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Will to Live: Dispatches from the Edge of Survival Paperback – February 1, 2011
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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The creator of TV�s Survivorman looks at some real-life survival situations and offers his perspective on them. Some will be familiar to many: the 1972 Andes crash of an airplane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team (chronicled in the book and movie, Alive); Chris McCandless� solo hike into the Alaskan wilderness (subject of the book and movie, Into the Wild). Others less familiar are no less fascinating, such as the plight of the Karluk, a ship that, during the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition, was trapped several months in an ice pack. Stroud approaches the stories practically: here�s what these people did, here�s what they should have done, here�s what you should think about doing if you�re ever in a similar situation. He offers intelligent tips�if you�re traveling somewhere remote, tell people where you�re going, take a well-stocked survival kit, and keep a cool head if you get lost�and he does an excellent job of putting readers into the situations he�s discussing, making us feel the cold or the panic or the sheer desperation. --David Pitt
From the Back Cover
In a survival situation, a wrong decision could spell the difference between life and death.
No one knows this better than Les Stroud, who has survived everywhere from the sun-scorched sands of the Kalahari to the snake-infested jungles of the Amazon. In Will to Live, Les examines many incredible true life survival stories—explaining what happened and why, and offering valuable perspectives on what went right, what went wrong, and what could have been done differently. The tales in Will to Live include:
Chris McCandless—the subject of the book and movie Into the Wild.Yossi Ghinsberg—who survived alone in the Amazon for twenty-one days.
Douglas Mawson—the Antarctic "superman" who survived three hellish months at the bottom of the planet.
Nando Parrado—who was trapped for two months high in the Andes after a plane crash killed his friends and family.
Plus . . . stories from Les's own experiences, along with practical sidebars with tips on how to escape quicksand, butcher a moose, cross a snow-covered crevasse, and more.
Provocative and entertaining, Will to Live is a compilation of history's most intriguing survival stories from one of the world's foremost experts.
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Top customer reviews
Stressed throughout besides being prepared and organized is the necessity of someone in a group to become the leader to develop a strategy to endure and survive. The ability to improvise, what the author refers to as Macgyverism is paramount in a survival situation ."There are times when you have to sacrifice one object to make it into another , more effective one."(pg.282). This is shown throughout Will to Live. If you enjoy survival stories and are looking for advice on how to handle dire straits then you will enjoy this collection of stories. Recommended.
Les is articulate, confident, and brutally honest about his take on the incredible experiences, successes, and failures of the people whose lives were forever changed by a life and death survival situation. His ability to constructively criticize without passing judgement, compliment successes no matter how slight, and maintain humility through thoughtful consideration of his own limitations make the book a page turner in anticipation of learning both the fate of the victims and Les' commentary.
The epilogue is a necessary component, tastefully written, and leaves the reader with a great deal of respect for the author.
Way to go, Les. Keep up the good work!
In this book, Les examines several real life survival stories. He explains how the people in question got into the situation, what decisions they made an why, and then examines what they did right and what they did wrong. It is very interesting to see how he evaluates them, and more importantly how these stories compare to each other.
This is not a how-to guide on survival like some of his other books though.
I've been a fan of Les Stroud's Survivorman and Beyond Survival television shows. There are lots of twists on the televised survival story. Stroud's is that he goes it relatively alone. He is his own camera crew and, aside from the rescue crew a radio call away, he's only go himself to count on unless it comes to life of death. Despite his penchant for being dramatic, I really enjoy his survival knowledge. I've had a couple of his books Survive and The Will to Live on my Amazon wishlist for some time now.
My one sentence summary:
More often than not, the only thing that determines whether a person makes it out of a survival situation is luck and their will to survive.
I'll admit that I am a survival junky so I love reading about the real life survival stories Les Stroud recounts in The Will to Live. The chapters interweave some well-known and perhaps less well-known survival stories with both positive (they lived) and negative (they died) outcomes along with his own experiences before and after he became Survivorman. Stroud also throws in his opinion as a survivalist about what other survivors (or not) could have down with the resources at hand or how he would have wanted to handle the situation.
Stroud's writing is much like his narration on his TV shows. He likes to be dramatic. Of course when you are reading about life and death survival stories there is no shortage of drama. At times it felt like Stroud was playing arm chair survivalist, except that his credentials make his input more akin to expert opinion.
High recommend for anyone who is interested in quick rundowns on some amazing stories of survival. If you like Survivorman, you'll love reading about the behind the scenes of Stroud's TV programs and the tidbits of his personal life that are thrown in.