Read Survivors by Terry Nation Online


A virus has wiped out 95 per cent of the world's population in just a few weeks, leaving the remaining five per cent to stay alive in a world devoid of the most basic amenities - electricity, transport and medicine. The few survivors of the human race are forced to fall back on the most primitive skills in order to live...

Title : Survivors
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781409102649
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Survivors Reviews

  • MisterD
    2019-04-06 07:50

    Whilst the recent TV series is clearly based on this novel - several of the main characters are there, as are key episodes - it has its own pace and scale. The onset and aftermath of the Death are well delivered, to the extent that we as quickly become innured to the scale of the morbidity as do the protagonists. We immediately become caught up in their daily struggle for survival. The post-apocalyptic world, and the variety of ways in which its inhabitants conduct themselves, is very much in the tradition of John Wyndham's tales.At times, however, the book doesn't ring quite true. Written in the seventies, it shows its age in a number of minor details, and isn't shy of presenting a gallery of stock characters from those days. More irritatingly, here and there are inconsistencies in the narrative - encounters with other groups of survivors, for example, are rarely followed though to a logical conclusion, though when this is done the excitement and interest are built up to page-turning level. Similarly, in places the time-scale leaps around unsatisfyingly, from second-by-second action to whole seasons in the space of a paragraph.The final scene is a surprise, well enough, though the revelation is flagged up more obviously than HMS Victory at the Nile; but Terry Nation leaves us wanting more, which is probably the best place to end.I'd very much like to see a re-write of this book, as I feel the TV programmes addressed some of the ommissions. These criticisms apart, "Survivors" is a good read overall, not overly demanding and, indeed, thought-provoking.

  • Jade Heslin
    2019-03-29 10:55

    God, this was boring. I don’t remember actually being bored reading it, but the fact that I can’t remember anything about the plot, characters or style really speaks volumes about the author’s level of penmanship.Terry Nation is a TV writer, and I’m sure he is very good at his day-job (he invented the infamous Darleks after all), but he should have stuck to TV instead of getting grandiose ideas of becoming a novelist.I’m not saying that TV writers are any less worthy of praise, it’s just that the two fields are completely different. And that’s why I’m not going to let this put me off post-apocalyptic fiction for good. The last few I’ve read have been pretty dire, but NO – I’m standing firm!I really have nothing to say about this book. There was a ‘twist’ at the end which was condescendingly predictable. I just… Pffft… Words elude me.I have given this book 2 stars. 1 star is reserved for those truly abhorrent spewings. I didn’t hate this book. I was just indifferent.

  • Lisa Murray
    2019-04-02 07:33

    picked this up because I really enjoyed the BBC series and I was disappointed that it only ran 2 seasons. This is one of the few cases where a movie or film is better than the book. The book was fine, just not exceptional.

  • Kit★
    2019-04-18 05:38

    Recently watched the (2000's version) of the show based on this book and I loved it. Sad to hear they're not making any more seasons. Seen it was based on this book, so might like to read it if I ever find a copy.

  • Mel
    2019-04-05 09:41

    Like most novelizations of TV shows I was expecting this to be an overview of the first couple of episodes but it was so much more than that. It started similarly, but quickly diverted from the endless episodic nature of the show. Instead it was a well planned out and perfectly structured look at the fall of civilisation and those who survived it. The structure was wonderful and the ending a total surprise. I found myself anxiously awaiting the end. It has such great symmetry and was definitely the best version of this story I've come across yet. Very glad BF put it in the sale as otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered to get it and I'm very glad I did.

  • Daniel
    2019-03-26 10:36

    This is a new edition of a book originally published in the 1970s I believe when the original TV show was on. This new edition was released in conjunction with the new version of the TV show. In the style of the age it is a little slower, more suspense by anticipation of trouble, than the action packed books, movies and TV of today but still a great story with realistic human reactions to situations. This is more of the drama of human relationships than the action and conflict of current "pulp media."

  • Mr Osowski
    2019-04-15 08:52

    Terry Nation holds a special place in my heart--Daleks! But his book just didn't do it for me. There was some good philosophical discussion about what the world would be like if most of us died. And, granted, it doesn't fall back on a lot of the post-apocalyptic tropes (probably because it was written in the 70s). I just didn't get attached to the characters like I hoped. And the ending was a bit predictable.

