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My SHTF Book Reviews

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  • My SHTF Book Reviews

    So after reading several SHTF books on EMP, here are my reviews of them.

    Survivalist Series
    A.American "Going Home book" (Books 1 through 9) (read all 9 books in order)
    This is the "Survivalist Series" and is probably the best and most realistic of all of them. I had a hard time putting these down and ended up reading them three times because they were so good..They were very realistic, there were no super hero's with fantastic luck, skill or seemingly unlimited finances.. The win's and losses throughout the story seemed very much like something that would really happen. The book was very educational and well written. Overall score is 9 out of 10 and I'm going to use this series as the standard to compare others.


    EMP Equipping Modern Patriots
    Too fantastical.. The characters are made out to be perfect super-hero's and the over all story evolves from somewhat realistic to "hero saves the day".. The main character ends up being the leader for no good reason and the good guys tend to be so paranoid in their actions that in real life they'd be bad guys. They also seem to all be coincidentally wealthy and have every resource one could possibly have.
    Overall score is a 6 out of 10.


    One Second After - One Year After - The Final Day
    Written by William R. Forstchen, all three books are pretty good.. Realism is average to above average.. some of the minutia gets dragged out to a point where its more than we need to know, but overall its a good series of three books and a very interesting series of events.. Overall score is an 8 out of 10.


    Dark New World Series (books 1 through 7)
    The story starts out pretty good.. realism is high except for the fact that an EMP causes wide spread chaos far quicker than what it probably would. When the EMP hits, everything goes to hell in a matter of hours, where in real life it would probably take days. The first book starts off pretty good but then the story transforms into ridiculousness where the main character even has a hidden emp proof bunker under the house and a seemingly endless supply of sand bags to build homes for entire communities. On the trek home, the main character also picks up and makes friends with what could only be described as a series of "the best of the best" random strangers.. A computer hacker, a special forces guy, etc. The book is written well, and if you can get past the fact that the main character has (had) a regular job but seems to be quite rich and has sunk all that money into prepping supplies, then you'll enjoy the story. One thing this series has that others don't are cars converted to run on Wood Gassifiers..
    Its not a bad story if one is willing to overlook some of the unlikely scenarios. Overall score is a 7 out of 10.


    EMP Survivor (books 1 through 4)
    by Chris Pike
    This wasn't a bad read either but what bothered me was that the characters were either really good people or really bad people.. there was little gray area. The story was realistic with only a couple minor exceptions. In some cases, they don't describe enough detail, while in others, they flood the reader with garbage they won't care about knowing and has no relevance to the story. Other than that, the main character wasn't an unrealistic superhero..
    Overall score is 7 our of 10.


    Books by Arthur T Bradley Phd.
    The Survivalist Series.. Let me first say that I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Bradley. As a real life NASA engineer who specializes in electromagnetic wave propagation, his EMP Faraday cage video's on youtube are among the absolute very best and I would highly recommend watching every one of them and following his advice as exactly as you can. Now, that said, he sucks eggs as a fictional writer.. and I can't describe how much is pains me to say that since he's done so much work and spread so much knowledge for the prepper community.

    Perhaps highly intelligent people with PhD's aren't meant to be fiction writers? I couldn't even finish 1/4 of the first book.. The main character is so shallow and empty its indescribable and the writing is absolutely horrible. The book is filthy with religious references and unrealistic scenarios.
    Overall Score is 3 out of 10.


    UPDATE: I think its only fair to revise my review of Arthur T Bradley's Survivalist Series. As I said originally, the first book where the story starts, is absolutely horrible. But it would seem that Dr. Bradley might have gotten some constructive criticism and learned a little. While I'm not into zombie books, and this was a zombie story, I did go on to read books 2 through 6 and I have to say, the writing got much much better. The story was still generic, the characters still dry and shallow, but the writing rose to a level where it was tolerable and even interesting. Nothing was realistic but if you enjoy end of the world zombie books, its worth a read.

    Last edited by Murphy; 08-29-2018, 12:36 PM. Reason: UPDATE

  • #2
    Try Matt Bracken's Trilogy..........read in proper order. The first book will real piss you off, mostly because it is a novel that is coming true day by day by day.

    If you are employed by BATF&E don't read these books.
    One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sourdough View Post
      Try Matt Bracken's Trilogy..........read in proper order. The first book will real piss you off, mostly because it is a novel that is coming true day by day by day.

