Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse is the book I judge all other survivalist lit by. Is it better worse written than Patriots? Is the scenario more or less realistic? Even my dichotomy of survivalist vs ordinary people comes from reading this book.
The author says Patriots is a poorly disguised survivalist manual. James Wesley, Rawles (can someone tell me why there is a comma in his name?) is the blogger behind the most popular survivalist blog, Survival Blog. He did later go on to actually write a survival manual How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times but Patriots will do a pretty good job of getting you to think about surviving.
The Survival Scenario: Economic Collapse
It doesn’t take much research to realize the US is in deep economic Shumer (to use a Patriotism). This book takes it to the extreme, with the US currency collapsing and with it all of society. Cities erupt in civil unrest because the police stop working. Eventually everyone stops working and we enter a new dark age, one without power.
The Book as a Book
This is the second edition of the book but it still feels like an authors first work. It is obvious that the point of every plot device – and many of the character’s existence – is just to teach something. We never really get emotionally involved with the character. The only time I really felt bad for them was at their deaths.
I listened to the book on audio but also bought it in paper so my wife could read it. We people read this book, they understand what it means to be a survivalist and want to do something. The book is very much about prepared people and not ordinary ones. Even characters who walk out of cities are survival minded by the time they cross paths with the main characters.
There are a few passages when it gets down right technical and was a hard listen. Description of the retreat’s door was hard to follow on audio.
There are too many lessons as part of this story, from how to fortify a house, set up and run an LP/OP, to how to do a person to person blood transfusion. This book really delves into Rawlesian survivalism, and make you want to have a survival retreat. The main characters, both those that live at the retreat in Idaho and those that bug out there show you how big an advantage it is to have a prepared, stocked place WAY off the beaten track.
It makes you want a survival retreat.
These people’s stock piles border on ridiculousness. I think after the first year they were supporting more than 10 people on just their stockpiles of food. I don’t remember any mention of growing crops.
You also learn if you are going to survival, you want to do it with other people. You want a group retreat, not just a solo one. You need more than 1 or 2 people to have a round the clock guard. You also realize again that certain skills will be of vital importance after a crash.
Like I said at the beginning, Patriots is the book others are judged by. If you want to learn survivalism this is the book to read. I find a few faults, it doesn’t have the writer’s polish of One Second After and I’m not sure an economic collapse would cause as much break down as they say, but you’ll get a good overview of all the things that could happen and enjoy the process.