  • Sergio
    2019-03-27 05:49

    Un bel romanzo di sopravvivenza dopo una pandemia inarrestabile

  • Miya
    2019-04-06 11:31

    I wanted to give this book a higher rating but I kept on comparing it to the 2008 BBC TV series which I really enjoyed that ended frustratingly after only two seasons. This book diverts from the show quite a bit despite keeping some of the same characters. I must confess to never watching the 1975 production. My favourite character was Tom Price in the TV version, but here I found Price like most of the characters rather superficially drawn hence the 3 stars. Abby and Greg were the best of the bunch, with Abby having the strongest characterisation and story arc. I wish the other characters could have fared better in this regard.The book is an easy read and you can imagine the disintegration of society and the reclaiming of the land by mother nature as depicted in the book which is stretched over about a decade.The ending comes very suddenly and I can understand those readers who felt a bit deflated afterwards. That said, I found it realistic how things eventually panned out, in real life things don't always get tied up in a nice neat tidy bow and in this world after such a devastating virus these characters are having to survive in a world that has changed probably irrevocably.Some will adapt and survive, some will not for various reasons even when we think they deserve to survive, it's even more upsetting when a death occurs caused by a sheer sad twist of fate.

  • Taksya
    2019-04-20 06:48

    Della serie tv del 1975 ('76 in Italia) ricordo chiaramente solo la sigla. Il resto è nebuloso e, anche rileggendo la trama degli episodi, non emerge nulla dalle nebbie.Non so dire quanto romanzo, scritto da Terry Nation (autore della serie tv e padre dei Dalek) e letto da Carolyn Seymour (protagonista della prima stagione della serie), si discosti dalla serie se non facendo riferimento alle brevi note trovate sulla wiki.La narrazione è frammentaria, con molti stacchi televisivi e poca fluidità tra i momenti di azione e quelli più descrittivi.La lettura della Seymour è in grado di tenere viva l'attenzione e la durata non eccessiva del testo aiuta a non distrarsi troppo.Il finale, abbastanza sorprendente, è di certo diverso dal finale di stagione ed è, alla fine dei conti, la parte più interessante della storia.Nel complesso siamo sulla sufficienza, ma non una stella più di tre.

  • Kay Smillie
    2019-04-04 08:45

    Been a very long time since I had read this novel. Probably just as long since I watched the tv series (the original, not the dire remake). Now you can tell this was based on the first series of Survivors (rather than the novel being written first) as I was vividly recalling scenes from the tv show and remembering the actors and actresses who played Abby, Jenny, Greg, Tom and a few others. Not the greatest novel of a post apocalyptic world but if you recall having enjoyed Survivors in the mid-70s, as I did, then this will bring the memories flooding back.Ray Smillie

  • Sean Meriwether
    2019-04-18 10:45

    I’ve been reading up on pandemics both real and imaginary to prepare to write my own book and I ran across the recent series Survivors inspired by this novel. While the BBC version was a lot more entertaining and satisfying, the novel touches on a number of "what if" concepts that the show never even attempts to approach. The novel kicks off with patient zero, a man who has died on a London-bound plane and is carrying a flu with a mortality rate of 95%; it spreads rapidly. London is plunged into chaos and services break down completely within a fortnight. Mind you, this is a book about the survivors so the extinction of billions is covered in a few short pages, and being English, those who don’t make the cut are very polite in the face of certain death. The main point Mr. Nation raises throughout the novel is that our modern society is completely ill-equipped to rough it. We do not know how to manufacture something as basic as a candle because we have learned to completely rely upon mass production and food delivery. Left on our own we will become scavengers up to a point, but in order to really survive we must reaquire the basic skills taken as common sense by our ancestors. The author’s hero is Abby, a middleclass mother searching to recreate a new way of life based on sustainable agriculture and bartering with other survivors. The novel read quickly and while I enjoyed the book, I came away wanting something more than a high-level sketch as this book covers more than a decade of post-flu survival. The ending was also an extreme letdown after a gripping adventure.

  • Char
    2019-03-26 08:32

    In the end Survivors turned out to be an interesting read with some thoroughly fascinating ideas of what could become of the human race if we were struck down by a pandemic. The book had a nice, steady pace to it that showed all the struggles of living in a world where none of the things we take for granted are available. The ending shocked me. I know that a happy ending wasn’t possible but the brutality of it struck me. The book was riddled with spelling errors and this really annoyed me because aside from that the writing itself was decent. Didn’t editors exist when this book was first published?The characters are quite an assortment and the diversity of them just proves what an interesting predicament the virus left the world in. My favourite character was Abby Grant. I love how she knew what she wanted to do and how that made other survivors look up to her. If I’d been in that situation I definitely would’ve needed an Abby. My least favourite character was Tom Price. He was lazy and didn’t really help the group that much. His constant chatter and stories also really wore me down and I wanted to give him a good slap. There were other members of the group that were allowed to grow as characters a bit but I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who want to read this.Overall I liked this. It was really different from the TV show so it offered an alternative insight into what life could be like without tainting my love of either representation. The ending of the book wasn’t to my taste and the fact that the spelling was a bit dodgy are the only things that dampened my enjoyment a bit. I’m not sure if I’d read this again but it’s certainly got me thinking.