      If you are employed by BATF&E don't read these books.
      Usually, I find that when a book has that effect, it's usually propaganda.. just enough truth to grease the path for the garbage.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Murphy View Post

        Usually, I find that when a book has that effect, it's usually propaganda.. just enough truth to grease the path for the garbage.
        If you know Matt Bracken........It is not propaganda.
        One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sourdough View Post

          If you know Matt Bracken........It is not propaganda.
          LOL

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Matthew_Bracken

          No thanks.. Not into that kind of propaganda.. and it is propaganda.

          I'm a strange creature when it comes to political alignment. very few people are like me. So to give you a heads up, here are some points about what I think.

          *All education and healthcare should be free to all and equal for all but the government should not give out any other type of welfare.
          *Anyone attempting to pass a law that violates the constitution should be removed from office. This includes any gun control legislation.
          *All political lobbying should be outlawed.
          *We should allow more Mexicans into the country legally... 10 to 50 times more.. and waterboard any adult getting caught illegally.
          *No lawyers should be allowed to run for public office, ever.
          *No one with less than a Masters Degree should be allowed to run for public office.
          *No one without a science degree should be allowed to run for the presidency or any state governor.
          *Religious institutions (churches) should be treated like any other corporation.. and taxed the same as well and 21 and over only.
          *There should only be one penalty for pedophiles and that is hanging.
          *We should bring back public executions
          *We should strengthen private property rights and eliminate eminent domain except in cases of war or national security.
          *Anyone who receives more than a combined total of 20 years for violent crimes should just be executed.
          *Drugs should be totally legalized after the age of 21 years and anyone stupid enough to do them should be left alone to die on their own terms.
          *Assisted suicide should be legal for anyone.
          *Self defense on ones own private property should have a far higher burden of "proof of malice" to convict.
          *Your fuel taxes and vehicle taxes should be dependent on the type of car you drive.
          *The inclusion of sugar into packaged (manufactured) foods should be outlawed.
          *Television commercials pushing drugs or medical advice should be outlawed.

          I don't go for propaganda from the left or the right.. the lefties are far to liberal and the righties are far to conservative.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have read the Survivalist Series by A. American, and I totally agree with your assessment. It is very realistic, and IMHO accurately depicts the obstacles you would face in a serious SHTF and WROL scenario.

            One Second After is also very good. Have you read any of James Wesley Rawles books? I read one. I think it was Expatriates. If I can't remember the title how good could it have been? Anyway, as I remember it was O.K. I do have his survival guide " How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It ", and that is quite good. A very complete look at Prepping.
            The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

            Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Morgan101 View Post
              I have read the Survivalist Series by A. American, and I totally agree with your assessment. It is very realistic, and IMHO accurately depicts the obstacles you would face in a serious SHTF and WROL scenario.

              One Second After is also very good. Have you read any of James Wesley Rawles books? I read one. I think it was Expatriates. If I can't remember the title how good could it have been? Anyway, as I remember it was O.K. I do have his survival guide " How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It ", and that is quite good. A very complete look at Prepping.
              When I consider reading a book, I do a bit of research on the authors, their views, and what others say... I don't think Rawles would be within my circle of enjoyment but since you suggested it, I may reconsider..

              In fact, there are some interesting patterns that emerge when reading these books, and reading a lot of science books.

              It would seem that the vast majority of preppers are deeply conservative and religious.. I always wondered why that is since prepping itself is not a religious activity..
              What I found, after more research than I care to admit to, is that there are actual brain structure differences between those who lean left (progressive, liberal, etc) and those who lean right (conservative, devoutly religious etc)

              Folks who lean right have measurably larger and more active areas in their brains that process fear. In fact, the effect is so profound that scientists can tell you if you're liberal or conservative with a stunning accuracy of over 72% by just using an MRI to look at your brain. Knowing that, sheds light on why most prepper and apocalyptic books are written by deeply conservative authors. This is why I think the A.American series was so refreshing and so well written.. it wasn't stuffed full of religion.

              I really like the books that focus on rational thinking, problem solving, and science based approaches to survival, and I tend to shy away from books touting irrational propaganda, or the "god saved us" mentality.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Murphy View Post

                I tend to shy away from books touting irrational propaganda, or the "god saved us" mentality.
                How do you know "Irrational Propaganda" when you see it, read it, or hear it........??? I am asking this as a serious question.
                One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sourdough View Post

                  How do you know "Irrational Propaganda" when you see it, read it, or hear it........??? I am asking this as a serious question.
                  Propaganda comes in two forms.. Fraudulent and half-truths.. The fraudulent propaganda is easy to spot and is generally not used on populations with free access to information because disproving a lie is usually easy.. Propaganda that makes use of half-truths works by telling only part of a story and leaving out parts that are not desirable to the agenda. Half-truths are used on populations that do have access to free information.. when someone checks the facts, they find they are true.. but it takes a special effort to dig deeper to find the rest of the story, and that's the part that the propaganda bets most folks won't do... and as it so happens, most folks don't dig deeper.. they're too busy with other things.

