Framing the Dialogue

Atlas, Babylon

“Then the sound came, a long, deep, powerful rumble increasing in crescendo until the windows rattled, cups danced in their saucers, and the bar glasses rubbed rims and tinkled in terror. The sound slowly ebbed, then b1959oomed to a fiercer climax, closer.”

Written and released in 1959, Alas, Babylon was one of the first dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear war.  I wasn’t born yet, but I do remember growing up during the Cold War.  Mutually Assured Destruction was a hell of a thing to live with.  Author Pat Frank showed us how a small Florida community dealt with the aftermath of a world nuclear war.  This novel didn’t get into too much of the what/how of the actual bombs, just how this community worked to survive and hoped for the best, but were realists.

“Most of those who died in North America saw nothing at all, since they died in bed, in a millisecond slipping from sleep into deeper darkness. So the struggle was not against a human enemy, or for victory. The struggle, for those who survived The Day, was to survive the next.”

The story is not overtly political, but it had its moments; things that we can still learn from today.  This was a very compelling novel; so much so that I was driven to read in a day.

“When it became common to spend a million dollars to elect senators from moderately populous states, I think that should have been a warning to us. For instance, free pap for the masses. Bread and circuses. Roman spectacles and our spectaculars. Largesse from the conquering proconsuls and television giveaways from the successful lipstick king. To understand the present you must know the past, yet it is only part of the answer and I will never discover it all. I have not the years.”

Leave a comment

Use basic HTML (<a href="">, <strong>, <blockquote>)