  • Jonathan Norton
    2019-04-11 07:41

    Terry Nation's tie-in novel from 1976, linked to the 1st season of the TV show he created. To get round various legal issues the 2008 remake was billed as based on this book, rather than a remake of the TV series, but I never saw that adaptation so I dunno about it. I have seem all of the 70s version, and love it and am willing to defend all of it, including seasons 2 and 3, which Nation didn't have much involvement with.The book is great but different. The early chapters are pretty much the same as the opening episodes, but then we quickly diverge away. Obviously, it focuses on the central 3 and we don't get much development of the other survivors. There are brief appearances by figures who get bigger stories on screen, such as the gold-collector, and the dashing young aristocrat Jimmy Garland. The London settlement, which got 2 episodes at the start of season 2, is summarised in a few paragraphs. On the other hand Wormley's National Government is a bigger thing than it was on TV. The timeline is rather different, and infrastructure crumbles away much faster in this world. We don't actually get any detail about the Chinese lab that the opening credits implied was the source of the plague, it all starts at airports.One thing that does stand out is the stunning finale, which has no parallel in any of the 3 seasons. If, like me, you got the idea (from immersion in Doctor Who fan culture) that Nation was just a hack who found a crock of gold in the Daleks even though other people did a lot of the work, then this and the original TV show will set you right.

  • Andrew
    2019-04-03 04:32

    Given the current pandemic fears associated with the Ebola virus this book which I found in a charity shop seemed kind of topical.The first thing I noticed was the authors name as I was aware of Terry Nation as the creative inventor of the Daleks(at least in real life in fiction Davros has that job) and also as the greater of Blake's 7.This book however is very different from the sci fi you may expect from Terry Nation based on this.It's a apocalyptic tale told of a virus that wipes away much of mankind and leaves a few survivors striving to create some order from an the anarchy that remains.It was good to see the author point out the grinding collapse of industry,order and safety when swathes of a workforce die off..this is spoke about in regard to oil refineries exploding and public transport failing, scavenging and looting are rife and in many ways the fiction is very easy to believe and the characterisation is strong too...even the heroes are flawed.Though written in the seventies the collapse of society reflected means this still reads well as a contemporary novel as the lack of technology means it's difficult to date.It's a good book in the vein of something like 'day of the triffids' 'I am legend' or ' the kraken awakes' though without a supernatural or extra terrestrial element.All in all I enjoyed this and in some ways wish I had seen the television treatment as if it was as watchable as the book was readable I'm sure I would have enjoyed it.

  • Christopher
    2019-04-17 10:49

    An odd book to discover if you remember (from the original or from a re-broadcast) the TV series, which - in my own case - is quite firmly burned into my memory, with some quite seriously harrowing portrayals from the original principals.But what of the book itself? It is actually quite a clever variation on the standard post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel. It treads a very narrow path between the slight cosiness (although I disagree with the critics on this) of Wyndham, and the out-and-out savagery of, say, Christopher. The characters are believable, if - for the most part - only lightly sketched; their struggle for survival in post-Death England is matched only by the struggle that their characterisations have to impose themselves on the almighty plot device. My favourite character, a reaction based largely on the memory of Talfryn Thomas's brilliance on screen, was Tom Price, broadly written and allowed enough personal flaws and failings to make him both believable and even sympathetic here (unlike, at times, his TV counterpart).Overall, a very skillful piece of story-telling, but definitely one which - had you not known of the TV series - would cry out for televization.N.b. I have not researched which was written first, the book or the first series of the TV programme, but I have pre-supposed that it was written between series 1 and 2, since (very slight spoiler alert, though not much) the ending of the book and the ending of Series 1 do differ somewhat.

  • Andy Gibb
    2019-04-16 04:44

    Published in '76 so this is of interest as an historical read if nothing else. I also hoped for better than the TV series, which hung a few stock drama plots round an ill-thought-out human dieback scenario.Both book and television conveniently have everyone park their cars before dying to leave the roads empty and navigable. Petrol is also freely available. Perversely the power goes out everywhere and radio and TV fail. Later on, the fabric of the road system also stays intact without the continuous maintenance it needs. True, there's almost no traffic but water at the very least would cause it to deteriorate.By this time the main group of survivors has turned into a commune with no discernible leader. And there's even a passage of someone questioning why society should return to its old industrial model. Philosophically then the book has further merit.It does turn into a good read of the grim survival sort. The ending seems a little abrupt and forced, maybe with the thought that a sequel was around the corner. The most heartening aspect of the whole production was the number of typos and unedited sentences that had crept through. As a 100% DIY self-publisher, I feel my record isn't too bad in comparison. Who needs perfection?

