Alas Babylon.

Alas Babylon. How would you feel if your home and your country was completely destroyed in fifteen minutes?

Summary of the Novel

Randy Bragg, a former Korean War vet lives a life with little purpose. His life changed when his brother, Colonel Mark Bragg, sends him a telegram with the words"Alas, Babylon" the mens' private code for disaster.

Mark Bragg, working for the Air Intelligence staff of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), knows war between the United States and the Soviet Union is close. Bragg sends his wife; Helen and children; Ben Franklin and Peyton to stay with Randy in Fort Repose, Florida.

Randy warns his friends in Fort Repose of the war at hand.

U.S. Navy fighter fires at a missile near the Soviet reconnaissance aircraft . The missile flies off course hitting an ammunition depot at Latakia, Syria, resulting in a chain explosion including nuclear weapons. This event is the trigger for the Soviet Union to launch a nuclear strike against the United States.

Early the next morning, Mark is on duty at SAC headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. He suspects a nuclear attack is near.

He tells that SAC it would be wise to ask for the authority to use nuclear weapons, because the weapons-release process takes only a minute and a half. U.S. expects only a fifteen minute warning or less if the Soviet Union were to attack. This request is granted. Later that day, American radar reports a nuclear attack is coming.

In Fort Repose, the effects of the war, called "The Day." No one knows exactly what day it was, through out the novel time looses meaning. It was "Before the Day" or "After the Day."

A local bank manager tries to get instructions from Jacksonville, however Jacksonville has several naval air stations and a home port for naval warships, Jacksonville is completely destroyed.

The only method of news outside of Fort Repose is a shortwave receiver owned by a retired U.S. Navy admiral. Randy and company see a nuclear blast over the city of Tampa to destroy MacDill Air Force Base the flash temporarily blinds Randy's niece.

As the effects of nuclear warfare become worse and many prominent people fail.

Randy, however, grows stronger. He brings helps neighbors to provide housing, food, and water for themselves, he also organizes the community into self-defense, guiding his family and friends to find salt and new supplies of food when they grow short.

Personal Review

I first read the book when I was fourteen and it has become my all time favorite novel. The book is astounding. The strong feelings of society crumbling and how nature will decide to who is strong enough to make the hold. Imagery of destruction is overpowering. The feelings of despair and hate. The book shows the reader the effective destruction only one mistake and bring to a country.

Alas, Babylon was written to help people understand the concept and consequences of nuclear war. Pat Frank an author who was a part of the "wasteland" (authors such as Hemingway who would drink or smoke.) Alas, Babylon was only one of his greatest works.

Other Information

This book is for children thirteen and older, there is suicide, foul language, and disturbing imagery. Some children younger may not understand the concept of a nuclear war.

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