Alas, Babylon is one of the most fascinating novels I have read. I remembered reading it once long ago, and recently placed a hold on it at my local library. I had to wait for it for few weeks, though, for it seems to be still popular even though it was written in 1959!
The story is set in a small town on a river in Central Florida. The main character of the story is a young lawyer who has lost interest in life in general, and finds solace in women and drink. As the story begins, he is portrayed as somewhat of a loser, but that is all about to change!
In the era the story takes place, Russia is still USA’s foremost threat. Tensions have been building between the countries to the point of taking them to the brink of all-out war. Then the unthinkable actually does happen. Russia has dropped nuclear and atom bombs on US soil! All over the country millions of lives are obliterated in seconds; at the same time the lives of the survivors will never be the same.
This is a story about human survival. We all know that we are terribly spoiled by all of life’s conveniences. What would you do if, suddenly, all those conveniences were wiped out, and even finding your next meal and clean water to drink was the challenge of each day?
I love the way the story’s characters worked together to make life easier. While the story had a lot of sad parts, the theme was victory over the elements, and the ability to hang on to hope and faith even in the direst of times.