I have owned this book 25-30 years; it is part of my permanent collection. It is one of the most riveting books I have ever read, and I have read it at least a half dozen times. It takes the reader into the lives and thoughts of a handful of people in Australia. Australian inhabitants are among the last survivors in the world after nuclear war. How the final survivors deal with the last days of their lives-- store their garden furniture for a spring they will never see, drain oil from cars up on blocks they will never drive again, put hay in fields for cattle that will momentarily outlive them. And finally, make decisions about passing with sicker spouses and family members, or outlining them for a tiny moment. After facilitating the end of the world, the various world governments thoughtfully provide little red boxes, free of charge, with a painless pill to free yourself of radiation sickness. And of course, an equally painless syringe, so you can also put down your pets--and kids.
Telling the story of a group of post-nuclear war citizens in Australia, this book is both frightening and horrifying. They try to come to terms with what has happened and what is to come, while at the same time living in a dichotomy, with one couple planning out their garden in one conversation, and how to end their lives with cyanide in the next. This book is much darker than "Alas, Babylon" but is a classic and the mental images Shute creates will stay with you for life. Highly recommended.
i have read this book and seen the movie a number of times and never get over the images of people on the edge at the end of the world.
if you ever read this you will be more gentle with the world and look for peace everytwhere...and will never forget about the coke bottle
This is a famous book about the period right after the nuclear Armegeddon. It is a bit dated to the 50's-60's, but is a very good story.
I found this book to be quite a bit out dated and not easy to relate to in a sense that it does not take place in the western hemisphere. Otherwise, this is a great book. The style is slow but you get a real feeling of what is going to happen. I found it amazing that the general consensus of the characters is a resigned acceptance. Perhaps they are like that in Australia...? I highly recommend this book to those that appreciate history and/or what-if scenarios.
An interesting look at Mr. Shute's expectations of what world-ending crisis would look like. Maybe it's the fact that I didn't grow up in the 1950's, but none of what was going on seemed accurate to me and my expectations. The last 20 pages were, for me, the only interesting part of the whole book.
The last generation....innocent victims of a n accidental war. living out the last days, making plans that will never be carried out, making do with what they have--however temporary it might be--hoping for the miracle that will not come. As the deadly rain moves ever closer, and the world as we know it winds toward an inevitable end.