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Publisher's Summary

Sam Sheridan has been an amateur boxer, mixed-martial-arts fighter, professional wilderness firefighter, EMT, sailor, and cowboy, and has worked in construction at the South Pole. If he isn't ready for the apocalypse, we're all in a lot of trouble.

Despite an arsenal of skills that would put most of us to shame, when Sam had his son and settled down, he was beset with nightmares about being unable to protect him. Apocalyptic images filled his head. If a rogue wave hit his beach community, could he get out? If he was forced outside the city, could he survive in the wilderness? Let's not even talk about plagues, zombies, and aliens. Unable to quiet his mind, Sam decided to face his fears head-on, embarking on a quest to gain as many skills as possible that might come in handy should the world as we know it end.

Each possible doomsday required a different skill set. Trying to navigate a clogged highway when everyone is trying to leave town? Better go to the best stunt-driving school in the country. Need to protect your family but have no ammunition? Better learn how to handle a knife. Is your kid hurt or mentally strained? Better brush up on emergency medicine and study the psychological effects of trauma. From training with an Olympic weightlifter to an apprenticeship in stealing cars with an ex-gang member, from an intense three-week gun course in the 100-degree heat of Alabama to agonizing lessons in wilderness survival, Sam left no stone unturned. Would it be enough if a meteor rocked the earth? Who's to say? But as Sam points out, it would be a damn shame to survive the initial impact only to die a few days later because you didn't know how to build a fire.

This is participatory journalism at its finest. A rollicking narrative with each chapter framed by a hypothetical doomsday scenario, The Disaster Diaries is for everyone who wants to know what it might take to make it through a cataclysmic event - or just wants to watch someone else struggle to find out.

©2013 Sam Sheridan (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc

Critic Reviews

"Sheridan, an amateur boxer and mixed-martial-arts fighter, uses a collection of stark disaster scenarios to wise up the reader on how to live through those final times…. As a quirky survivalist primer, Sheridan’s work spells out how to stay alive when the world goes topsy-turvy." ( Publishers Weekly)
"How to survive any possible disaster, from aliens to zombies to everything in between…. An upbeat and entertaining survival guide for the end of the world." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"This is no mere guide to surviving disaster; it's also the author's personal account of learning to prepare for catastrophe…. A clever and very useful guide to getting ready to face the unknown." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It's Okay I guess

There's some high spots that were okay, but it really rambles too much on side subjects. The zombie scenario is meant to be cute I guess, but it's not as clever as I think he meant it to be.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Dystopian Fiction

Any additional comments?

This isn't a dystopian novel, but rather a guide to point the average joe in the right direction as to how to prep for certain apocalyptic scenarios. It's written like it was pitched as a television series for the Discovery channel. Sheridan introduces in a few paragraphs some end of the world scenario and then discusses the key skill one would need to have in order to likely survive the situation in question -- family trapped after an Earthquake (weightlifting skills), zombies (shooting skills), friend injured by a band of marauders (wilderness medicine), et al. -- in the form of discussing the training that he actually did (did weights with an Olympian, took a shooting course in Alabama, underwent wilderness paramedic training in New Hampshire) et al., in a first person narrative that flows pretty well. Lots of pop science and interesting tidbits that makes this a pretty interesting read, but not as captivating as a good end of the world novel or as informative as something out of a good preppers website.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sam trains for scenarios of the apocolypse

The book is not a story or a how to necessarily. It's both fiction and non-fiction. Sam sounded like a free spirit until his son was born. I can relate. The birth of his son brought on certain fears.So he tells a fictional story where he is faced with a disaster. Then he talks about what he actually did in life to fix, avoid, train or prepare for said disaster. The book clips back to the story and he applies those learned skills. For example some one is shot in his fictional story and then the book goes to the non-fictional side where he talks about how he got EMT training. Back to the fictional story and he stops bleeding and stabilizes his friend. It's an awesome concept for a book. He's hit by flood, earthquakes, zombies, aliens, robots, gangs and all out SHTF cocktail. Performance was great.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not a "How To" book, but thought provoking

Where does The Disaster Diaries rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I downloaded this book as an on-sale filler gap between monthly credits. It was worth it, I think.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The guy who got his hand chopped off in the empty city.

What does Donald Corren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I like his manly narration style that goes well with the apocalyptic scenarios.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

You cannot prepare yourself for every dystopian scenario, but just having supplies to get you through an emergency for a week or a month (even better) will let you live with greater confidence and peace of mind.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good survival tips with some story thrown in.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I really connected to the opening. Insightful.

Any additional comments?

Really nice beginning, Strong, thoughtful prose throughout, After the first few survival training segments they start to blend together, but never boring. Solid, well presented information without typical 'bias' for this genre.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

This is all about nothing

I bought this on a special sale for less than $5.00. No surprise why this was discounted so much. It's really about nothing. The skills you need to survive after apocalypse. Like what? Go to a high end driving school. Work as an EMT. Learn to fire a gun. What a waste of money. This book is a joke.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not a Story as much as a Self Disclosure

I'm nearly through this book and have enjoyed the author's description of his learnings and his process of preparing himself to take care of himself and his family in times of small or large disasters. There's a chapter about his 3 week firearms training with an interesting trainer the North Alabama, for example. Another chapter was about his month-long SOLO Wilderness First Aid training in New England. It's a good book for my library and I can foresee listening to it again down the road.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sensible survival lifestyle

The author is from the world of MMA fighting but that doesn't keep him from offering a sensible perspective. Preparedness is a lifestyle choice, not an obsession.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Zombies, Aliens and Cannibalistic Bikers....

Please don't waste your time, or your credits on this book. I downloaded it believing that the author's portfolio of experiences might be useful to me as I begin prepping. Instead, it's memoir-type journal interspersed with tabloid / fantasy fiction. JRR Tolkien he ain't.

Since the author's experiences sounded great, I had high hopes. He learned stunt driving, trained with gun experts, did SOLO wilderness training. Well, I hoped that it would at least give me a place to start my own research. Instead the whole book sounds like a veteran recounting war stories. Interesting at times, but there's no real educational benefit for the listener. A few hours on YouTube would give me more education...and that's saying something.

The only thing I actually took away from this book (besides a headache) was that you do need to practice your preparedness and survival skills.

I have a lot of respect for the author - he's done and learned amazing things. It's just a totally useless text. No one can hope to possibly pick up all the skills he's learned with a twenty minute explanation, no matter how detailed. Too much scope, not enough substance here. That, and the periodic fiction was just disturbing.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but not great...

I believe the thesis of this book is somewhat naïve, or perhaps the authors conclusions are based on wishful thinking.

The book is an attempt to present a moderate view of what could result from the breakdown of societal norms. Honestly, it's not very convincing.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful