Wednesday, October 21, 2009

PATRIOTS...A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse

Fiction Books

As a youth...demanding english classes lassoed me back from playing on the streets to force my wiggly body and active imagination to calm down...and focus on a world of another's creation. As an experienced homework procrastinator...this often meant that I would sit and read a book the whole night through so that I could turn in a book report the next day.

Over time...I learned to love reading and to actually do it because I wanted to...not just out of the fear of what would happen if I turned nothing in. As a result...I ended up reading many of the classics. The Dickens...the Twains...the Wells...etc...and lots' of "just for fun books"...the "Choose your own adventures"...the Hardy Boys...Bradbury...comic books and so on. The great books of fiction can truly be a transport to another world. It's remarkable how while sitting in a can find themselves emotionally compelled to cheer out loud as Atticus Finch decries the ugly face of racism in court in "To Kill a Mockingbird" or crying when Old Dan the dog dies in "Where the Red Fern Grows". Those many powerful books shaped the way I view the world.

Somewhere along the way...after realizing how much I need to learn about the gospel and how short my time on earth is to learn it...and the Spirit of God relentlessly pressing me to learn the principles of reading of fiction books came to a screeching halt. Nowadays...I really only read the scriptures, doctrinal books, or preparedness related books. In my mind it's kind of like how President Hunter gave up playing music even though he really enjoyed pursue things that he felt were more important for the time being (238).

While it is not my intention to knock anyone who does read there is a place for such works among "the best books"...and there is a place for entertainment...I will say that for myself...with my schedule...and with my growing stack of non-fiction books I feel compelled to know...the most fiction I am currently willing to tackle is basically just a children's book before bedtime.


Over the last several months I have had a few people recommend the "Patriots" book to me. I admittedly had apprehensions...not wanting to "waste my time" on fiction. Still...I knew it was written by James Wesley, Rawles an editor at Survivalblog...a website that I had gone to many times searching out information...and found to be a reliable source. When a friend brought it to my home to lend it to me...I figured I'd check it out a bit...unsure if I would get far.

A few pages read...turned into chapters...turned into the whole book! Here is my two cents. The story leads you through a highly probable scenario involving the devaluation of the dollar...hyperinflation...and subsequent socioeconomic collapse. It was printed so recently that it uses current events...making it seem almost like you are stepping forward in time to see what may soon unfold.

You know when you are watching a movie and the star picks up a can of Coke and drinks it as he's driving his brand new BMW and talking on his Sprint mobile phone. You know...blatant product placement. That is what this book is...only not in an annoying intruding way...but in a helpful thorough sort of way. You are being entertained by the fascinating and often grim story of people trying to stay alive and make sound moral choices through very tough experiences...all the while you are learning why they chose the survival gear they did. You are learning in depth why they decided to install certain doors on their home. You are learning about gun rights and court to do emergency medical...and even where you can buy the stuff!!! The list of topics covered in the context of the story goes on and on. If you missed it along the can even go to the index in this most recent printing to find where in the book you read about "tooth extraction"..."Wiggys sleeping bags" or whatever else caught your eye. There is also a section to explain all of the acronyms they use! I wish I'd have known that prior to reading the book!!

I will say that sometimes the information on certain topics got a little too technical for me. There is a LOT of information about guns in this book. Sometimes it felt like pages of describing gun setups. Gun connoisseurs love it...but the layman might get a bit bogged down. Many times I kind of skimmed over those parts when I got lost. There is also like a whole chapter on communications that experienced HAM operators or military communications personnel will get...but not a lot of others. When I get my arsenal growing a bit more...and want to get more on the communications...this book will be a great resource.

This book "Keeps it real". People die...and it describes it. People are evil...and it describes them. It is not all bunnies and rainbows...but neither are the days to come likely to be either. It is a sobering walk that makes you ask repeatedly..."What would I do in that situation?!!" Also...helpful is the fact that many or most of the characters are Christians seeking to do the "right thing" and share scriptures to affirm their positions. In writing to what I would think would largely be a Christian audience...I think that the author tried to leave a lot of the "unnecessary" bad stuff out. I don't remember any real bad language (I remember female dog). He does a good job of painting the picture without getting too coarse. Admittedly a few parts were coarse for me...but probably not any worse than you might hear on the evening news....or heck...even in the Old Testament!

Perhaps one of the greatest values of this book is to help you see the holes you have in your personal preparedness plan and to help you have resolve now with regards to how you will act if confronted with various situations.

