Author Topic: Worst survivalist/prepper books?  (Read 60591 times)

d3nni5

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #90 on: October 06, 2013, 08:14:26 AM »
The most boring survival novels are those that try to be realistic. Real-life survival is boring, and novels that are boring are bad novels. That’s not to say a survival novel should read like fantasy, but it shouldn’t read like a day at your office either. For most, deer hunting consists of sitting in a treestand for hours and hours. Imagine making a video of this without cutting the 99.9% that didn’t include the actual moment the deer shows up - after three weeks of sitting in that stand 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon every day. A novel that tries to be too realistic is almost as bad. I could name titles but won’t.


This is going to be my second reference to Stephen King today :).   Imagine the odds of that.   I want to point out the book "Gerald's Game".   The scene in most (if not all, been awhile since I read it) of this book takes place in the bedroom of a cabin on the bed.   The lead character is handcuffed to the headboard and can not escape.  Everything we read is happening in the mind of the lead character.

So, while I tend to agree with your point, a novel of a man setting in a tree stand, belly growling, waiting for his luck to change....all the while reflecting on the SHTF situation that he has found himself in, could be an interesting twist on the genre.

Offline soupbone

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #91 on: October 06, 2013, 07:39:53 PM »
UPDATE: The worst survivalist book I ever read is the one I'm trying to get through now - Grid Down / Reality Bites by Bruce 'Buckshot' Hemming and Sara Freeman. I may not even finish it. 440+ pages of 9 point single spaced type, no illustrations or blank pages..... Oh my tired old eyes.  :stop:

So far, I have been able to figure out the main characters are Jane and Joe. She's a nurse and he is described as "a retired Army sergeant" trying to make a homestead work. He has an old Army buddy who bought the place next door [how convenient]. Buddy is divorced and is living with a ditz. The militia movement, the NWO and 2012 also make early appearences Sounds like a bunch of stereotypes to me. :(

It may be a good yarn, but I had to put it down after half a chapter - it was just too unpleasant physically to read. Looks like it was self-published; I can't see any competent editor letting this layout get through. Of course, if they used a bigger typeface or even double spaced it, the book would have ended up 900 pages long. Think a book the size of a Norton's Anthology with only one story.  :banghead: I should have foreseen problems with a book written by a guy named "Buckshot".

I'm going to try it one more time - if that doesn't work out, I'll send it back to the library and get another Glen Tate novel - at least he knows how to tell a good story. ;)

Break time is over - back on my head.....

soupbone

Offline Denver Terry

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #92 on: October 06, 2013, 08:29:06 PM »
I hated "Patriots", did not even finish it and that is unusual for me.

Ditto! I couldn't believe how bad it was.

Offline PolicePrepper

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #93 on: December 06, 2013, 10:08:09 AM »
"Patriots" was my first prepper novel (minus "Alas Babylon" which I read in high school) and it started out alright, but was really cheesy by the end of the book.

I just finished reading "Holding Their Own" by Joe Nobody and I wasn't impressed. The story was okay, but the writing made it almost unbearable to read.

Offline ag2

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #94 on: December 06, 2013, 07:22:24 PM »

Break time is over - back on my head.....

soupbone

I thought I was the only one left on this planet who remembers that old joke.   :D

Offline cabowabo

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #95 on: December 07, 2013, 03:46:14 AM »
Patriot Dawn by Max Velocity read like an After Action report.  It was like reading a bad war book.
I didn't like really any of the Rawles books.  I think he is way to preachy on church stuff, and his characters couldn't be related too.  Sorry but in Survivors when the Captain goes to the Arms room we don't call it an arms room in the Air Force.  We call it an Armory, we don't use M16s we use M4s.  But nice try. 

I liked the 299 day series, and I liked the first book to the Oh Shit! the Awakening.  Both are informative without being stupid in how the story develops.  My only Qualms with the 299 day series is that a Senior Master Sergeant or an E-8 wouldn't be a MWD handler for the last 8 years of his career.  He would lose what we call his shred as a Tech Sergeant or an E-6.  You also don't call a Senior, Sergeant unless you want to get your ass chewed.  Their was one or two things I didn't care for but I enjoyed the books.  Overall 299 days series killed and destroyed Rawles books.

Offline DanielBoone

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #96 on: January 17, 2014, 07:43:13 PM »
Are we limited to only prepper fiction?

37 things to hoard is the worst prepper "book" ever made in my opinion.

