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- Publié sur Amazon.com
In "The Disaster Diaries", author Sam Sheridan uses a series of fictional disasters as the connecting thread to weave together his exploration of the skills that might be needed to survive a world in chaos. Sheridan writes in a style reminiscent of Curt Gentry's book Last Days of the Late, Great State of California. Where Gentry used a catastrophic earthquake to look at California's politics, economy and history, Sheridan uses an earthquake as a jumping off point for a ongoing series of disasters and to find out what skills might be needed to live in a post-apocalyptic world.
He begins with The Big One, a quake that devastates Southern California -- something that may happen in our lifetimes. What should a family do? Make sure their house is earthquake safe, have food and water for 30 days and have a "go bag" filled with essentials. OK so far. But what do you do when the zombies show up???? This is where the book becomes fun.
Sheridan is faced with a series of survival situations that just keep getting worse. Earthquake, followed by zombies (how is it you can kill the undead by shooting them?), followed by marauding gangs, an alien invasion, cannibals and then a new ice age. Sheridan uses his doomsday story as an opportunity to build survival skills. He starts with fitness & strength training (he almost had me on the phone to join a local health club) and then looks at learning how to shoot, wilderness medicine, cars (stealing them & driving them aggressively), learning how to live off the land, desert survival, knife fighting, hunting, and arctic survival. He also looks at dealing with mental strain. As he notes, "If you see a family member turn into a zombie, or a town melted by aliens, you're going to be traumatized".
Since I already know how to fight off zombies (I have 21 & 23 year old sons!), the sections of the book that I enjoyed the most involved Sheridan exploring how people perform (or fail to perform) under stressful conditions. What is the solution for getting things right when under pressure? Training, training & more training. Sheridan also understands that doing things accurately is more important than doing them quickly, hence his mantra, "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast". And this is true in all things, not just alien invasion. Sheridan notes that in emergency situations many people are unable to even dial 911 (I've experienced this myself). I also enjoyed his discussion of the need to develop situational awareness. More than a skill to help deal with disasters, this is a something that can prevent them in the first place.
It would be easy for a book like this to go off the deep end and turn paranoid, but Sheridan's humanity is his strength. The people he talks with, people who know their way around a gun or knife, all believe in being prepared for the worst but stress that the best way to win a fight is to avoid it. Sheridan understands that being afraid, that hiding in a bunker or living in fear the unwashed will come steal your food, is not "living" and is not necessary. Sheridan believes in people and that we are at our best when we work together -- cannibals excluded.
"The Disaster Diaries" is fascinating, both light-hearted and deadly serious. Sheridan shows a sharp eye for detail, nuance and character as he interviews people and completes a number of training courses. He writes the non-fiction portion of his book as well as he writes the fun, interconnecting disaster story.
To paraphrase drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs, this book has zombie-foo, alien-foo, desert-foo and artic-foo. I give it two thumbs up.