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I read a book about 5 years ago that was a post-apocalyptic, nuclear age, maybe a World War III type book. I remember that there was a lot of radiation disease and that there was some guy with a stash of gold that was radiated and it killed him. I think the main character was a former soldier or something. It was a pretty old book. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Oh! It was based in Florida, and the guy drove to Orlando at one point. I remember that because I live there.

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    I can think of at least half a dozen that might fit the bill. Do you remember any names, places, events, etc? Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 16:34
  • @JaredTritsch It was based in Florida, I do believe. And he drove to Orlando at some point. Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 16:37
  • :-/ crap. None of those then.... Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 16:38

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Don't know about the gold (not mentioned in the synopsis), but it sounds like Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

The story is set in a fictional 1959, following two years of escalating tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union for dominance in the Middle East and in the Mediterranean Sea. The Soviets are menacing Turkey from three sides through their proxies in Egypt, Syria and Iraq in order to gain control of the Bosporus and give free passage to their large Mediterranean fleet. To counteract the Soviet menace the United States established a military presence in Lebanon and are providing aid to their Turkish and Israeli allies.

As detailed in the book, the Soviets gained a temporary space supremacy through the launch of a massive fleet of militarized Sputniks; moreover, they are aware that, within three or four years, the United States will cover the gap. Intelligence from a Soviet officer who defected in Berlin provided information about a Soviet war plan involving a sudden, overwhelming nuclear first strike on U.S. and NATO military and civilian targets, in order to minimize retaliation and become the leading world power. According to the leaked war plan the Soviet leadership considers acceptable the loss of 20 to 30 million of their own civilian population due to the retaliatory strike by NATO.

Narration follows the point of view of Randy Bragg, who lives an aimless life in the small Central Florida town of Fort Repose. His older brother, Colonel Mark Bragg, an Air Force Intelligence officer, sends a telegram ending in the words, "Alas, Babylon", a pre-established code between the brothers to warn of imminent disaster. Mark flies his family down to Fort Repose for their protection while he stays at Strategic Air Command headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska.

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  • Yes! That's it, thanks! Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 19:30
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    It's a stash of gold watches and jewelry that one of the characters has looted from the contaminated zone. Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 19:35

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