But thats technically non fiction so maybe that does not count.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #97 on: January 18, 2014, 06:21:31 PM »
I just finished reading "Grid Down Reality Bites."

My recommendation: Save your money.  The authors apparently have a major problem with women (they're super emotional, irrational to the point of suicidal tendencies and prone to "cut off their noses to spite their face") and anyone from the city.  God  help you if you're a woman from the city because you'll be entirely too esconced in the two-manis-and-pedis-a-week lifestyle to be of any use in a disaster scenario.

Editing was atrocious with hundreds of mispelled words and thousands of mistakes in grammar (yes, I'm being nitpicky, but for the price, you'd expect at least a 1970's Fourth Grade Grammar level).  Continuity was almost non-existent with their flipping back and forth between the three plotlines, at will, while in a given chapter.

And don't get me started on the army of Militant Hippie Pet-loving Vegans.  From the way these authors put it, if you like a pet, you're ultimately going to end up as a Predatory SuperVegan. 

I can only surmise that the authors must have collectively been spurned by a girl from the city and bitten in the a** at one point by a wolf.  They have never gotten over their hatred of either.

Save your money, read something else.

The Professor

Offline ChrisFox

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #98 on: January 18, 2014, 11:06:21 PM »
I think I'm getting close to ditching this sub genre all together. The quality didn't start out high and it's been going downhill for awhile.

Offline gundog

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #99 on: January 19, 2014, 08:25:34 AM »
I agree with the thumbs down for Patriots. Bad in so many ways.

Surprisingly Survivors was darn good.....I had it on the shelf for 6 months and couldn't get myself to start it......way better than patriots.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #100 on: January 19, 2014, 07:27:02 PM »
I think I'm getting close to ditching this sub genre all together. The quality didn't start out high and it's been going downhill for awhile.

Well, I think I'll stick with it.  It does allow me to do the "what if" game with our preps.  As much as I hate to admit it, GDRB did make me consider two different things.

First, is the inclusion of broad-spectrum antibiotics in our BOB's. [DISCLAIMER: I am not a physician and I don't play one on TV.]  I had stuck with some pretty high-level topicals, but in one part of the book, one of the characters basically gets hit in the back of the thigh with wood splinters.  They took most of them out, but a few were overlooked and lead to what appeared to be described as the early stages of septicaemia. If they had included even some basic broad-spectrum antibiotics, they may have been able to avoid onset [NOTE: Yes, I realize that septicaemia is best addressed early on with intravenous antibiotics and fluids due to the greater efficiency of the application method, but it can also be argued that oral antibiotics, early on, could prevent or postpone a more acute case until such a time that the patient could reach proper, or at least better, treatment facilities.]

So, we're investigating the possibility of including a full regimen of several oral antibiotics in our BOBs.

The second issue concerns the use of large, locking snares for larger animals.  Not being a trapper, I didn't really consider snares for large animals, but these particular authors went overboard in saying how great these are.  So, we're looking into it and may seriously consider adding a couple to our kits.

Even with the worst prepper fictions I've ever read, I have to say they've provided me, at the very least, a better option than sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

The Professor

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #101 on: January 19, 2014, 09:36:41 PM »
The genre WILL get better because more and more writers are entering the genre each month.

Enough monkey with enough typewriters....

Seriously ... the genre has already gotten noticed by Hollywood (Doomsday Preppers, Revolution, American Blackout, etc). There IS a market for it, it WILL sell tickets. And whenever a new and little-explored genre get the Green Light from the damned bean counters out in LA, that automatically prompts established, seasoned, veteran writers to turn their radar scopes into the direction of whatever this new thang is. Those writers sample the genre, study its components, and then they start diving in. Some of those veteran writers will produce a better work than others. But regardless of WHEN an awesome prepper work comes along, it assuredly will happen simply because the momentum has already begun.




Offline Prodigy

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #102 on: February 03, 2014, 12:43:54 PM »
I wish I had discovered this thread before today.  I'm currently struggling to get through Patriots, but after reading many like-minded thoughts here, I won't feel bad giving up on finishing it.  So bad.

I've seen a lot of hate/love for SM Stirlings 'Dies the Fire', but it seems like most of the people on the 'hate' side aren't huge fans of the fantasy genre.  I freakin LOVE this series (at least the first 3 books)!  I also love fantasy.  This isn't a realistic scenario by any means - it's just a great story.  I wouldn't really call it a prepper type book, but at the very least it's refreshing to read a book where the main characters are completely blindsided, instead of spending their entire life savings and every waking hour preparing for SHTF.


