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Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life

af Neil Strauss

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5181236,059 (3.49)3
Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Domestic crackdowns. Economic collapse. Riots. Wars. Disease. Starvation. What can you do when it all hits the fan? You can learn to be self-sufficient and survive without the system. "I've started to look at the world through apocalypse eyes." So begins Neil Strauss's harrowing new book: his first full-length work since the international bestseller The Game, and one of the most original-and provocative-narratives of the year. After the last few years of violence and terror, of ethnic and religious hatred, of tsunamis and hurricanes-and now of world financial meltdown-Strauss, like most of his generation, came to the sobering realization that, even in America, anything can happen. But rather than watch helplessly, he decided to do something about it. And so he spent three years traveling through a country that's lost its sense of safety, equipping himself with the tools necessary to save himself and his loved ones from an uncertain future. With the same quick wit and eye for cultural trends that marked The Game, The Dirt, and How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Emergency traces Neil's white-knuckled journey through today's heart of darkness, as he sets out to move his life offshore, test his skills in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, plane-flying, government-defying survivor. It's a tale of paranoid fantasies and crippling doubts, of shady lawyers and dangerous cult leaders, of billionaire gun nuts and survivalist superheroes, of weirdos, heroes, and ordinary citizens going off the grid. It's one man's story of a dangerous world-and how to stay alive in it. Before the next disaster strikes, you're going to want to read this book. And you'll want to do everything it suggests. Because tomorrow doesn't come with a guarantee...… (mere)
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There are certain voices out there, particular tones and rhythms floating through the stacks at your local bookstore. Original, unique and challenging writers who take their stories to new levels each and every time they grace the page. Voices like these are few and far between and we are lucky to be talking about one of them right now. Neil Strauss whispered his way into popular culture inside the words and stories of others, specifically those who were already enjoying massive levels of celebrity. He co-wrote biographies for Dave Navarro, Motley Crue, Jenna Jameson and Marilyn Manson, bringing his talent as a wordsmith to the lives of the edgy and fringe in our society. Then he decided to sink himself into the vacuous and vapid world of the pick-up artist in his next best seller, The Game. While trying to extricate himself from the superficial and shallow lands of the Los Angeles bar scene, something happened which not only changed his life, but the lives of every person on the planet: 9/11. After the fall of the twin towers, Neil began to realize that the society we all rely on is far more fragile than we want to realize. That thought burrowed deep into his psyche and dragged him onto a new path, one that led him not only to his ability to survive in a time of crisis, but also to a realization about how he fits into the world around him.

Emergency is a nearly herculean effort to imagine all the complications that would arise from the collapse of society and then how to survive through each and every one of them. Strauss goes on a bender of classes and in-person instructions about survival techniques, hunting, urban tactics and even quick-draw pistol training. Each new skill enabled him to take another step towards complete autonomy in the case of a social and financial meltdown. Along the way he also tries to share this newly acquired knowledge with his girlfriend, which proved in some cases to be harder than the course itself.

The book slips and slides between funny and frightening, bringing chaos and comedy together in a style only Strauss can supply. He details each step he takes along the way, from learning how to kill, skin and cook a goat himself to how long it really takes to lease an apartment and become a dual citizen in another country. Yet, what good is it to be a dual citizen if the airports are all shut down and you can’t get to your foreign villa? Strauss covers that too when he learns how to fly a personal helicopter. Sure, it can be argued that most people who read this book will not have the same resources Strauss does and that will severely impede their efforts to follow in his intensely prepared footsteps, but there is a treasure trove of knowledge in this book which can be easily applied in your everyday life (like the simple fact that if your water is shut off, the water in the tank on the back of your toilet is actually clean and drinkable). Underneath the sarcasm and self-deprecating humor of Strauss, he actually relates a number of incredibly valuable lessons between these pages. One passage worth looking into is where he details running his urban survival test and being interrupted in a men’s bathroom while dressed in drag. Trust me, there is incredibly intelligent logic behind the situation. Over and over Strauss proves that little things can become intensely important in times of crisis and it behooves all of us to learn at least some of them, if not all.

One thing that also draws me back to Strauss again and again is he really takes these journeys. These are not just research books with cold and empty facts filling the pages. Each lesson is one painted and colored through his experience of starting out a semi-vain and technologically-needy Los Angeles writer and ending up an everyday survivalist and part-time medical disaster volunteer. His original intention was to avoid death when the shit eventually hits the fan, but what he gained was a universal appreciation for life and the necessary skills for preserving it.

