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The Day They H-Bombed Los Angeles

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24 Frightening Hours A Hollywood star, a housewife, a nurse... A doctor, a G-man, an engineer... They were among the pitiful handful of survivors who faced starvation, disease, and something infinitely worse - the terror that roamed the ruins! The horde of monsters had once been men and women, but now were transformed into something never before seen on Earth!


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24 Frightening Hours A Hollywood star, a housewife, a nurse... A doctor, a G-man, an engineer... They were among the pitiful handful of survivors who faced starvation, disease, and something infinitely worse - the terror that roamed the ruins! The horde of monsters had once been men and women, but now were transformed into something never before seen on Earth!

30 review for The Day They H-Bombed Los Angeles

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason Bradley Thompson

    This truly strange O-Part of a book was written in 1961, years before "Night of the Living Dead," but fulfills so many of the conventions of the modern zombie novel I'd almost swear it was a hoax written 50 years later. Count them off: (1) animalistic, homicidal, cannibal, running/stumbling zombies (view spoiler)[although the cannibalism is only an isolated scene (hide spoiler)] ; (2) hordes of zombies attacking heavily armed defenders in a warehouse; (3) the cause of the zombieism revealed as (v This truly strange O-Part of a book was written in 1961, years before "Night of the Living Dead," but fulfills so many of the conventions of the modern zombie novel I'd almost swear it was a hoax written 50 years later. Count them off: (1) animalistic, homicidal, cannibal, running/stumbling zombies (view spoiler)[although the cannibalism is only an isolated scene (hide spoiler)] ; (2) hordes of zombies attacking heavily armed defenders in a warehouse; (3) the cause of the zombieism revealed as (view spoiler)[a mutant 'protein molecule', i.e. prions, 20 years before prions were discovered! DA-DA-DUM!! Coincidence? (hide spoiler)] ; and (4) the big conspiratorial reveal that (view spoiler)[the US government set off the H-bombs in an attempt to contain the zombie plague (hide spoiler)] . The most likely inspiration for the book (though there's no obvious evidence of influence) was Richard Matheson's Ur-zombie text "I Am Legend" from 1954, but Matheson's book was technically a vampire novel; "The Day They H-Bombed Los Angeles" is the first book I know of to call raving, biting madmen by the name 'zombies'. With all its strangely modern zombie-isms, this short (<150 pages) novella echoes Simon Clark's "Stranger" or Scott Sigler's "Infected" trilogy; unfortunately, those aren't particularly good books, and neither is this one. Unlike Matheson's thoughtful novel, but like the lame modern zombie books I just listed, "Los Angeles" is very much a macho heroic potboiler starring a tough dude who can shoot a gun and sling a lady over his shoulders; the 1961-era sexism here is extreme. Also, the writing is pretty awful, so it's no surprise this book has been nearly completely forgotten; Williams never met a passive verb he didn't like, there's hardly any prose or dialogue worth remembering, and the zombies have annoyingly little onscreen time. Despite that, there's a few flickers of creeping doom and paranoia, and I wished the book was longer, so it could go more into the final-quarter twist that (view spoiler)[some of the 'zombies' are actually intelligent, capable of speech and pretending to be human, making it more of a creeping infection scenario than just a bunch of savage mutant maniacs (hide spoiler)] . Perhaps Jack Finney's 1955 "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" was another influence for this weird, but not very good, book out of its time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Robbins

    Some books we read when we are young stick with us. This one scared my young mind like few others. Los Angeles is H-bombed. Not by the Russians or some other enemy. By the U.S. government. I can't divulge the reason without spoiling the story, but imagine a horde of rabid humans killing every non-afflicted person they find, and you have the essence of the terror in this riveting read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    It's a trashy sci-fi novel from 1961, published by Ace Books, and entirely captivating for the 2 or so hours it takes to read. The title comes true by the second paragraph, and the early chapters describe the chaos that would come to those able to survive in a fall-out shelter. Survival isn't easy, but it appears to be possible (even if 1961 public knowledge about radiation wasn't as strong as what we know now) but there is something else out there in the city that is coming after the humans we' It's a trashy sci-fi novel from 1961, published by Ace Books, and entirely captivating for the 2 or so hours it takes to read. The title comes true by the second paragraph, and the early chapters describe the chaos that would come to those able to survive in a fall-out shelter. Survival isn't easy, but it appears to be possible (even if 1961 public knowledge about radiation wasn't as strong as what we know now) but there is something else out there in the city that is coming after the humans we've come to know and root for. Williams is stuck in the tropes of trashy paperbacks concerning women - my fave character is Rena, the haughty actress who insists on running around naked because she's been in a nudist colony - but aside from that light dose of sex, the novel could easily be transported into a long episode of The Twilight Zone, especially if Irwin Allen lent a hand. I can't help myself, I love the pulp zing of books like these, even if I wouldn't want to read them exclusively.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ivan Silva

    Um livro que nos relata a história de um grupo de indivíduos , que tentam a todo o custo , sobreviver numa cidade de Los Angeles pós apocalíptica após ter sido bombardeada pelo governo como forma de travar uma molécula que transforma os seres humanos em seres autómatos. Leitura fluida e viciante .

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Closer to three and a half stars. I've been wanting to read it since I first laid my eyes upon the cover while still in college, but never got around to it until now, and I pretty much read it in one sitting. I was afraid it was going to be a standard post-apocalyptic human vs. zombie story, but it was at once more and less than that. The social mores of the day kinda bog it down, but all and all a nice read if you have a few hours to kill.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John

    A fun, quick read about survivors fighting off zombie hordes in Los Angeles after three Hydrogen bombs have leveled the city. Sounds enticing until you realize all the action happens within the week after the bomb is dropped. There are several elements of classic paranoid Cold War science fiction but the writing is just awkward and It really could have been any city in the story. The author doesn't even try to remind the reader that this takes place in that city.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Facedeer

    This felt a lot like a pulpy B-movie disaster film in book form. Which is not necessarily a bad thing if that's what you're looking for - it was a fun read, and by modern book size standards quite a quick one. Read it when I was younger, who knows if it'd stand up to my fond memories. But whatever, I remember it fondly.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

    Published in 1961, this is a 1950's era science fiction horror story reflecting the nuclear-inspired anxieties of the mid-twentieth century. After LA is H-bombed, 3 times, the survivors also have to face zombies of nuclear origin. So it's a quick easy, fun read, but also a period piece.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This was better than I expected it to be. It made me laugh when the "scientific" explanations started though.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy J.

    It was a fun read, but incredibly sexist. Although, what do you expect from a book written in 1961? It was clearly an inspiration for George A. Romero.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Read this one dozens of times as a youngster. Odd, but I have fond memories of it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sérgio Azevedo

    História interessante e que vejo facilmente adaptável para filme ou série.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Illusive

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ienjoyhorror

  15. 5 out of 5

    Teagan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andyward

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kevin P

  19. 4 out of 5

    Orlandr Figuero

  20. 4 out of 5

    Natalia's Daddy

  21. 5 out of 5

    João Sousa

  22. 4 out of 5

    Herbert Monni

  23. 4 out of 5

    travis helmkamp

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joan Santacana

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marty

  26. 4 out of 5

    malamoffo

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fabio

  28. 5 out of 5

    Umberto Rossi

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mrhyde86

  30. 4 out of 5

    Roman Pauer

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