This book is almost certainly George R. Stewart's _Earth Abides. The
hero is a geologist and the precious object is his "single jack" rock
hammer. The book is one of my favourites, and copies are usually around
in used book stores.
Patricia Silva wrote:
> Can anyone out there recognize this book?
>> It was in the seventies that I read this book. I read a fiction book
>>about an epidemic that wiped out most people in the country (USA).
>>were pockets of people who survived and they were able to use the water
>>system and even electricity at first, but soon these systems needed to
>>repaired and there was nobody who knew how to repair them. So life
>>more primitive. Also these people became fearful of travelers who might
>>bring disease and wipe their little colony out again. The original
>>narrator of the book lived a long life and had with him something from
>>civilization. This "something"(I wish I remembered what) was now a
>>talisman for the younger generations who believed it had magic power.
>>made quite and impression on me and I was not keeping track of what I
>>read at the time so I have totally lost it. It was probably the late
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