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Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse Hardcover – December 11, 2012
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The hard sell for me (in this instance) is the character development. It seems like every member of the "Group" is an overdeveloped Boy or Girl Scout. I mean, every single one is a"perfect" survivalist. No one curses ("... when the Schumer hit the fan..." Really? Who actually talks like that?), almost every single one is a Bible-reading, fundamental, God-fearing Christian individual (nothing wrong with those folks, but he lays religion on pretty thick). And they all seem to live in close quarters for years without internal bickering? Yeah, right. That takes away some of the authenticity and makes the characters seem more contrived, than gritty. Also, he tends to drone on with the minutiae of details in several chapters (I had to skip over pages of short-wave radio equipment explanation... several paragraphs would have been sufficient). Though I did enjoy his details re: IEDs. Very interesting and unnerving.
Overall, I enjoyed it... I probably would have enjoyed it more if there was a little more variety in the characterization and depth to each one. They all seemed the same, making them a bit one-dimensional. It was a tad annoying at times and I started to disengage from them midway through the book.
But still, pretty cool.
On the negative side I found his scenario for the second half of the book unlikely. He seems to be writing the screen play for the movie Red Dawn, supposing the reconstituted US government is using foreign mercenaries to suppress the populace. This scenarios takes the story away from the collapse into guerrilla warfare.. In addition, in the first part of the book Rawls talks about setting up the retreat, like people who live and work elsewhere have an endless supply of money. Using this endlessly supply they buy all these wonderful and critical things. As someone who is going thru this process I think it misses the very human decisions that must be made in choosing the best versus what can be done in the face of competing resource needs.
In summary, this is an exciting, informative book with a few scenario weaknesses. I would recommend it as a great read!