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Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse Hardcover – October 4, 2011
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“Rawles is an amazingly gifted author who has singlehandedly reignited the post-apocalyptic thriller. Survivors is an instant classic.” --Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Full Black
"An incredible tale." --AmongTheLeaves.com
"’Survivors’, painting a realistic picture of life with no plan to survive the harsh realities of a crash, has given me a glimpse into how the other half lives, and how I can further prepare to help my fellow man." --Paratus Familia Blog
“It's 370 pages of adventure, excitement, and page-turning thrills.” --If it Hits the Fan
“It embodies the American spirit of independence and survival.” --NoisyRoom.net
“Rawles' Survivors is well worth reading. . . well-written and informative, and speaks with an honesty and bluntness often missing from the policy prognotications of the political elite.” --The New American
About the Author
Former US Army intelligence officer and survivalist James Wesley Rawles is a well-known survival lecturer and author. Rawles is the editor of SurvivalBlog.com—the nation’s most popular blogs on family preparedness. He lives in an undisclosed location west of the Rockies. He is the author of the bestselling Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse and a nonfiction survival guide, How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It.
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I found the part about the Army officer abandoned in Europe and unable to get home by conventional means intriguing. Most interesting was how his stash of precious metal coins was accepted as payment when cash was worthless. I found myself reading further about precious metals. I also liked how he made his way from Belize back to the U.S. through Mexico. Great story. I enjoyed it. Can't say as much about the others editions in this series. Founders was OK, but I found Patriots a boring rehash.
Unlike Patriots, most of the characters in this novel were more ordinary type people in ordinary occupations - many were of limited economic means - struggling day to day like the rest of us. Some of these folks were prudent prepper type people; others were not prepped but rose to the demands of the occasion and got creative. All of them were caught in various situations, each of which required somewhat different strategies to deal with successfully. I really liked this aspect of "Survivors" - I could personally identify more with the people involved and this book was less the stereotypical story of preppers with bunkers, bug-out cabins, multi-year stockpiles of food, etc.
Mr. Rawles also dealt with a serious problem NOT often addressed in the survival press - and that is the VERY REAL THREAT of organized criminal gangs. In "Survivors", he deals point-blank with what can happen when such gangs run amok in a WROL (without rule of law) situation. Having lived in gang-ridden areas for much of my adult life and seen firsthand the lukewarm (at best) response of police and other authorities during "normal, peacetime" conditions, I've had an unwelcome look into that world and seen how they operate. Most people, unless they have personally been victims, are content to look the other way and allow this activity to go on right under their noses. Given that, and our society's lack of political will to deal effectively with the problem, I can tell anyone reading this post that MOST folks - including 'seasoned preppers' - are NOT in the slightest bit prepared for this type of threat. As someone said to me years ago "people won't know what hit 'em, much less what to do about it when it does."
All in all, I thought this was an excellent read. Like "Patriots", "Survivors" had some excellent survival oriented information with an engaging story wrapped around it. He also had some excellent information regarding amateur "ham" radio as a means of emergency communication in this book. As I mentioned above, I liked the fact this story actually dealt with more "common" or "everyday" people and less with the stereotypical "prepper" types. From that standpoint I liked "Survivors" better than "Patriots", but BOTH books are well worth reading.
There were bright points as well (like a horseback trip from South America to New Mexico) but they were few and far between. Survivalist techniques, data, and advice were sorely lacking in this preachy and fragmented narrative. "Patriots" had it's share of evangelical speech but it wasn't over the top, whereas "Survivors" was vastly overloaded with "put your trust in the Lord" paragraphs on every other page. It was almost just page filler like the useless chapters I mentioned earlier. Either the author had a $/word contract or just ran out of material after coming up with a dime novel's worth of quality story. I was vastly disappointed with this effort, do not buy! Go get "Patriots" instead.