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.
This is a fascinating book, but not a good novel. It is worth reading for two reasons.
(1) This book is, first, a survivalist's handbook disguised (the disguise is very thin) as fiction. Thus it's obviously going to be bad fiction, but if you think of the book as a series of scenarios which the author explores from a survivalist point of view, it's really quite good. He's obviously been thinking about this for quite some time. (The author runs a survivalist blog.) If, like me, you ever wonder what you'd do if your civilization collapsed (they do that, after all) this book is interesting, and it's easier to read than a guide.
(2) The book is also an insight into the way some Americans see the world. And that too is interesting. The book contains long, rambling sections where the author attacks the US government. (Since this is supposed to be a novel, the good guys serve as mouthpieces for the author's views.)
And in general, this book is an unselfconscious revenge-on-society fantasy, set in a world where governments are bad, guns are good, but automatic ones are best, the constitution is good, gun licenses are bad, gun-seller licenses are bad, driver's licenses are bad (!), the Oklahoma bombing was a set-up, and so on, and on, and on. I've never truly understood the people (like the author) who want to see it all burn. This book helps.
This is book is not a good choice if you are looking for an action novel. If you are interested in ideas for how to survive and End Of Days scenario, it is OK. The authors other book, How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It, Is a far better choice. Rawles may be a good survivalist, and manual writer, a novelist he is not. It does drag a bit....
Patriots (A novel of survival in the coming collapse) is is about a group of survivalists ("The Group") who plan ahead to meet at a well-stocked retreat in Idaho in the event of some event or disaster which causes the US government to fail. By the time they make the decision to Get Out of Dodge, money is worthless, gas is unavailable, food distribution has shut down and outlaw gangs rule. The military is nowhere to be found, nor are the police. The Group, later named the Northwest Militia, meets at their Idaho retreat and each relay their own stories of what it took for them to get there. While this is a novel, this book is written to be instructional in nature and offers many details for people who want to plan their future retreats. It is quite lengthy (3 7 hour parts) and every encounter is very detailed. Someone with an interest in different types of guns/ammo and survivalist living would enjoy this book. This book is somewhat instructional on how to live frugally and off the land. The Group started out with basic food supplies (unconstituted peanut butter, wheat flour, dried meat, so on) and other than hunting and gardening and minimal bartering lived off their initial stockpile for several years. While this book could be dry at times I still thought it was a good listen all in all.
While I am somewhat like minded with some of the themes of the book, I think the info in the book would have been just as well printed as lists and instructions. The story line was very disjointed (in my opinion) and the characters were not very well developed. Although I am much a supporter of "bearing arms", the ENDLESS writing on guns, parts, ammo in every situation was just too much. If I had wanted a gun manual, I would have purchased one. As some reviewers have noted, this book really seems like an instruction manual with some people thrown in so it can be sold as a novel. I do applaud the author for all the information he is trying to share, but a prepper manual would have been cheaper, faster, and more use.
Patriots is a political novel that promotes an agenda of states’ rights populism, right wing Christianity, pro-Second Amendment rights, anti-UN views, and survivalism that is cast in the near future amidst a financial collapse, the result of overwhelming national debt, hyperinflation, and a stock market crash.
This novel focuses on many technical and paramilitary topics that may not be enjoyable reading for many – even if they share the author’s politics. Perhaps there is no way to cover such topics in an “enjoyable” manner and that the point of this book is exactly that – life in a post-collapse America, reduced to a barter economy with massive civil unrest, will be difficult, reduced to a struggle to survive.
The author avoids the “UN helicopter” paranoia found in some contemporary literature of a similar genre and uses the format of a novel, tracing the lives of characters and their families as a vehicle to present its political message. However, if you do not have an interest in paramilitary subjects or don’t enjoy extended discussions of firearms, radio communications, survivalist medicine and other issues, which comprise a large portion of the dialog between the characters; then you may wish to use your Audible credits elsewhere.
Patriots references many useful materials on a wide variety of survivalist topics that can be used for further “study” if the reader is so inclined. In the print version these references may be easier to access.
The story line is entertaining with good, but predictable, characters that are used to deliver the political message. The author presents a frightening, but believable, scenario for the future. It should be well received by many who are in tune with its message, but unfortunately will most likely be dismissed by those who could benefit most from it – those who are in denial about the issues facing our nation and a “head in the sand” attitude that such a scenario as described in Patriots “could never happen here.”
This book does not focus on getting to know characters trying to survive. It is all about the technical aspects of items needed in an economic collapse and warfare tatics. If you are making a prepper list then this book is for you. If you are looking for a book to draw you into a story then you might want to keep looking.
I do have a few problems with the story. The author writes from a very narrow prospective. Near the end of the book he opens up some more, but the correlation of say cannibalism with communism as an example is kind of narrow minded and contrived. I don't like communism and I felt that was a little absurd.
There were points were the book got really technical, but based off of my understanding, it is a survival manual written in the from of a novel so the author won't get in trouble for teaching those things.
The over all plot was interesting enough and I do not regret getting the book. It is definitely worth the read and I would recommend it to others. I am interested to see what his other books are like.
It have me a lot of great food for thought. I am not a hard core survivalist by any means, but I do have emergency preparations in the event of natural disaster. Listening to this book helped me to prioritize my gear. Again, well worth the read and the credit for the book.
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..
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.
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!
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