By Pat Frank
The vintage apocalyptic novel that shocked the realm.
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Extra resources for Alas, Babylon
Between people in their thirties and forties there wasn't too wide a gap. Perhaps all he needed, she decided, was a little understanding and tenderness from a mature woman. Randy watched Florence's ten-year-old Chevy diminish and disappear down the tunnel of live oaks that arched River Road. He liked Florence. She might be a gossipy old maid but she was probably one of the few people on River Road who had voted for him. Now she was acting as if he were a stranger trying to cash a money order without credentials.
The captain's walk had been added for the aging Lieutenant Peyton, so that with his brass spyglass he could observe what happened at the junction of rivers. Now the Bragg holdings had dwindled to thirty-six acres, but thirty were planted in prime citrus-navels, mandarins, Valencias, and Temples - all tended and sold in season by the county co-operative. Each year Randy received checks totaling eight to ten thousand dollars from the co-operative. Half went to his older brother, Mark, an Air Force colonel stationed at Offutt Field, Headquarters of the Strategic Air Command, near Omaha.
Their eyes, spectacularly ringed in white, as if embedded in mint Life Savers, blinked at her. Anthony shook his green and yellow plumage and rasped a greeting. Cleo said nothing. Anthony was adventurous, Cleo timid. On occasion Anthony grew raucous and irascible and Florence released him into limitless freedom outside. But always, at dusk, Anthony waited in the Turk's-cap, or atop the frangipani, eager to fly home. So long as Cleo preferred comfortable and sheltered imprisonment, Anthony would remain a domesticated parrot.