I will be reading the book again...and will buy it to have as a reference. Next time I will have a pen and paper out to write down the things I want to investigate to buy or skills to work on! If I were a librarian and had to find a place to put this would be found under "Useful Fiction". A non-guilty way for us non-fiction readers to have some fun with some fiction.

Here are two different places that sell the book and reviews...

Perhaps their reviews may help you to make your decision on whether or not to pick this book up. Don't's free at the library!


  1. You may want to mention that this author is also extremely anti-LDS...or did you not know that? He praises the church's stance on food storage but speaks out (also does so in the book) against the Church leadership.

    Yes, I've read it. Yes I 'owned' it. It makes a great target or tinder.

  2. Ha...ha...well to each their own.

    The answer is "No" I have no source that has shown me that he is Anti-LDS. Frankly...a lot of protestants are. I like the book because of the survival smarts...not because I expect him to be a friend to my religion.

    As I remember was a whopping one sentence line that was critical of the Brethren...made by one of the characters. Saying something to the effect that the leadership had gotten soft or something to that effect. That's a pretty soft criticism for an anti. Wouldn't it be great if all anti literature were that soft handed!

    Hardly worth throwing out the baby with the bath water.

  3. I walked away and I was thinking of how Mark Twain had said some anti remarks in his day....and yet "Tom Sawyer" was a wonderful book. I wonder how many other worthwhile "or of good report or praiseworthy" things in this world were created by someone who was deceived with regards to religion?...

    While I certainly don't class this book among the classics of literature...I think it a fallacy of reason to suppose that because of his religious bent that it should have no worth.

    Perhaps before you shoot could open it up and get some of the recommendations on ammo and scopes you could use...or before you burn could try out the fire starting method described on page 128! Wouldn't hurt.

  4. First, yes I have read the book (and still have an un-burned signed copy of the second edition somewhere in my stash of books that I finally decided to look for - the other made a decent target for incediary rounds). I purchased two, and have read it cover to cover. In the book, the LDS chuch sides with the UN (thereby agreeing to their despicable actions - described in horrible detail in the book). Also I have spoken with James Wesley, Rawles (don't ask about the comma...I don't get it either) and he was very, VERY verbally abusive regarding the church even going as far to state he believed that Pagans had a better chance of getting into heaven ("nice" guy /sarcasm off). He has also stated his opposition to the church on the Survivalblog website. Yes, he provides some good data on surviving calamities, but what are we supporting by buying his books? I had no idea what I was getting (or what JW Rawles believed) when I purchased two copies - 1 to read, one to give away (based on a recommendation of a non-member friend). I'll say it again, they make great tinder or targets.

    ...and page 128, not sure what you are talking about. You may be referring to a different book entirely. On page 128: Mike, Doug, Rose (with the help of Dan Fong are assembing defenses (fougasse) for the retreat. There is no (read N-O) mention of firemaking.

    Now if you'll excuse me - this other copy needs to be introduced to my 12ga. After all nothing says God is great - like 00 buck! See, I do have a sense of humor.

  5. Just one more point, you have a great site and I agree with everything else you have said other than supporting this author. I have met him (in person) and tried to ask him why he is so extremely LDS and he instantly became, shall we say "beyond unprofessional" in his criticism of the church. You referred to Mark Twain, good analogy, however even he was never vulgar and "beyond the pale" in his criticism. The author of the above book was.

    You do have a good site and I read it as often as I can. I just hate to see others contribute to an individual who despises everything the Church stands for.

  6. Now I can see why you feel the way you do. Thank you for the background. If I had been treated the way you had...and heard the words from his mouth...I'd probably be saying the same things you are. He sounds like a real piece of work.

    I guess that the real question here is not...does the book have merit...but instead..."Does buying his book in some way contribute to the promotion of his anti-LDS views"?

    I know that I am all for not supporting businesses the promote evil. I often get emails from the AFA that tell of how a company like CREST might be contributing to yes on prop 8 or something to that effect...and that buy purchasing their are in fact giving money to further evil!

    I guess that one can check it out from the library...or get one from a friend who already bought one doesn't have to give him any more money.

    Gotta go...

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  8. I've read this one and actually have his new book, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know it.
    Pretty good so far. Too bad he doesn't take his own advice about tolerance in Patriots(something about one of the characters being a neo-nazi near the end). If he had read a little of the Book of Mormon he would know that we put God above country. Oh, well. There is a lot of good advice in this book. The time you save researching the survival gear alone is worth the money. I'd probably trust him in a trench anyway. That smoke about hating the LDS church is just Protestant drabble that Joseph Smith even had to deal with.