For a frank look at how fragile the web we’ve woven for ourselves really is, dig in. For those who break out into a cold sweat just turning on the news or browsing Web M.D., you might want to keep browsing the bookshelves. Try a cookbook specializing in chocolate. ( )
  LukeGoldstein | Aug 10, 2021 |
The book describes the author's journey as he goes from self-pity to whimsical, to paranoid, to slightly insane and eventually transcends to some pragmatic new-age enlightenment as he explores the world of preppers. What I'm suggesting is that he has issues. But he sounds like a good guy and he can write well so I think he'll be all right. Even when the lizard people/robots/terrorists/government invade/take over/impose taxes.

As a non-American it's amusing to read about the paranoia of not having a different passport (as if you could somehow hide the fact that you're American by buying some fake citizenship) and about worrying what other countries think of America.

Fair warning: book is more of a personal memoir than any sort of analysis of potential emergency situations but that's clear from the first chapter (book's title notwithstanding). ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
Written by a patronizingly misogynist jerk who kind of knows he’s a jerk, this book first explores how to leave the US/get a different identity and citizenship, in case of the disaster he expects as America inevitably collapses (spoiler alert: have lots of money), then Strauss realizes that in any real disaster he’s not likely to be able to get on a plane. So he commits to more home-grown survival techniques, including general outdoorsmanship and hunting and dressing his own food. He asserts that “At one point in history, almost everyone was a survivalist. They knew how to hunt, farm, fight, and keep themselves and their families alive ….” Note the families? The thought of small communities of people in the EEA doesn’t seem to cross his mind, though he does protect his ability to survive all on his own, with no one’s help, by getting access to his parents’ cabin inherited from a grandfather.. I wish he’d talked more in the last half about how much money all this training and prep costs, as he did in the first half. He talks to lots of fringe survivalists, including “the world’s friendliest Nazi.” (Bet he would not be so friendly to me!). He goes to train to survive a firefight and one of his compatriots, a police officer, accidentally shoots an innocent, then jokes about how he’d just fix it in the report. He diagnoses these people as driven by fear, not strength—they’re afraid of blacks, of terrorists, of national parks where they can’t bring their guns even though there are bears there.

As for the jerkiness, it’s encapsulated in this sentence: “Like many in the industry, she had a brittleness to her, as if in order to succeed in a man’s world she had to sacrifice some of the softness and submission that serve as honey to men on a date but as weakness in an office.” (He also claims to have had sex with his girlfriend six times in one night/morning: yeah, right.) On other things, he’s more self-aware, as when he discusses his pre-9/11 collection of anti-American propaganda: “my collection was a symptom not of open-mindedness, but of the exact American naivete and arrogance that leads others to hate us in the first place.” An interesting part comes near the end, where he gets EMT and emergency response training—people who were preparing to use the system to save others when emergencies came, and he finally seems to see that working with others is both the best bet and the best choice. ( )
  rivkat | Oct 19, 2017 |
There are some interesting nuggets of information here, but most of the advice is impractical for the average person who doesn't have unlimited funds. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
I was started reading this book as a skeptical reader, but the author has a good writing and really focus in his interesting path to be more confident in his ability to survive in a crisis situation. ( )
  NelsonFaria | Dec 5, 2015 |
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Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Domestic crackdowns. Economic collapse. Riots. Wars. Disease. Starvation. What can you do when it all hits the fan? You can learn to be self-sufficient and survive without the system. "I've started to look at the world through apocalypse eyes." So begins Neil Strauss's harrowing new book: his first full-length work since the international bestseller The Game, and one of the most original-and provocative-narratives of the year. After the last few years of violence and terror, of ethnic and religious hatred, of tsunamis and hurricanes-and now of world financial meltdown-Strauss, like most of his generation, came to the sobering realization that, even in America, anything can happen. But rather than watch helplessly, he decided to do something about it. And so he spent three years traveling through a country that's lost its sense of safety, equipping himself with the tools necessary to save himself and his loved ones from an uncertain future. With the same quick wit and eye for cultural trends that marked The Game, The Dirt, and How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Emergency traces Neil's white-knuckled journey through today's heart of darkness, as he sets out to move his life offshore, test his skills in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, plane-flying, government-defying survivor. It's a tale of paranoid fantasies and crippling doubts, of shady lawyers and dangerous cult leaders, of billionaire gun nuts and survivalist superheroes, of weirdos, heroes, and ordinary citizens going off the grid. It's one man's story of a dangerous world-and how to stay alive in it. Before the next disaster strikes, you're going to want to read this book. And you'll want to do everything it suggests. Because tomorrow doesn't come with a guarantee...

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