498 of 540 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why (Hardcover)
Those who are focusing on whether or not Gonzales is actually instructing you on how to survive in the wild are completely missing the point of Deep Survival. As a totally urban chick who'd rather die than hike, I bought the book not because I wanted to learn about mountaineering, but to investigate why I've survived a blood disorder that has killed others. And thanks to this book, I've gotten my answer. Gonzales beautifully explains and explores the paradox that must be absorbed completely if one is to live through a catastrophe--which is that to survive something, you must surrender to it, basically fall into it, accepting all the pain and suffering, if you're ever going to get out of it. When you're able to quickly adapt to a new reality and make this new place--however frightening--your new home, you've a much better chance of surviving than the person who's in denial. For one thing, your sense of spirituality and wonder deepens, and this is a tremendous life force in and of itself. It helps you enjoy where you ARE, instead of frantically trying to get to where you think you should be. This is simply a great life lesson, whether you're lost in the woods, or just trying to live a happier existence.
He explains the paradox so well--that in order to survive, one must surrender, yet at the same time not give in. There must be a sheer raw determination to win the game, yet an acceptance of possibly losing it as well, which paradoxically, gives you an edge. And if you can muster a playful spirit on top of it all, well--then you're just golden. A *great* read.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 30, 2007 8:00:16 AM PDT
R. B. Carpenter says:
Having read the book, I believe you put it even better (at least more succintly) than Gonzalez. It is a good book and you have distilled the central point.
Posted on Apr 14, 2008 11:13:14 AM PDT
Georg W. Koester says:
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2009 10:51:25 PM PST
Full disclosure-I haven't read the entire book but I spent about 30 minutes reading the first chapter and perusing the overall book. I thought it was a meandering, stream of consciousness, disconnected rant. But apparently I'm in the minority. I attended a survival school in Virginia several years ago, and many of the students said it was one of the best books they'd ever read.
My advice, however, is to go to the local bookstore and spend about 15-30 minutes reading it before purchase.
Posted on Jun 15, 2010 7:06:48 AM PDT
The Mad Bostonian says:
I love your summary of the book, I found it to be very helpful and insightful. I think the book should be required reading in any High School/ College Literature Class, I found Deep Survival to be so profound and beautiful... nice review!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2010 4:30:56 AM PDT
I almost put the book down after reading the first chapter or so because I felt a similar initial reaction, however, the book quickly ramps up and is full of great insight. I am very pleased to have pushed through and completed the book. One of the few books that I actually buy for friends and relatives.
Posted on Sep 15, 2010 11:15:42 PM PDT
T. Collins says:
Thank you for sharing your concise and eloquent review. I'm getting the book.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2011 5:32:42 PM PST
A. Bender says:
Posted on Apr 2, 2011 12:31:07 PM PDT
What a lovely, personal review.
Posted on Jul 4, 2011 10:48:08 AM PDT
What a wonderful review, Mary Ann. I have read and re-read this book many times and strongly recommend it. I bought it when I was laid off from my job. Even though job loss is not the same as falling out of an airplane or being capsized in a hurricane, it was a disaster in my life that required adaptation and the application of survival skills. The lessons in this book helped me embrace my jobless state as a new reality without surrendering to my fears and becoming immobilized by them. Yes, I found a new job, and it too presented a new reality that needed to be embraced. So I re-read the book and applied the lessons within it once again. So for me, this book has provided a great tool for avoiding depression and lassitude in stressful situations.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2014 7:22:02 PM PDT
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