Hugh Forte's Reviews > Alas, Babylon

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
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Sep 30, 11

Read from September 23 to 24, 2011

I liked it. A quick, easy read, and an interesting look into the socio-political fabric of Cold War era, small-town America.

What struck me most about this book (and perhaps because of it's shining reviews), was that the majority of the book carried little emotional impact, stemming from a lack of conflict. One could argue that the setting of world wide nuclear destruction is conflict enough (which for the audience this was published for in 1959, it surely was), but the lack of smaller scale, character-related conflict made for a disengaging read by today's (my) standards. While the day to day survival of the characters wasn't specific enough to warrant technical interest, it was also too practical to inspire much excitement. While I don't need hollywood actions scenes to keep me interested, I could have hoped for something more - philosophical, emotional, suspenseful - to engage in along the way.

That said, I did like it. I probably wont read it again, but if you enjoy post apocalyptic fiction, I'd suggest adding it to your list at some point.
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Robyn Thank you for illuminating what was bothering me about this book. I couldn't put my finger on it, other than a generalized feeling of "dullness" but it was the absence of interpersonal conflict that was getting to me and making me really drag my feet through the whole thing, I think. It made the story feel not as human as it could have.


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