As hordes of refugees and looters pour out of the cities, a small group of friends living in the Midwest desperately try to make their way to a safe-haven ranch in northern Idaho. The journey requires all their skill and training since communication, commerce, transportation and law enforcement have all disappeared. Once at the ranch, the group fends off vicious attacks from outsiders and then looks to join other groups that are trying to restore true Constitutional law to the country.
Patriots is a thrilling narrative depicting fictional characters using authentic survivalist techniques to endure the collapse of American civilization. Listening to this compelling, fast-paced novel could one day mean the difference between life and death.
©2009 James Wesley Rawles; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Could be the scenario we face here in the future, and if not, still a great story. Maybe too much detail on some of the guns, radios, etc., but it's also very good information if you want to prepare.
Sure makes you think about what you would need in order to survive during an economic collapse.
Before I get into the story, the first thing you have to understand is what kind of book this is. First and foremost this is a "preppers" book. Once you understand that, the style of the book and the amazing amount of detail make sense. The author is a survival expert with many years of experience in military and civilian tactical methods as well as a respected prepper who lives how he preaches. This book is the 4th edition of a story that has been revised and expanded over two decades.
The narrative of this novel serves to bring a context to the vast amount of technical detail. It is set in the mid-west and the author uses first-hand knowledge of the region to bring the characters and places to life. I found that the story kept me very interested throughout the book, only lagging in a couple of small places. This books is filled with scenes of violence and harsh imagery. For that reason, I would caution anyone below the age of 15 to read it. The author however does skillfully weave these violent themes into the story with tact and a respect for life.
I feel that the main point of this novel is to provide a feasible scenario in which survival preparedness would not only be useful, but essential. The author uses an extreme level of detail in describing the weapons, food-stores, logistical material, vehicles, medical supplies, armor, and housing. At first, if you do not accept this book for what it is--a recipe on how to setup and maintain a survival retreat--you will be overwhelmed. If you are listening to the book because you are wanting a guide on survival preparedness, this is your book. If you are not and are just looking for a book to entertain, this can still be your book, but you may be better off with something like One Second After by William R. Forstchen.
More information can be found at the authors blog (survivalblog [dot] com)
Overall, I really enjoyed this book both from an entertainment and informational perspective. Although I was already of the survival mindset, this book has given me a new understanding of the level of preparation that is truly needed to survive "dooms-day" scenarios like the one in this novel.
I would recommend this book to anyone (over the age of 15).
Survivalist, preppers, Christian fundamentalism, states-rights, guns rights, family values, logistics, weapons, explosives, military tactics / strategy, small-scale farming, apocalyptic, disaster, anti-U.N..
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!
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...
I listen to audiobooks to stay awake when I go on long drives. I can tell you that I have listened to dozens of audio books and this is by far in a class all by itself. SNOOZER! I almost fell asleep and drove off the road!
The writing is so poor and flat with a total lack of character development and insane amount of details in all the wrong places. Not to mention tiresome speeches on gun laws, the Oklahoma Murrow Building conspiracy and your right to drive a car.
"Don pulled the chrome plated colt commander 45acp built by colts custom pistol division with the green trijicon night sights, an extended mag and slide release from his black bianchi balistic nylon shoulder holster and pointed it the guy sporting a early issue M65 olive drab field jacket...blah...blah....!"
24 of 25 hours of this book sounded like that. Details stacked on details that simply don't tell a story. The book sounds like an infomercial for the authors favorite gun and gear collection.
The narration is whiney and difficult to listen to.
Save your credits.
I commute 2 hours a day, the story filled a lot of dead time that I have.
I liked the narrator, but I am sure he had a hard time reading this also.
This book droned on and on for hours. I even tried to put myself in the mindset of a beginner prepper in the chance I could learn some basic prep ideas. But jezz the story beat to death in gory detail the name and capability of every kind of gun and caliber, or piece of equipment the characters used or ran across.
In the later chapters a radio operator was briefing to a patriot XO, about radio capabilities. I thought I was going to blow my brains out in the car while driving 75 mph! If I sat through a brief like that in real life I would have walked out. Who gives a crap about an old CB radio that has been out of production for 20 yrs at the time this book was written?
Character development was lacking on many levels. I just cannot believe that these people all bonded and stuck to a plan for that many years. Example: they all bought and rebuilt trucks of the same kind. Obviously they had to much money and time on their hands.
I only finished the book because of the monetary investment I already had into it. I just didn't find parts of the story believable on any level. Other parts? I could say ok, maybe.
I live in Illinois and can't stand the Chicago accent, the narration could have done away with that part. At times it was like listening to a Saturday Night Live skit with Da' Bears being said every 2 minutes. In defense of Dick Hill I think he did this to help himself get through reading this book.
It never sucked me in like I wanted it too. If you are a prepper you may enjoy it though. It did not have enough character development for you to get attached to the characters nor did it have enough scope to pull you in like an epic. It straddled that line in between. Never really committing to either. Ok story though and Dick Hill is always an amazing narrator.
This book kept my interest, but somehow I felt it was too "wordy". Too much emphasis on descriptions of the equipment and things the characters were using.
Have not listened to this author before.
This is my second book narrated by Dick Hill. Dick Hill should just read in his natural voice. Attempts to imitate characters voice or accents leave much to be desired. - especially women. This characterization was distracting to me.
The content is part end - of - usa tale and part survivalist primer. The story part is fine. The survivalist part is VERY detailed and boring though I'm sure I learned something.
Dick Hill narration is ok. he's a good "narrator" but not so great actor. Characters sound alike and speak with a similar cadence. All women sound like my 75 year old grandma regardless of the characters age.
Note there is no swearing or sex but there is violence - bad guys do bad things and good guys do bad things to the bad guys.
The narration was ok but everyone did sound a bit like Dr Zoidberg from Futurama.
I love the survival fiction genre. It has a lot of potential to explore but I have a hard time finding really good books in the genre.
20 years ago I read nearly the entire "The Survivalist" series by Jerry Ahern and loved them. They were less informational than this book but more entertaining. More gun oriented as the protagonists guns were fully described every time they were mentioned which was about every half page or so.
This book is about a survivalist group self described militia who all wear matching uniforms and love ambushing people walking down the road to question them in the name of justice. I found the characters to be pretty much pretentious self righteous pricks. That being said they would almost certainly be the people who would actually survive a global meltdown so I have to give them that.
I enjoyed the book even if I loved to hate the protagonists.
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