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Publisher's Summary

Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Domestic crackdowns. Economic collapse. Riots. Wars. Disease. Starvation. What can you do when it all hits the fan? You can learn to be self-sufficient and survive without the system.

"I've started to look at the world through apocalypse eyes."

So begins Neil Strauss's harrowing new book: his first full-length work since the international best seller The Game, and one of the most original-and provocative-narratives of the year. After the last few years of violence and terror, of ethnic and religious hatred, of tsunamis and hurricanes - and now of world financial meltdown - Strauss, like most of his generation, came to the sobering realization that, even in America, anything can happen. But rather than watch helplessly, he decided to do something about it. And so he spent three years traveling through a country that's lost its sense of safety, equipping himself with the tools necessary to save himself and his loved ones from an uncertain future.

With the same quick wit and eye for cultural trends that marked The Game, The Dirt, and How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Emergency traces Neil's white-knuckled journey through today's heart of darkness, as he sets out to move his life offshore, test his skills in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, plane-flying, government-defying survivor. It's a tale of paranoid fantasies and crippling doubts, of shady lawyers and dangerous cult leaders, of billionaire gun nuts and survivalist superheroes, of weirdos, heroes, and ordinary citizens going off the grid. It's one man's story of a dangerous world - and how to stay alive in it. Before the next disaster strikes, you're going to want to read this book. And you'll want to do everything it suggests. Because tomorrow doesn't come with a guarantee...

©2009 Stately Plump Buck Mulligan, LLC; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Interesting but not great

Neil Strauss writes a moderately interesting book that would have been much better if he hadnt wasted a large part of the book justifying his paranoia about the country by bashing George Bush. In the beginning he clearly establishes his qualifications as being incompetent at anything but writing about music for the New York Times. In the book he chronicles his journey in which he undergoes several years of impressive training to go from total incompetence at practically everything, to being an accomplished survivalist. If you are a committed Bush basher, you may find this book worthwhile. I ended up fast forwarding through a lot of the book to get past the political whining to get to the part that finally became interesting. If you are wanting to read a book to learn skills for surviving a possible catastrophic event, "One Second After", "Patriots", or "Alas Babylon" are much more enlightening.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Awesome and informative book

Fantastic read. This book covers so many different topics from knives, guns, and all types of survival philosophy. It was interesting to see the transformation of Neil Strauss in his search for survival skills to survive in the (what if). Like his other best seller the Game, Neil Strauss dives into a topic and goes all the way leaving no area unchecked exploring topics from all angles and uses things that are applicable. These things he covers on a deep level studies them, and according to the book masters them. Everything from financial melt down natural, disasters, intruders and whatever it may be. He is by no means an expert in any particular field of survival but his unique research abilities give him a awesome overall perspective that helps readers identify areas and expand there thought process to find thorough ways of reaching there own goals. The only part of the book that I found as a turnoff is mainly a difference in political view as the book is very anti Bush and pro Obama. He seems to think that Obama would do a better job in fixing US security than Bush. However he does not look at the possibility that the Liberal agenda might target many of the areas which he uses as survival means like the ownership of weapons and concealed carry. Overall I give the book a 10, the good made up for the bad in my opinion.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Joel
  • United States
  • 06-11-11

Please read this book.

This was not a great audio book. However, i had the fortune of reading this book myself. It is a must read, not a must hear.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Inspirational Page Turner for your Ears

Neil Strauss is a great writer, reader, and story teller.

Like in "The Game" it is fascinating to experience his journey, his life transformation. Similar to the story of "The Game" his dedication to personal growth is inspirational and in both stories he ended up with a new perspective on life that he had not predicted. As I'm sure he would agree, the journey or process of self-discovery, is where the truly important stuff comes out.

I have a new perspective after listening to this book about survivalists. Strauss is kind of like me, an intellectual Jewish kid, whose parents labeled themselves as people who just didn't consider themselves as handy, weren't gun owners or hunters. Makes me want to to change my life a bit. Maybe not buy a gun or get citizenship of another country, but at least be more aware of possibilities.

In any case, I listened to this book in two days this weekend. Couldn't stop listening. It's a "page turner" for your ears. I just wish more of Strauss's books were on audio.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

If you know and love Neil Straus

Then you will love this book like I did. Is it possibly better than The Game? I'm not sure, but maybe.

