the first part of this book i thought was way to preachy , and anti-government. i gave it a chance and the last two parts won me over . its a very good book if you like technical type writings , it goes super deep in some places .
I rated this five stars because of the usefullness of the information. The writing style is only ok, it isn't Cormac McCarthy, but the author's intent I think is to write a primer for survival in an entertaining format. I this he is grandly successful. Considering the fragile condition of the republic, I have been thinking more about peparedness and so found this book engrossing. Good to own in hard copy, because of the wealth of specific references to gear and tactics.
Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
I have loved end of the world lit... "The Road," "One Second After," and "Alas Babylon" are some of my favorites. Wanting something similar I tried Patriots, not even close. No kidding this reads like a survivalist catalog down to and including the model numbers, pros and cons of purchase and would have, should have. It is violent, improbable, self righteous and includes a war senario with Idaho prepper groups fighting the UN take-over tanks and soldiers. So when you are prepping be sure and store hand granades and extra long fuses. It does have an unusual start and end of the Apocalyse and will teach you how to deliver a baby.
I have to give credit to the author for his pragmatic views on survival in case of economic collapse. What I can't stand--just my personal opinion here--is the angle from which the author writes. No offense to any Christians who may read this--to each his own--but to me this book should be titled "Ultra-conservative Christians: A Novel of survival in the coming Communist Cannibal apocalypse."
I am a huge fan of survival novels, and bought this book pretty much along that premise. "Earth Abides" by George R. Stuart, as well as "Alas, Babylon" by Pat Frank are two of my favorites. "One Second After" by William Forstchen, and "Lucifer's Hammer" by Larry Niven are pretty good as well, not to mention "The Stand" by Stephen King (horror/fantasy survival scenario!) and "Robopacolypse" by Daniel H. Wilson (killer AI robots/tech survival novel).
I have no special aversion to highly-religious authors, but in this case, I freely admit that I was disgusted by the overt political/religious views of the author. I could deal with the characters' constant need to "reflect with prayer", but when the first two "villains" show up carrying cannibalized body parts and communist manifestos in their shopping cart--Yes folks, COMMUNIST CANNIBALS are the enemy here--I felt like vomiting all over my iPod. Someone should have told the author that the Cold War is over and that the Soviet Union collapsed back in 1991.
I mean no offense to conservatives out there, or religious fundamentalists who believe that the earth is only a few thousand years old. If that's you, then buy this book! You will love it!
However, if you are not a card-carrying Tea Party'er, and don't believe that all liberals--let alone hippies--are communists, then I would suggest your credit might be better spent elsewhere. Now I need to go wash...
This book is not for those with a casual interest in the “survivalist fiction” category, but judging from other comments it doesn’t seem to be for the “true” preppers either.
If you’re after a good, fun, interesting read on a topic that you find intriguing but haven’t really looked into too much – keep searching, this book isn’t for you.
For me this book wallowed in detail and smacked of Mary-Sue narrative. I struggled through 10 hours of this book before giving up. In that time there was probably only1 hour, 2 max, of actual story, the reset is bogged down on painful details about equipment, drill instruction, gun descriptions and random preaching about God which had little to do with religion or faith really, but were just a clumsy narrative tool used to try to separate the “good guys” from the “bad guys” in the shortest possible way.
When he introduces a new character, be it a “baddy” or a “goody” he again takes a short cut to force them on the reader – instead of letting us discover the character he makes them go into a massive monologue explaining their entire life story and the history of how they ended up where they were and why they were prepared for the disaster. Call me sceptical, but if a group of people ambushed me and pointed guns at my face and asked “What are you doing here, don’t worry we’re good guys” I would not be giving them my life story, complete with whimsical quips on my childhood. I’d be keeping my answers short and trying to get away from the people with guns as soon as possible.
The characters themselves lacked any depth at all. Each character was essentially the same person with a different appearance. All the “good guys” had identical ideals, identical speech patterns, identical vocabulary, and any decision making was really just an excuse for the author to (again) use a cheap ploy to try to force depth onto a character and to show off about his own knowledge on the subject (which he seems to be very pleased with himself about). Sadly the conversations tend to go like this: “I think we should do this” “but this way is better” “Oh you’re right that makes much more sense you’re so smart let’s do it that way”. It’s more like verbal self-gratification than a discussion.
The bad guys are just your stock-standard “look how inhumane these people are they are cannibals and child abusers and rapists – they make me physically ill, I’m trebling with rage at them”. It’s another cheap way to definitively separate the good from the bad – there is no grey in this book, not bad guys with redeeming features, no good guys with stains against their honour or internal struggles. This post-apocalyptic landscape is populated with 2-dimensional characters strewn about in a highly constructed “narrative” which is really one man’s idea on what he would do if the world ends (and was surrounded by other versions of himself). The author has written this for people already absorbed in the “prepper” mentality hoping that they will project their own life onto the characters, saving the author from having to go into the nasty chore of giving characters any depth himself.
I’ve marked the narrator down also – if you’re still keen on this book, please listen to a sample before committing to your purchase. He garbles the words in a way that I can’t articulate. It’s like he’s having something painful happening to him while he’s speaking, and his pattern and pitch and rhythm is all wrong. Or like he’s holding in a burp and still trying to talk. Very distracting (especially his female voice!).
I wish I could get those 10 hours back!
As a regular reader of James Wesley Rawles's Survival Blog, I was interested to hear what a novel written by him would sound like. Knowing he's a conservative Christian libertarian, I expected a big dose of hatin' on Obama and probably a bunch of atheist liberals getting what's coming to them, but in fairness, the author mostly keeps the right wing vitriol in check until the latter part of the book. But when it does emerge, boy does it ever.
