention they deserve. Each book in the series has...more
Hardcover, Creative Short Stories, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1989 by Creative Education (first published July 31st 1937)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 365)
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Kyle
By the Waters of Babylon is a post-apocalyptic short story written in 1937. That's right, a post-apocalyptic story made before the A-bombs were dropped and even before World War II even started. The book is very much ahead of its time, and I respect it for that. However, judging it purely on entertainment value the book fails. It follows a young man as he enters the forbidden "Place of the Gods" which we soon discover is a bombed city. It seems that finding out that it takes place in the future...more
Mell
Thanks to my 9th and 11th grade English teacher, Mr. Bob Schevchik, for having us read brilliant science fiction. He had us read a ton of short stories. If you haven't read any SS since high school or college, run to the library! When well done, they are priceless.
Corinne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claudia
Revisited an old favorite that I hadn't read in many years. More complex than I remembered. To avoid spoilers, I'll only say that it is a story type that I favor! Recommended short story.
Shannon
I wasn't sure if I could get into a war short story, but I did. This short story is so much more than that. Accepting the past and moving onto the present. Unconditionally. I was totally engaged
Greg Fanoe
I read this as an interesting example of early post-apocalyptic literature. It's a curiosity for that reason, I suppose, but there's not much of a reason to really read it. I won't be checking out Mr. Benet's work in any more detail unless somebody tells me otherwise.
A B
Thought-provoking, terrific little read. Hard to believe it's such an old story. At first I wasn't wild about the overly simple narration, but after a few minutes I realized that it's actually quite effective. The concept is probably not as shocking as it may have been at one point, given the recent surge in dystopian novels, but should still be appreciated.
Janelle
Nov 27, 2011 Janelle marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I like when authors write about our society from an outsider's point of view because it's always interesting to see what they find as strengths and weaknesses. This short story will give my 10th graders plenty to talk about on topics about knowledge, point of view, and beliefs.
Ronya
Early American specimen of the post-apocalyptic tale, written in 1937, as a young man explores "The Place of the Gods" (aka New York, NY). Benet wrote the story in response to the Fascist bombing of Guernica, Spain, and the Saturday Evening Post published it.
Rana Osama
A great story that provides so many great ideas that contrast with our real world these days, regarding the beliefs of the people of the hill, and the external and internal conflicts that john was having throughout the story.
Heather
I use this short story in my English 10 class. It is so much fun to watch the students attempt to figure out exactly what is going on, where it is going on, and what might have happened in the past. It's awesome.
Mark
Great story to read with students. I use it along with "The Portable Phonograph" to discuss futuristic writing and to discuss historical events related to the stories.
Becky
I read this in preparation for observing a freshman Humanities class. Really enjoyed it and looking forward to hearing what a group of 14 year-olds perceive.
Brenda Agaro (the wandering ant)
I first read this back in my tenth grade English class. Like Sherryl Jordan's WINTER OF FIRE, this story got me into the post apocalyptic genre.
Michelle
"Truth is a hard dear to hunt. If you eat too much truth at once, you may die of the truth."

3.5 stars.
Ashley
Great short story. If you've never read it, the full story is available online.
Ivana
It was an interesting take on how the humans after mass destruction would view us.
Victoria
I wasn't really expecting that ending at the beginning!
Angie
Sep 05, 2013 Angie added it
HATED IT!!!!!!!!!!!
☯Bettie☯
The north and the west and the south are good hunting grounds but it is forbidden to go east.

Kathie
Kathie marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2014
Brian Mcclain
Brian Mcclain marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2014
Anthony
Anthony marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2014
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Laura marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2014
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Michael Melara marked it as to-read
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Stephen Vincent Benét was born July 22, 1898, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, into a military family. His father had a wide appreciation for literature, and Benét's siblings, William Rose and Laura, also became writers. Benét attended Yale University where he published two collections of poetry, Five Men and Pompey (1915), The Drug-Shop (1917). His studies were interrupted by a year of civilian milita...more
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