  • Nick Sheridan
    2019-04-17 04:43

    My longer review of this book is posted at CrapLookingBooks.comFor those of you who don't know Terry Nation, he's the guy who invented the fucking Daleks, and near-single handedly penned Blake's 7, the grandaddy of story-arc science fictions like Babylon 5, ExoSquad and even Red Dwarf, which inspired a generation, brought some of our major writing current teams together in shared interest, and firmly stuffed a stencil of Oleg Gan's face in my "possible tattoos" folder.The book falls down because it is one of those TV-to-novel adaptions that focuses on key episodes from its given series at the cost of other material, and which doesn't make any bones about doing so. There are maybe a few interesting scenes or moments, but the the interesting stuff is skipped over. For example an understanding of just how our post-apocalyptic gabble survived the winter is left out, yet we're treated to agonisingly drawn out conversations about cups of tea and wood-chopping.Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to stock up on end-of-the-world brandy.NickxxMy longer review of this book is posted at

  • Adam Graham
    2019-04-05 03:58

    Carolyn Seymour reads Survivors, Terry Nation's novel based on the stories he wrote for Series 1 of the TV series although with a very different series. The novel is, in many ways, more grim than the TV series. However, more than trying to be "dark," the Survivors attempts to be a realistic story of what might happen in England after an apocalypse brought about by plague. Terry Nation makes no real attempt to be overly moody or artificially depressing (other than in perhaps the last scene). Rather, he tries to tell a story that's realistic and true to life and tries to imagine how society would re-form after a plague catyclysm in a largely secularized United Kingdom. He does a solid job of it and his world is populated by characters, some of them likable, some of them not, but all with very realistic motivations.The audiobook is read by Carolyn Seymour (who played Abby Grant) and she does a magnificent job in making the story and it's a wide variety of characters come to life. Overall, this is a solidly written and produced book.

  • Dana Stabenow
    2019-03-21 06:58

    The bubonic plague returns in the modern day, with very few people left afterward to try to build some kind of life in the aftermath. I got this book because I saw the one-season BBC series of the same name and saw that it had been based on this book, and because dystopian sf is so prevalent now I wanted to see what Nation made of it in 1976. I'm still of two minds about the two endings [spoiler alert!] -- The TV series was cancelled so the ending is a cliffhanger with almost everyone who matters to us still alive. The book ends on a much grimmer note, with pretty much everyone we like dead and everyone else beginning a journey the ending of which we have no way to see. Just because Greg says, "We'll survive" doesn't mean they will. And the odds of Abby finding Peter at the end and being killed by him seem awfully long, and a little over the top. I don't know, though. In this future? Maybe not.Worth reading. And pray nightly for the health of your infrastructure.

  • Suzy
    2019-04-21 07:44

    This is the story of the world after a flu-like plague wipes out most of the population. It's the story of a handful of survivors who are decidedly middle class with middle class issues. Everything comes easy to the people portrayed in the novel, there is little hell, violence or disaster- even when gangs roam around. The most dramatic thing I can recall is the rabbits eating their new crops. I didn't expect zombies or silliness but a bit of genuine fear and dramatic episodes would've been welcome. As it was, this made for a dull listen.The narrator did a good job and made it sound like a radio play, which picked up the narrative. She varied voices a little but it was tricky to distinguish between characters in the early chapters. So if you want to spend a few hours listening to a family friendly end of the world saga then this is for you. I wanted more realism. Average 2.5 to 3 stars.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-23 05:53

    First: boy howdy can you tell this was written in the 70s. I can't even put my finger on it, but just the language and the way he talks about the women characters gives it away. Also, everyone smokes, all the time. That's beside the point, though. Overall, the book was just kind of okay. I picked it up because I liked the BBC series. I think the show was better. A lot of things were a bit too convenient, and the ending was just... super predictable and super cliche and not really all that well done. It was kind of like he just got tired of writing it or something. It was a quick read, though, and it was interesting to see all the plot threads from the show and how they stemmed from the book but were obviously changed. Side note: I love that the cover features two characters from the show who aren't even in the book, one of whom dies in the very first episode of the show. El oh el.

