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 chair...one 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 preparedness...my 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 it...to 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 fiction...as 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 cases...how 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 way...you 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 book...it 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 forget...it's free at the library!