If you don't like reading about sex, swearing, guns, knives, and survival, you won't like this book. If these are topics that interest you, will love this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

what I would expect!

well read, and honest, this book is one which I have talked about with friends. I enjoyed it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Not exactly a how to manual

Like other reviewers had said,the first part of the book is more about Neil's obsession with having an escape plan.A second passport is a great idea and it made me think that most politicians probably have them.Neil's interest seemed to deepen after going to Tom Brown's training,where he didn't exactly have an easy time of things.Best of all was the three day test,where he shuts off electricity,water and computer to see if he can survive.His girlfriend seems like she was a handful.The pretty ones always are and so she can't seem to adapt to his crazy obsession with being a man and a survivalist.He convinces her to finally get her drivers license and to take a course on bladed weapons.Neil's live goat killing seems like it was really difficult to deal with,but think how disconnected all of us are from what it takes to get a hunk of meat to our table.I didn't like this book as much as the Game,but the topic wasn't as interesting to me.Nevertheless,it was engaging,compelling and perhaps made me think a bit more of what I might do in an emergency myself.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Best book I've listened to in a long time

Brilliant on all fronts.
Time to get my survival game back on.
Everyone should read this book - Just in Case.

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Enjoyed This Book

I was introduced to Neil's work by a podcast on the Tim Ferris show and I've read 2 book by Mr. Straus. I've liked them both because I just like the way he writes. In find his books interesting, funny, warm and I especially like his honesty in how he views the world.

The lonely thing I wish is that the chapters had titles! Like what is up with that?

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Beyond excellent

Informative and entertaining. Dramatic and poignant moments, insights into daily life in modern society, and lighter comedic episodes combined for a memorable listen.

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  • Lance Johnson
  • 11-14-17

Real title: How to survive the apocalypse

This is a brilliant book, with a very poor title. The book's title rings of a boring post 9/11 survival guide for executives. It is anything but boring.

In light of recent disastrous world events, the author describes his desire to be self-sufficient, and survive the apocalypse. He then takes us a journey of:

1. How he tries to become a dual citizen of another country (He is a USA citizen).

2. Learns survival skills from Legends such as Tom Brown - camping, tracking, catching and fishing his own food. Preparing his own food.

3. Learns urban survival skills as how to escape from a boot of car when you are handcuffed, and cross the city and avoid bounty hunters.

4. Survive 3 days without electricity and heating.

And more.

The author takes you through his reasoning and his journey, and how and what things he did, much of what he says is reproducible - providing you have the time, money, and more importantly the will.

At the end of the book, he learns to be a community support emergency services worker. It is here where he undergoes a paradigm shift, deciding he would rather do his best to help society when difficulties fall, rather than run away.

Neil the author specializes in transformation books. His book the Game was how he became more confident as a person/pick up artist, his other book the Truth was how he transformed from a pick up artist, to a more "settled" human being.

Emergency is how he became person dependent on society, to a person society can depend on.

To undertake the activities of this books requires time, and money. Something a successful writer could do. Perhaps if this book could encourage us to take the time to go camping, or learn a martial arts, than the book would have worth it for you.

Extremely easy to read, for all to enjoy, both male or female.

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  • Simon Caldwell
  • 12-01-15

Definitely makes you think...

What did you like most about Emergency?

Covered a really wide range of topics.

Would you recommend Emergency to your friends? Why or why not?

If you are interested in how different people think about tthings then definitely.

What does Neil Strauss bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He has a relatively monotonous voice but once you get used to it, the limited range does show enthusiastic he is about some of this stuff.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Preparing the crazies

  • Overall
  • Jim Hawkins
  • 04-07-13

Action packed and laugh out loud

Really great audio book, read by the author which is always an added bonus. This is a great story and a great audio version. I read the book first, but hearing the author read this aloud really brought it all to life. Neil does the thing that most of us can only dream about doing, getting *out* of the system, and in so doing finds greater meaning in life, and without spoiling anything, finds reason to get back *in* to society. I really loved this story, uplifting, funny, understandable and deals with a subject we all think about. Thoroughly recommend!

  • Overall
  • Robin
  • 12-23-12

Superb insight into the world of 'survivalists'

If you read this book and don't start making even the smallest contingencies, I would be very surprised. This book is a brilliant and practical account of one man's view of the vulnerability of mankind and fragility of civilised society.



Strauss gives you the complete guide of how the average Joe could prepare oneself for the worst case scenarios and highlights how unprepared most of us are to even the smallest of disasters or civil unrest.



Your friends and family will probably scoff at you when you recount them with excerpts from the book, but if you take in even just a few items of advise from this book it might just save your or their lives.



The book is written from the social standpoint of an American, but aspects of his tale are applicable to every nationality, and ultimately is a reflection on human nature and survival of the fittest.



Although some of the content is probably impractical for those without a significant amount of time and money on their hands, a great proportion of the content could very well save your life.



Great book, scary content (in a good way), I challenge you to read it and not feel slightly concerned that you haven't considered this stuff before.