                  Gun Grabber: Mr. Jones gunned down Mr. Smith with his AR15
                  The Truth: Mr. Jones gunned down Mr. Smith with is AR15 when he caught him invading his home at 3 am in the morning holding an axe.

                  Both are true statements, one is a half-truth, the other is the real truth.

                  The irrational propaganda are statements made that have no factual basis. These are usually statements that rely on other statements as being accepted as true within society. "God will save us".. "the government is after us".. "Obama wants to take your guns".. these statements rely on perceptions, mythology, and falsehoods.

                  There is one other kind of propaganda, but its rarely used to change agenda.. and that is the propaganda that repeats itself over and over until people accept it. Actually, this type of propaganda is more closely aligned with general advertising, but is still used to set an agenda.

                  All propaganda is irrational because it doesn't serve truth, it serves agenda. doesn't matter which agenda... and a society without truth is likely to fail..

                  Prepper websites are filled with conservative propaganda.. and I mean FILLED.. as in overflowing.. Interestingly, this website not so much.. which is strange so far as I'm concerned, and part of the reason I come back to it....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    But what is truth.......??? There is your truth, there is my truth. It seems you are saying you have your belief systems, and anything NOT consistent is "Propaganda" or half truth.
                    One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sourdough View Post
                      But what is truth.......??? There is your truth, there is my truth. It seems you are saying you have your belief systems, and anything NOT consistent is "Propaganda" or half truth.
                      Truth is what is based upon the most complete set of evidence and factual information. Propaganda is based on the exact opposite.. which is why we call it propaganda by definition.

                      Now one can get all ridiculous and start saying "That tree is there because God put it there", but that's not evidence, not factual, and therefor not true. There is no such thing as my truth or your truth.. but much like beliefs, truth does come in a couple different flavors, but unlike beliefs, the flavors of truth are personal.

                      For instance, two people witness a plane fall out of the sky from two different perspectives.. One says I saw smoke from the engine and then it just fell out of the sky.. The other says I saw a missile blow the plane up, a big flame, and then it fell out of the sky.. (oh yes, the FAA as created an entire area of scientific study devoted to figuring out why two people who witness the same event can have two different stories)..

                      Both witnesses are telling their version of what they believe is true.. Neither is lying.. But truth to the human brain is based on perception and experience.. and they've tested this to show how it works. Its some very interesting science and understanding it goes a long way to improving one's own perceptions.

                      Human interpretation is severely flawed and subject to errors.. You've seen the optical illusions, magic tricks, etc.. so its a good thing that personal truth has no bearing on factual truth and scientific truth.. and its factual truth and scientific truth that rule your life and everything else. Regardless of what your personal truth might be, it is scientific and factual truth that governs your life.. so with that in mind, the better you understand, the easier it is to navigate through life.

                      Beliefs come in only two flavors... rational beliefs like I believe the Sun will still be there tomorrow, I believe my home won't burn down today, or I believe my wife loves me... and then there are the irrational beliefs like I believe god exists, I believe I will win the lotto tomorrow, I believe the world will end on November 1st. and various analogs..

                      I have no irrational beliefs whatsoever.. and its not something one can achieve by simple choice as it takes years of practice.. After 18 years of marriage, my wife is at the end stages of ridding herself of irrational beliefs.

                      How do you determine what is propaganda and what is a "reasonable truth"? The best way is by the source.. While you could personally track down and check every single story you ever read, finding a trusted source which has a reputation for being as reasonably truthful as possible is a far more efficient way.
                      Unfortunately, since human perception is flawed, finding a trusted source in all subjects is near impossible to do.

                      The best way to find scientific and factual truth is to practice a skill called "Critical Thinking".. It doesn't involve knowledge or education, its more like learning to play a musical instrument, it must be practiced and practiced.

                      If everyone practiced critical thinking, our world would look very different... You'd never see products advertised "Free shipping", or "20% extra for free".. you'd never see most of the things we see in product advertising.. and of course, there would be no religion.. no tarot card readers, no children afraid of the dark or monsters under the bed... Crime would be limited to the mentally ill, and a host of other things.