Offline Meboatbuilder

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #103 on: June 06, 2015, 06:24:14 PM »
Well, I'm the new guy here but I feel the need to jump in on this one. With all respect to Mr. Tate I think the first book of the 299 Days series was just awful. There was too much Grant said, Joe said, Lisa said, Grant said etc.... Seeing as Mr. Tate was a lawyer and not a writer I can't really hold that against him. As I expected all the books after #1 just kept getting better and better. I do like The Preparation though for the gobs of information in it. I read Patriots a couple times, I wasn't really impressed with the writing but it was an interesting story. I started Survivors but it was just bad and I had to put it up.

I thought One Second After was pretty good, and I loaned to a couple people I thought needed waking up. It was a mainstream novel and I thought read as such.

The Survivalist, by Jerry Ahern, I never took as a "prepper" series, I started reading them in the 80s as a teenager and just thought it was a cool story. Obviously I don't expect TEOTHWAWKI to involve KGB agents, space shuttles, and 500 years in the future Nazis. It's just a fun series; I have them all. Who could read those books and not want a pair of original Detonics Combat Masters? :)

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #104 on: June 07, 2015, 06:01:46 AM »
     Ah yes, and a Milt Sparks "Six Pack".


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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #105 on: June 07, 2015, 06:06:50 AM »
     I wish I still had those books; at least the early ones. It got too goofy for me as the series went along. I still have my back issues of American Survival Guide Magazine. The best part is the advertising. Much of that gear was either just plain dumb or no longer available. I still wish I had bought a "Skatchet" and an "Atchison Folding Throwing Star".

Offline em ty

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #106 on: June 07, 2015, 06:46:22 AM »
I don't know what a Skatchet is, but now I want one.  Also, a folding throwing star must be awesome.

Offline RyanT

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #107 on: June 07, 2015, 08:12:58 AM »
Biggest problem I have with the ones I have read is all the protagonists are a bunch of Mary Sue's.

I remember reading one story (admittedly posted to a survivalist forum) where the protagonist just happens to be a multimillionaire...at 35...''he'd made his money during the dot-com bubble''  ::)

Even in 'Once Second After'' you'd got this square jawed ex military officer who steps in and musters his community, climaxing of course in huge battle against the ubiquitous 'evil biker road warriors'...

What really gets my goat though is what some call the ''Cosy Catastrophe'' (usually written by a non-survivalist), wherein the TEOTW conveniently wipes out 95% of the population.....practically overnight, while the few survivors wander around and form into small bands looting abandoned (but fully stocked) supermarkets, hot-wiring vehicles someone conveniently left with a full tank and heading for the hills where they find nice farmstead to occupy....

AND SOME 'PREPPERS' REALLY TAKE THIS SHIT SERIOUSLY!       

Even discussing online how they've been scouting their local area for stuff they might want to 'scavenge' after TSHTF

I honestly think that because it's painted in such rosy terms (with no victims around) otherwise quite decent people have this weird mental disconnect, from what that would actually entail in any sort of half way realistic scenario.   

It also falls into that juvenile fantasy Jack's talked about a fair bit of 'TEOTWAWKI is gunna be a big awesome adventure ! and I'm gunna be bad-ass'  ::)

   

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #108 on: June 07, 2015, 09:42:10 AM »
     I would think a factual description(documentary) of conditions during the siege of Stalingrad (took place during WWII, for you youngsters out there) is a more accurate scenario for a societal breakdown. Think of the Germans as the hordes of armed looters, rapists, thugs, escaped convicts. etc., but there is no Red Army to try to stop them. Not much of an "awesome adventure "going on there.