  • Dave Lefevre
    2019-03-25 04:41

    I've wanted to read this for a while. The original Survivors series in the 70s was a great piece of television. Leaving the reason for the apocalypse aside it chronicles a group of people struggling from nothing to a new return to civilization at the end of the third season. The revival of Survivors is less successful as the producers felt they had to sex up Terry Nation's premise quite a bit. They added the bad-guy prisoner as well as a plot behind the plague. To me it's not as interesting and was an attempt to make the series just another dime-a-dozen adventure show.Nation's novel adds some dimension to episodes that appeared in the original series. It's quite obvious, however, why Nation was a great episodic writer and not a novelist. It really shows in this work. It's still a fun read, though, especially for those of us that have taken the time in the past to see the original 3 season masterpiece.

  • Tsvetelina
    2019-04-14 07:34

    The reason why I decided to read the book is because I wanted to know how the BBC series (2008-2010) might have ended. Personally, I enjoyed the series much more. However, the book is all right, dark, depressing and somewhat dramatic at the end. The characters are interesting but not as compelling and insightful as in the series. I felt a slight disappointment of the book probably because the series set my expectations high. In comparison, the book may be quite simple but it remains riveting and exciting. More importantly, it gives you food for thought: what will the world be like if 99% of the human population died after a flu pandemic? What comes aftermaths? Both the series and the book focus on the human nature, show its true colors when it comes to living in a world with no civilization, no laws, where people have to struggle for their own survival.

  • Stefanie Price
    2019-03-28 06:33

    Having avidly watched the 1970s television series (why the recent series is on the cover is beyond me, when the story isn't remotely similar to the original 70s version, based around this, Terry Nation's novel) I was in no hurry to read this. First of all I was put out by the modern remake that it's featuring on this cover, obviously for commercial purposes, just insulting. The book's content, happily, was familiarly adjacent and in most places identical to the television series. I was gratified to see that the original BBC drama had been true to Terry Nation's vision, although the book does move along at a much faster pace than the series. I enjoyed it, but it was only at the end, which takes a dramatically different twist to the one that I'd hitherto experienced that I felt I was ingesting something new. I really enjoyed the final scene - I actually didn't see that one coming.

  • Debbie
    2019-03-26 05:30

    I decided to read this book after watching seasons 1 & 2 of the excellent BBC series Survivors, which was based on this book. Survivors is the story of a flu-like pandemic that kills 99.9% of the world's population. The book tells the story of a group that band together in England to scavenge and create a home. I think the series was much better because the story was updated (the book was written in the 1970's) and has more characters and gives provides the viewer with an in-depth view of their prior lives.The book is still a good, quick read and I enjoyed that the book took the story about 5 years out and had a surprise twist at the end that I didn't see coming.

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-20 10:31

    Survivors is an engrossing look at post-plague Britain, where only a handful of survivors have been left to eke out an existence. The characters are appealing, despite the rather matter of fact tone of the narrator. I wanted the characters to survive, and found the details of their lives fascinating. I have to confess that I watched, and greatly enjoyed, both of the BBC's Survivor series, the 1970's and 2010 adaptation; watching the series undoubtedly did help make the characters more accessible to me. A good and worthwhile read.

  • Blair Hodgkinson
    2019-04-08 05:49

    This plausible apocalyptic future (from a mid-1970s POV) is well-realized by the writer. Some reviewers have called Nation, more famous as a script writer, a dull novelist, but I enjoyed his economical prose well enough. What's missing in this novel is a clear resolution for some of the characters, which may be understandable enough given that he was no doubt already planning to make this into a TV series when the novel was written, but there is a nice twist thrown in at the end.

  • Bronwyn Hegarty
    2019-04-20 06:35

    The plot is good which explains why it was made into a TV series. The writing in three parts keeps you interested but it is simplistic with little characterisation or power to induce emotion. It was popular at the time as it was probably one of the first apocalytic novels, and as we know us humans are starving for this kind of stuff. It interested me as research to help with my writing and I will now watch the series. I expect this will have more depth to it which is unusual as it is often the other way round. I did not like the ending.

  • Richard Eyres
    2019-04-06 04:44

    I have had this book for a few years, buying it after the first episode of the new TV series. I got a chapter in, then got distracted and never went back to it.As this was written in the 70s, some of the themes are a little strange now. However, the book/story does hold up and the ending is what I was expecting.The book follows a number of different groups, concentrating on a core group of people. It is very episodic (after all, it was for a TV series in the 70s/80s era). I enjoyed the brutality of it, while it was not over graphic.All in all, a good read, but nothing to shout about.