The first thing to know is that Rawles clearly hopes this book will "wake up" some of his readers, both to the threat he believes is facing the country and to the need to prepare for the coming collapse. Whether or not you believe that hyperinflation will cause a a total collapse of the U.S. government, I have always felt that there is some wisdom in preparing for worst case scenarios, for some value of "worst case." In other words, the preppers are not completely wrong. We can't all move to an armed compound in Idaho, as the characters in this book do, or even build bunkers in our back yards, but we can keep a month or two supply of dried rations, water, toilet paper, and first aid kits in storage. People with pets and kids and medications to juggle have to think more seriously about what they'd do if the power goes down for more than a day or two. And some of us might even include things that go bang in our preps...
So, when you read this book, be prepared for lots and lots of lists, of firearms, ammunition, accessories, vehicles, survival gear, rations, batteries, fuel types, backpacks, you name it. There are chapters stuffed with "how tos" on everything from blood transfusion to farming. You couldn't actually use this novel as a guide in a real-life grid down situation, but reading it will make you think a lot about what sorts of things you'd need to know. A lot of reviews complain about the listology and the didacticism of the book, and that's a fair complaint - if you just want a good old fashioned post-apocalypse novel, Patriots is awfully dry at times. But since I do actually have an interest in the subject, I didn't get too bogged down with the "stuff you oughta know" parts.
That said, Rawles is certainly not going to dazzle you with his prose or his characterization either. There are over twenty characters in this book, all of them friends who have supposedly been saving and stocking up for the apocalypse since their college days, and so we get chapters about each of them at one point or another. None of them are really distinguishable from one another beyond a few simply-described traits: there's the chubby Asian gun nut, the ex-Army Officer alpha male, the motherly nurse, the ROTC cadet prepper, the biker machinist (an awful lot of highly skilled individuals with all the right political and religious views just happen to wander down the road to the characters' compound), the token Jew and the token agnostic about whom I can literally remember nothing else, etc.
The "plot" of the first part of the book is basically everyone getting together on their compound and weathering it out for a few years, as America goes to hell and they have to deal with looters (who are Marxists and cannibals and implied to be gay) and other prepper militias.
Then comes the second part of the book. This is when the United Nations installs a provisional relief government, and the book shoots straight into gibbering right-wing lunacy. The UN troops are all mustache-twirling war criminals who think nothing of rape and torture, the American quislings promptly agree to suspending every single American civil right (literally the first thing a newly-arrived UN-backed American official does is give a speech to a skeptical community of survivalists that carrying a gun will henceforth be a capital crime), and soon we are seeing, I kid you not, FEMA concentration camps.
The militia organized by the main characters joins up with a resistance movement, and in a few months they are able to kick heavily-armed UN troops with tank divisions out of the country because Americans are just that awesome. Then they rewrite the Constitution and institute a new U.S. government that would make the Tea Party collectively die of spontaneous orgasmic expulsion of their precious bodily fluids.
I still give this book 3 stars because it was, after a fashion, both entertaining and informative, but it was like the author was trying to keep his rabid Euro-phobia and Red-baiting impulses in check for the first few hundred pages and then he couldn't hold it in anymore.
If you have a serious interest in prepping combined with a love of post-apocalyptic novels, this book is worth reading, but if your interest is only in fiction, there are much, much better books, and if you're mainly interested in the survivalist aspects, try Rawles's non-fiction or his blog instead.
Worst narration ever, it was like a Saturday Night Live Mike Ditka skit with over the top Chicago accents, where were the "Johnsonville Brats"?
Story had useful information but the characters come off as loud, obnoxious bible thumping busy bodies.
I know it was fiction but some of the first people they meet in the early stages of the crisis performed child cannibalism, really? Ridiculous. Waste of money.
The story was boring
No One, he had nothing to work with
None, not worth the time
Sounded like it was written by Ann Coulter in the middle of a paranoid delusion. I still haven't decided if it was serious or satire. The details on supplies and equipment were excruciating and endless. The political diatribes were long winded and pointless. The characters were one dimensional. The author tried to add some political correctness by including a Jewish and Asian characters. This made the book seem less authentic, the author should have kept with the Right wing Christian, White supremacist theme. Still I enjoyed this look at a world and way of thinking I am so unfamiliar with and I think I may even have a better understanding of both Survivalist and right wing religious extremists. The narration was actually pretty good. Though whether intentional or not, the narrators voice acting made many of the characters sound like dim witted jocks, but it seemed to fit and worked for me.
Probably not. Waaaaay too much detail about guns, ammo, tanks how to make bombs etc. This is Timothy McVey's dream book! As a woman who likes the genre, I found this lacked story and was heavy on the weaponry details.
And don't get me started on the "Christians who kill" idea....(Does the name Jesus mean anything to you? We are not living in Old Testament times! But that is a whole 'nother topic)
On the other hand, Rawles' book, How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It is excellent in it's details about prepping for SHTF scenarios. I just didn't care for all the weaponry and obsession with guns and killing in this story.
More story, less getting bogged down in the details of guns, ammo, etc. Jakarta Epidemic, Alas Babylon, Night Light and other books in this genre have much better/developed story lines. Like I said earlier, I love the genre and I put up with a lot of guns and killing to listen to it but OY VEY! Too much testosterone-laced stuff for this woman.
Basic, okay, poor female voices.
There are much better books in this vein than this one (as I listed above). However, the TEOTWATKI one that Rawles wrote is good to have in hard copy. Fiction is not his strength.