Alas, Babylon Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Alas, Babylon

Randy Bragg must help his family and neighbors survive in post-apocalyptic Florida. In an alternate history of the Cold War, America is on the brink of natural disaster and Mark Bragg sends his family to live with his brother Randy in a small town in Florida. The family settles and store up supplies just before a nuclear attack destroys Washington and all the surrounding major cities in Florida. They remain isolated but safe in the small town of Fort Repose. Anarchy erupts in Fort Repose. A local doctor is beaten by drug addicts and authority figures commit suicide. Randy tries to establish a kind of normalcy, finding a way to provide his family and neighbors with running water. He and other Fort Repose figures restore basic medical services to the fearful citizens. The treat a rash of radiation poisoning victims, so afflicted by radioactive jewelry brought in by a treasure hunter. The treasure hunter dies of exposure and the townsfolk bury his body in a lead-lined coffin, at Randy's gunpoint. Randy, a former Reserve officer, establishes martial law in the town, shooting and hanging four criminals that assault the local doctor. The wife of Mark Bragg nurses the wounded doctor and the two begin to fall in love, but don't consummate their relationship because of her marriage to Mark. The people survive the next few months, enduring food shortages and a search for a supply for salt. Much useful information is gleaned from a journal from a local farmer from generations before. Still later, military helicopters find the community and report that the country's infrastructure is being stitched together and that they are free to leave Fort Repose. The group opts instead to stay in the town they have built together.
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Best part of story, including ending: It's a fun scenario to imagine. What would I do? How would my family survive?

Best scene in story: I like the bit when chaos breaks out in the town immediately following the attack. It is unclear who will survive or how order can be restored.

Opinion about the main character: He's a somewhat wooden character sometimes, filling his role and little more.

The review of this Book prepared by Andrew Black a Level 5 American Goldfinch scholar

Chapter Analysis of Alas, Babylon

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Disaster, natural or nuclear    -   Yes Kind of disaster:    -   post nuclear war Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Pat Frank Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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