The first, and last, time I read this book was for a high school class several years ago. I had read on my own Nevil Shute's On the Beach before reading this one. I can say that if you've read On the Beach, you won't like this one. The fact that everyone survives a nuclear blast a little more than 50 miles away is somewhat questionable. When Chernobyl went up, people hundreds of miles away were affected. The story line of how everyone eventually works together to solve their problems and clean up the mess from the war is purely hysterical. Where's the looting, pillaging, destruction found after real disasters? Not in this book, that's where. This feel-good outcome of nuclear war, though, does fit beautifully in this category - fiction. And, even, if you haven't read On the Beach, the story in Alas, Babylon is laughable at best. Save your money, buy On the Beach instead. It's cheaper, and the story line is much more accurate. The only reason why Alas, Babylon is popular here, is that it's set in the US. Don't read this book. Get Nevil Shute's On the Beach or even the movie. Both are better than this drivel.