The popularity of Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games, got me thinking about apocalyptic books I’ve read. Alas, Babylonby Pat Frank was on school reading lists- years ago. Originally published in 1959, the novel is about the survival of a community in Florida after the United States has been hit by  nuclear missiles.

What is satisfying about this books is how the extended family of Randy Bragg gets back to nature in order to survive – using local plants, fruits and trees to eat and to re-build. And eventually they thrive and learn to appreciate their new-found lifestyle.

The story has alot in common with that of  Swiss Family Robinson. Like the Pat Frank book, the characters respond to adversity with ingenuity. Both books take place in tropical settings, which give the families a definite advantage. They don’t have to cope with cold weather and are surrounded by abundant sources of food and fuel.

Shipwrecks, nuclear war and other disasters have always been  catalysts to the imaginations of novelists. How do you think you would fare in those circumstances?

One Thought on “Apocalypse Now…and Then

  1. Georgann Haeffner on March 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm said:

    Interestingly enough, I was just thinking about Alas, Babylon not long ago, remembering only the end and wondering what the title was. I wondered if just that much would be enough that my reference librarians would be able to find it for me. Turns out, they could! Thanks!

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