Offline Meboatbuilder

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #109 on: June 07, 2015, 10:21:37 AM »
I totally remember American Survival Guide magazine! I was into all that stuff in my teens and early twenties, (studied firearms religiously but could never afford to buy one) but it kinda went by the wayside for a couple decades after life got busy. The siege of Stalingrad is nothing I would want to endure, but I have nothing but respect for the outstanding defenders of that city, even though I have no use for their political system. I think Milt Sparks still makes the "Six Pack", I'll have to search it. I bet it's wickedly expensive though! Anybody remember the Out of the Ashes series? Again, not in my eyes a "prepper" series, but, the first one anyway, was pretty good I thought. That one got wacky too as it went on.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #110 on: June 07, 2015, 11:08:39 AM »
     The Ashes series was written by someone named Johnston, I think. He also wrote Westerns. There was another series called "The Guardians". It was a about the crew of a Cadillac Gage armored fighting vehicle and their mission was to get the president out of Dodge. I think they were based in the basement of the White House. There was another about a guy with a crossbow who was trapped in California after the "Big One" split it off from the rest of the continent. Actually, there were so many of these types of novels. I remember taking milk crates full of them to the paperback exchange for credit. It would be cool to have all of these meet up someplace, kind of like the Avengers or the Justice League. I'd like to see a trailer of Mad Max tearing across the wasteland with Ryan Cawdor standing on the hood, beheading the mutant hordes with his parang, Christy Wroth reloading in the back seat, the Survivalist on his Harley, doing "double taps" with his Detonics, the Guardians rolling over bad guys, etc. etc. Those were the good old days.   

Offline The Professor

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #111 on: June 07, 2015, 06:31:39 PM »
     The Ashes series was written by someone named Johnston, I think. He also wrote Westerns. There was another series called "The Guardians". It was a about the crew of a Cadillac Gage armored fighting vehicle and their mission was to get the president out of Dodge. I think they were based in the basement of the White House. There was another about a guy with a crossbow who was trapped in California after the "Big One" split it off from the rest of the continent. Actually, there were so many of these types of novels. I remember taking milk crates full of them to the paperback exchange for credit. It would be cool to have all of these meet up someplace, kind of like the Avengers or the Justice League. I'd like to see a trailer of Mad Max tearing across the wasteland with Ryan Cawdor standing on the hood, beheading the mutant hordes with his parang, Christy Wroth reloading in the back seat, the Survivalist on his Harley, doing "double taps" with his Detonics, the Guardians rolling over bad guys, etc. etc. Those were the good old days.

The ". . .Ashes" series was written by William W. Johnstone. Pretty much a certified lunatic who actually bought into his own PR.   In his books, the protagonist (interestingly, a survivalist-genre writer) was begged by people who read his books before the disaster to become the "benevolent dictator" of a country he called the "Tri-States."

Back when Y2K was all the rage, readers of Johnstone's ". . .Ashes" series formed into loose groups, mostly on Usenet,  that they claimed followed the "Tri-States Philosophy."  Johnstone then wrote a book where he (Johnstone the real person) interviewed the main character of his book (who was based on Johnstone).   Soon thereafter, people from various Tri-State's groups started petitioning Johnstone to come lead them after Y2K.   Insert image of your favorite nut here.

Jerry Ahern's Survivalist Series was one of the earlier ones I read, not long after  (this is off the top of my head, so they may be wrong, I'm too damned tired today to do research)  Jerry Pournelle & Larry Niven's "Lucifer's Hammer."

I got to become friends with Ahern for a few years before his death when he attempted to resurrect Detonics (and yes, I have two of them, but I couldn't talk the current owners of Milt Sparks into making me a Six Pack).

Now, here's a bit of trivia for you. . .you mentioned Ryan Cawdor and Christy(sp) Wroth from the Deathlands Series.  First of all. . .sadly, Harlequin is closing down the Gold Eagle imprint later this year, so no more Deathlands or Outlands.  BUT, a few years ago, the author of "The Guardians,"  Victor Milan, was asked to ghost-write a book in the Deathlands Series.   What did he do?  Basically, he tried to resurrect "The Guardians" in that Universe.  One of the worst books in the Deathlands series.

One series I found when stationed at Bad Tolz in the late 80's was "The Zone."   It was a bunch of soldiers caught in Europe after WWIII began.   For 80's speculative fiction, it was honestly one of the best series I've ever read.

Sadly, however, I kept almost every paperback I've ever read up until about 2 months ago when I moved back to Indiana.  I donated, literally (get it?), thousands of paperbacks to the VA before we moved.  I had complete collections of the "Ashes" and "Deathlands" and "Guardians" and several other series.

Ah, well. . .progress.

The Professor

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #112 on: June 08, 2015, 12:03:45 PM »
Patriots. I tried to like it, but just couldn't stomach it. It's so poorly written.
Another series on the bad list is Dies the Fire. Not really prepper fiction, but kinda/semi post apocalyptic. Too much wicca and weirdness for my taste, though the quality of the writing was at least good.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #113 on: June 08, 2015, 12:24:19 PM »
Patriots. I tried to like it, but just couldn't stomach it. It's so poorly written.
Another series on the bad list is Dies the Fire. Not really prepper fiction, but kinda/semi post apocalyptic. Too much wicca and weirdness for my taste, though the quality of the writing was at least good.

