"Alas, Babylon"

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Last night I went with my husband to a Barnes and Noble Bookstore. While he looked at all of the computer books, I decided to go look for the book "Alas, Babylon." A lot of people on this forum recommend it, including Ed Yourdon. What I found really surprised me. Even though this book is 38 years old, Barnes and Noble had 19 copies of it on the shelf! I decided to look around and see if any other books were stocked in such a high number. The only other book I found that even came close was Tom Clancy's newest novel. It made me wonder..... has the demand for this book always been this high, or has there been a resurgence due to Y2K? (PS- I bought the book and I'm reading it.)

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), November 01, 1998


It has always been available - it is a minor classic. Pat Frank is still making money of off this thing - and will probably keep on doing so into the future. I had to read it for a high school class nearly 30 years ago.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), November 01, 1998.

One of my most vivid childhood memories is one of watching the TV version of "Alas Babylon". It was deemed to be so important that it was done as a live Teleplay. This, of course, was during the height of the Cold War. To this day I can still picture the scenes: the frantic rush down the aisles of the supermarket by screaming housewives and the woman who arrived a little too late as she collapsed in tears after losing a struggle with a much larger woman; the amazement as the year-long supply of frozen steaks and ice cream begin to melt when the electricity fails; the banker who can't face his uncertain future-and his loss of stature in the community; the incredible dignity and kindness of the black citizens who suddenly find themselves on an equal footing with their white neighbors; and mainly the fear. I thought it was real,at first. A true classic.

-- Greg Lawrence (greg@speakeasy.org), November 02, 1998.


Good read, ain't it? I liked "Lucifer's Hammer" a bit more, although I didn't really like the way the writer views the future of women in a darkened world. I refuse to believe that Mr. Colt would allow it to happen that way, or that the general male population would force it upon us. I got my copy at Waldenbooks, had to order it. Amazon.com has it, though. I'd be interested in your opinion if you do get time to read it.


-- Debbie (lavoierd@gisco.net), November 03, 1998.


A lot of High Schools have it as required reading. I wouldn't read too much into them having that many copies. When I was in HS I had to go out and buy a copy and in my small town the local book store had about 30 on the shelf when I went in.


-- Rick Tansun (ricktansun@hotmail.com), November 03, 1998.

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