                      Personal truth is religious speak for "I don't care what the facts are, I want to believe because....."






                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I really liked the Going Home series also.

                        I will say on One Second After that it was a book by which many of the other PAW genre have tried to emulate. I honestly don't remember if I reasd the 2 others in the trilogy. I know a few years back they were trying to get funding to turn it into a movie. Someone put a trailer together but it was super cheesy.

                        I 've read a load of PAW/ SHTF books and short stories over the years to where I'm now to the point many of them blur together. I've never gotten into the zombie stuff, just to fake for me. Thinking on it now, I wish I'd always had left reviews for those thru Kindle so I could go back and remember which stories I had read.

                        I read most if not all of Jerry D Young, Flea Taxi, and TOM (Tired Old Man) that I found on line back when it was still shared for free. Most of those stories always delved into a fantastical world where one would need to have won the big powerball jackpot to come across all the toys, lifetime propane supply and warehouse of mountainhouse food they always had. Then the characters seemingly stumble across anything and everything and the books would turn into a inventory list, by model and part numbers of all the stuff the characters would stash away in their earthen dome bunker home. Most read like a pack rats arsenal of of unrealistically unattainable military weapons and gear where all the characters can shoot the eye out of a fly at 10 miles as they also ride off on their horse clothed in the finest western wear and sporting weapons only found in a cowboy action shooters wet dream. Now I'll admit, at times I had to skip pages as things got so predictable or boring reading a list of 20 different special ammos for a .50cal but they were still guilty pleasures... yes we all do it... Prepper Porn... LOL

                        Recently I just started into the Borrowed World Series by Franklin Horton. Well I actually read the first book some years ago and at the time didn't spend money to by the next installment. I've done that allot, read say first book in a series bkz it was free on kindle and I like it, but then I cheap out and don't spend $2-12 bucks for the next book in the series. In the Borrowed series it starts following a group of government employees trying to make it from Richmond back home to far western VA after a terrorist attack hits refineries, transformers and power grid thru conventional attack and the govt seizes all fuel supplies, etc... So far I like it, just downloaded book 2 tonight. .
                        Last edited by CountryGuy; 08-09-2018, 11:20 PM.
                        I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When I am reading this type of fiction, Survival, Post-Apocalypse, whatever you want to call it, one of the most important things is plausibility. If things start to get really improbable it loses me. I read it and think " that wouldn't happen " or " that doesn't sound right ". I will probably not finish it. With the Going Home series the situations the main character encountered seemed plausible. Yeah, that could happen. Maybe not everything, but a lot of it seemed very possible.

                          Murphy: One of the things I liked about Rawles non-fiction book was how thorough it was. He covered every aspect of prepping in great detail. Some you agree with, and some you don't, but I think you gain knowledge from everything you read. There may be some things you hadn't considered, and now you will. There may be some things that are done a little differently, and they will improve your method. Much of it is repetitive, and many of us are experienced preppers, and we realize that. You read it and think " I knew that, or this isn't anything new." But there may be some things that are new, and will be helpful. I always try to look for new knowledge that will help me improve.
                          The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

                          Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Morgan101 View Post
                            When I am reading this type of fiction, Survival, Post-Apocalypse, whatever you want to call it, one of the most important things is plausibility. If things start to get really improbable it loses me. I read it and think " that wouldn't happen " or " that doesn't sound right ". I will probably not finish it. With the Going Home series the situations the main character encountered seemed plausible. Yeah, that could happen. Maybe not everything, but a lot of it seemed very possible.

                            Murphy: One of the things I liked about Rawles non-fiction book was how thorough it was. He covered every aspect of prepping in great detail. Some you agree with, and some you don't, but I think you gain knowledge from everything you read. There may be some things you hadn't considered, and now you will. There may be some things that are done a little differently, and they will improve your method. Much of it is repetitive, and many of us are experienced preppers, and we realize that. You read it and think " I knew that, or this isn't anything new." But there may be some things that are new, and will be helpful. I always try to look for new knowledge that will help me improve.
                            Well cranky! If you feel that strongly about it, I'll give it a read! Ok.. you convinced me. Out of some twisted sense of respect for his real world work, I decided to finish Arthur T. Bradley's books.. when I'm done, I'll move to Rawles and see how it goes.

                            2018 seems to be my year for fictional stories.. I usually read non-fiction or science books.. haven't read one yet this year.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              SHORT READ..........Educational and FUN.

                              https://survivalforum.survivalmagazi...-very-fun-read
                              One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

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