Stirling, the author of Dies the Fire called this the "Emberverse."  I didn't mind the Wiccan stuff, I actually found it not only interesting but almost rather believable that a group like that would form up and how easily others would convert to a group's religion if that group actually survived and thrived.  I had to stop reading about 7 or 8 books into the series because it DID become a bit too much when the spirits of that religion started to become real.

I also liked Stirling's hints that whatever caused the rules of physics to change had happened before.  It's always been a curiosity of mine how quickly we've launched from starting fires with flint and steel to launching rockets and devices to the stars.  Or, more correctly, how we went so many tens of thousands of years without putting two and two together  to do it much earlier.

Would it not be interesting to find out that the laws of physics are not carved in stone and, indeed, have a time limit set upon them?

The Professor

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #114 on: June 09, 2015, 08:36:27 PM »
I actually really liked Patriots.... But I'm also the guy who watches a movie rated 1.5 stars and freaking loves it.

Worst prepper book I've ever read was called "Life After War: Book One, The Survivors" by Angela White. First and foremost the author was obviously a heavy marijuana user, probably dabbled in hallucinogenics, and writing from those people just sketches me out. I don't like convoluted things. Too much magic and mysticism without explanation. Too much of every man except for Adrian (who is basically Jesus) taking women as sex slaves. And then the free women having weird feelings about being controlled. Way too much weird sexual tension. It's like a romance novel written by somebody about a thousand times more troubled than the author of Fifty Shades of Grey, no exaggeration. And the editing didn't exist.

Any of these things would be ok but the dark convoluted presentation just hit me the wrong way. Entertaining read for free on Kindle though.

Offline gundog

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #115 on: June 10, 2015, 07:05:26 AM »
I liked Dies the fire.....the whole thing. It does totally change as the books go on. From an end of the world type scenario it changes to a fantasy world with magic. I like both types of fiction so it was OK.....if you don't like the fantasy transition I could understand losing interest.

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #116 on: June 10, 2015, 10:41:40 AM »
I liked Dies the fire.....the whole thing. It does totally change as the books go on. From an end of the world type scenario it changes to a fantasy world with magic. I like both types of fiction so it was OK.....if you don't like the fantasy transition I could understand losing interest.

See, I love fantasy, scifi, alt history. You name it. Just couldn't get into the transition in this series, though. I found it impossible to suspend my disbelief during book.... 4 I think? I just dropped the series at that point. Might go back and give it a shot again, but I think there's more interesting stuff on my list at this point. Jim Butcher has a new steampunk series coming out and I'm trying to get through a few classics, like Anathem, this summer as well.

Offline strangetanks

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #117 on: June 11, 2015, 02:31:04 PM »
I'm pretty much over all the prepper books altogether.

I get so frustrated by the fact that it's practically impossible to relate to the characters.  I mean, I know there are people out there that do this, but I don't actually know anyone that has a stash of 200 phone books just in case toilet paper runs out...ect...

I think the person with 10 years of rations, a 200 lb backpack they take on vacation and a trunk full of emergency gasoline stashed away is just so unavailable as to think that they are missing out on every other aspect of life. 

I would however, love to read some books about someone who is a normal human, being completely creative, thoughtful and resourceful surviving something more realistic like a localized disaster.  Hell, why aren't there any books about people who survived the stupid stadium camp after Katrina?


Offline The Professor

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #118 on: June 11, 2015, 07:16:43 PM »
Hell, why aren't there any books about people who survived the stupid stadium camp after Katrina?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

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Offline gopack84

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Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
« Reply #119 on: June 12, 2015, 10:03:01 AM »
I'm pretty much over all the prepper books altogether.

I get so frustrated by the fact that it's practically impossible to relate to the characters.  I mean, I know there are people out there that do this, but I don't actually know anyone that has a stash of 200 phone books just in case toilet paper runs out...ect...

I think the person with 10 years of rations, a 200 lb backpack they take on vacation and a trunk full of emergency gasoline stashed away is just so unavailable as to think that they are missing out on every other aspect of life. 

I would however, love to read some books about someone who is a normal human, being completely creative, thoughtful and resourceful surviving something more realistic like a localized disaster.  Hell, why aren't there any books about people who survived the stupid stadium camp after Katrina?

Not exactly Katrina but certainly realistic, creative, thoughtful, and resourceful I think and definitely not bad. The Martian by Andy Weir.