Sunday, February 19, 2012
The Days After
I don't just read post-apocalyptic comics. Since I was about eight or nine, I really got into books and would constantly beg my mother to take me to the library. My school district didn't do the summer reading list but that didn't stop me from seeking out books to read not only during the summer but all year long. Because I grew up in the era of the Cold War, I became fascinated with the idea of nuclear war so when I got my hands on Alas, Babylon I was eager to read it.
I mention the aspect of schools giving students summer reading lists because I found out years later that this novel was sometimes on those lists. I didn't even realize that back then but now it seems that there are a lot of reading guides, suggestions for classroom discussions, chapter summaries, and various comments online about how people had to read it for a class. As post-apocalyptic fiction Alas, Babylon tries to be quite realistic and not fantastical at all. The novel isn't as grim as something like The Road, but it is very serious. It isn't much to inspire a Mutant Future setting, but this is still an important novel when it comes to post-apocalyptic fiction. Some people may find it rather dry or slow but I really enjoyed it when I first read it and then I read it again a few years back and still found it to be engaging.