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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Survivor's Bookshelf: How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It

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I've been working on this book review for a while. What I mean is I have been trying desperately to read the book all the way through. The book in question is How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It by James Wesley, Rawles the founder of survivalblog.com.

My problem with this book is not its content. I just didn't enjoy reading it. I found the prose both stilted and self-congradulatory. The author uses abbreviations that are overly long and unwieldy (e.g. - TEOTWAWKI). These two flaws kept me from being engaged by the material: they made reading this book intensely difficult because I felt like I was being lectured at rather than conversed with.

That said, How to Survive... works as a survival reference. The chapters are well defined. The index works as indices should. The author has included an abundance of useful lists. In fact, chapter two, Priorities: Your List of Lists, is a collection of lists; each of which has its own distinct purpose.

While this works as a reference guide, I found that some of the advice the author gives unhelpful for the majority of people. Perhaps some have the funds to have more than one home, stock all their homes with weaponry and food, and rotate their larders frequently. Unfortunately, most people do not have this luxury. However, if the reader chooses the advice she takes selectively, this is not a problem. We can also take the optimists' route and plan for when we will have multiple homes and the funds to stock them.

Misgivings about the prose and the helpfulness some of the advice aside, I would recommend this book strictly as a reference guide. I did not find it a fun read. I did find loads of information (via the index) about what to do before and during a social collapse to survive as well as possible.

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