Could this be Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban?  Some of it sounds similar and should be the right time of publication.  The writing is unmistakable because the narrator is semi=literate and this is reflected in the writing.  It is written as it might sound to someone who had heard the words spoken but not learned to read.  For instance, he speaks of being "dog frendy (friendly)" and refers to the "Pry Minster" (prime minister).  The news is spread by travelling puppet shows, as I remember, and the main character discovers some kind of cover-up (involving a power station?).  Anyway, it is a great read once you get used to the style, which is easier than you might think.  You might have to sound a few things out to figure out what he's actually saying.

Patricia Silva <[log in to unmask]> 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).
> There
> 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
> be
> repaired and there was nobody who knew how to repair them. So life
> became
> 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.
> It
> 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
> 70's.

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'We get that in here some nights, when someone's had a few.  Cosmic speculation about whether gods really exist. Next thing, there's a bolt of lightning through the roof with a note wrapped round it saying, "Yes, we do" and a pair of sandals with smoke coming out.  That sort of thing, it takes all the interest out of metaphysical speculation."
 from SMALL GODS by Terry Pratchett

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