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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  473 Ratings  ·  65 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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Dec 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
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
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.
Apr 29, 2012 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.
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a new edition of a book originally published in the 1970s I believe when the original TV show was on. This new edition was released in conjunction with the new version of the TV show. In the style of the age it is a little slower, more suspense by anticipation of trouble, than the action packed books, movies and TV of today but still a great story with realistic human reactions to situations. This is more of the drama of human relationships than the action and conflict of current "pulp m ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
I wanted to give this book a higher rating but I kept on comparing it to the 2008 BBC TV series which I really enjoyed that ended frustratingly after only two seasons. This book diverts from the show quite a bit despite keeping some of the same characters. I must confess to never watching the 1975 production. My favourite character was Tom Price in the TV version, but here I found Price like most of the characters rather superficially drawn hence the 3 stars. Abby and Greg were the best of the b ...more
Kay Smillie
Been a very long time since I had read this novel. Probably just as long since I watched the tv series (the original, not the dire remake). Now you can tell this was based on the first series of Survivors (rather than the novel being written first) as I was vividly recalling scenes from the tv show and remembering the actors and actresses who played Abby, Jenny, Greg, Tom and a few others. Not the greatest novel of a post apocalyptic world but if you recall having enjoyed Survivors in the mid-70 ...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
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
Jonathan Norton
Terry Nation's tie-in novel from 1976, linked to the 1st season of the TV show he created. To get round various legal issues the 2008 remake was billed as based on this book, rather than a remake of the TV series, but I never saw that adaptation so I dunno about it. I have seem all of the 70s version, and love it and am willing to defend all of it, including seasons 2 and 3, which Nation didn't have much involvement with.

The book is great but different. The early chapters are pretty much the sam
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
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
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
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
Adam Graham
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carolyn Seymour reads Survivors, Terry Nation's novel based on the stories he wrote for Series 1 of the TV series although with a very different series. The novel is, in many ways, more grim than the TV series. However, more than trying to be "dark," the Survivors attempts to be a realistic story of what might happen in England after an apocalypse brought about by plague. Terry Nation makes no real attempt to be overly moody or artificially depressing (other than in perhaps the last scene). Rath ...more
Dana Stabenow
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the story of the world after a flu-like plague wipes out most of the population. It's the story of a handful of survivors who are decidedly middle class with middle class issues. Everything comes easy to the people portrayed in the novel, there is little hell, violence or disaster- even when gangs roam around. The most dramatic thing I can recall is the rabbits eating their new crops. I didn't expect zombies or silliness but a bit of genuine fear and dramatic episodes would've been welco ...more
First: boy howdy can you tell this was written in the 70s. I can't even put my finger on it, but just the language and the way he talks about the women characters gives it away. Also, everyone smokes, all the time.

That's beside the point, though. Overall, the book was just kind of okay. I picked it up because I liked the BBC series. I think the show was better. A lot of things were a bit too convenient, and the ending was just... super predictable and super cliche and not really all that well d
Dave Lefevre
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-sf
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
The reason why I decided to read the book is because 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, dark, depressing and somewhat dramatic at the end. The characters are interesting but not as compelling and insightful as in the series. I felt a 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 ...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
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Blair Hodgkinson
This plausible apocalyptic future (from a mid-1970s POV) is well-realized by the writer. Some reviewers have called Nation, more famous as a script writer, a dull novelist, but I enjoyed his economical prose well enough. What's missing in this novel is a clear resolution for some of the characters, which may be understandable enough given that he was no doubt already planning to make this into a TV series when the novel was written, but there is a nice twist thrown in at the end.
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
Richard Eyres
I have had this book for a few years, buying it after the first episode of the new TV series. I got a chapter in, then got distracted and never went back to it.

As this was written in the 70s, some of the themes are a little strange now. However, the book/story does hold up and the ending is what I was expecting.

The book follows a number of different groups, concentrating on a core group of people. It is very episodic (after all, it was for a TV series in the 70s/80s era). I enjoyed the brutality

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.
This story could have been so good. But the writing just wasn't great for me. I was very much aware the while time that I was reading someone's writing, and could not get lost in the story. I never felt connected to the characters.

Having seen the TV show based off the book, I enjoyed the show much better, although it ended on a cliff hanger. (The show and book are very different also.)

This was my 2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge book made into a TV show.
Peter Cowan
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very interesting book, not read one quite like it, its basically what would happen in a modern day world if the population was reduced by something in the region of 99%. Great read, some excellent moments in the first 1/3. It dwindles after that, and i would have loved there to be a sequel but it seems that even the TV adaptations (many) have suffered from not really going anywhere properly afterwards.
Deffo recommended.
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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
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