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The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse (Anglais) Relié – 24 janvier 2013


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"The Disaster Diaries is a fascinating book… Reading how Sheridan progresses through his own training further reminds me just how much our civilization hangs by a thread and just what would be expected of me to protect my own family."
Wired

"Though it's a work of nonfiction, The Disaster Diaries explores every catastrophic disaster, from floods and earthquakes to sci-fi scenarios like zombie infections and escaping giant alien monsters, and asks experts around the world exactly what preparations are needed. Sheridan uncovers survival skills (first aid, hunting in the wilderness, firing a gun) as well as some craftier tricks (hot-wiring a car, constructing an igloo). But The Disaster Diaries isn't instructional. The apocalypse schemes serve as a lens that allows Sheridan to explore the limits of the human body and psyche and how physical and mental strength are inexplicably linked... at least when the apocalypse does arrive, I can take comfort that Sam Sheridan will survive, to continue the existence of the human race and smartly researched nonfiction books."
—Grantland

"Sheridan understands exactly what he is doing. He is giving readers a fantasy ride… And clearly, he enjoys the ride himself, savoring every moment, both physically and intellectually… Postapocalyptic heroism, in the hands of Sam Sheridan, is just plain fun."
San Francisco Chronicle

"Sheridan ain't no slacker… [He] is a writer first, second and third. Despite being a man willing to learn the intricacies of bodybuilding and accept his role in protecting his family, it's Sheridan's voice that sets his book apart from the usual survival fluff… can appeal to the Everyman and the intellectual all at once."
—Breitbart.com

"Sheridan is a charming storyteller, and his prose is both thoughtful and playful... An upbeat and entertaining survival guide for the end of the world."
Kirkus (starred review)

"Although this would make a great title for a postapocalyptic novel, Sheridan's book is actually a nonfiction guide to preparing yourself for natural disasters and other catastrophes. The author, a Harvard grad who's been an EMT, a merchant marine, and a boxer—among many other adventurous endeavors—takes us step by step through the process, beginning with the fundamentals: getting physically fit and learning how to handle stress. From there we move, in logical sequence, to more intricate tasks: preparing an emergency disaster kit, learning to protect ourselves in the event of violent encounters (hand-to-hand combat training; learning how to fire a gun), acquiring basic medical skills, planning a strategy to get out of the disaster area, and so on. But this is no mere guide to surviving disaster; it's also the author's personal account of learning to prepare for catastrophe. Sheridan doesn't merely recommend; he shows by example, describing his own experiences while taking the Wilderness EMT program. A clever and very useful guide to getting ready to face the unknown."
Booklist

"With a funky sense of humor blended with straight-faced common sense, [Sheridan] not only addresses the long-term psychological trauma of disaster but adds the importance of learning basic first-aid techniques, firearms training, knife skills, hunting and living in the wild, and expertise behind the wheel for a real world escape and survival. As a quirky survivalist primer, Sheridan's work spells out how to stay alive when the world goes topsy-turvy."
Publishers Weekly

"Sam Sheridan seems to have a tough time sleeping—and we are all the better for it. He has taken his recurring nightmares about a zombie apocalypse in L.A.—rendered in grippingly real, heart-pounding scenes of narrow escape throughout—and turned them into inspiration for a real-life end-of-the-world practical survival guide, as he seeks out expert instruction in knife fighting, gun battle, hot-wiring a car, making an igloo, caring for the sick in a world without hospitals. The Disaster Diaries is the book you want in your basement with the batteries and water, a must-have if the world outside ever starts to look like The Road."
—Kevin Conley, author of Stud: Adventures in Breeding and Full Burn: On the Set, at the Bar, Behind the Wheel, and Over the Edge with Hollywood Stuntmen

"Framed by far-out fictional vignettes like zombie infestation and alien invasions, The Disaster Diaries traces a real-world escape path, exploring survival skills from stunt driving a car out of harm's way to dealing with long-term psychological trauma. Sheridan's matter-of-fact tone is informational and gripping, and he never descends into a paranoid, 'us or them' tone. Ultimately, learning to live through an apocalypse is about learning to be a human being; it takes an appetite for knowledge, the ability to cooperate, and most of all, adaptability. Anyone who thinks humankind is getting soft should read this book—no matter what happens, it's clear that some of us will survive."
—Daniel Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Amped, Robopocalypse, and How to Survive a Robot Uprising

Présentation de l'éditeur

Sam Sheridan has traveled the world as an amateur boxer and mixed martial arts fighter; he has worked as an EMT, a wilderness firefighter, a sailor, a cowboy at the largest ranch in Montana, and in construction under brutal conditions at the South Pole. If he isn't ready for the Apocalypse and the fractured world that will likely ensue, we are all in a lot of trouble.

Despite an arsenal of skills that puts many to shame, when Sam became a father he was beset with nightmares about being unable to protect his son. With disaster images from movies, books, and the nightly news filling his head, he was slowly being driven to distraction. If a rogue wave hit his beach community, would he be able to get out? If the power grid went down and he was forced outside the city limits, could he survive in the wilderness? And let's not even talk about plagues, zombie hoards, and attacking aliens. Unable to quiet his mind, Sam decides to face his fears head-on and gain as many skills as possible.

The problem is each doomsday situation requires something unique. Trying to navigate the clogged highway out of town? Head to the best stunt driving school in the country. Need to protect your family, but out of ammunition? Learn how to handle a knife. Is your kid hurt or showing signs of mental strain? Better brush upon emergency medicine and the psychological effects of trauma. From training with an Olympic weight lifter to a down and dirty apprenticeship in stealing cars with an ex-gang member, from a gun course in the hundred-degree heat of Alabama to agonizing lessons in arctic wilderness survival, Sam leaves no stone unturned. Will it be enough if a meteor rocks the earth? Who's to say? But as Sam points out, it would be a damn shame to survive the initial impact only to die a few days later because you don’t know how to build a fire.

A rollicking narrative with each chapter framed by a hypothetical catastrophic scenario, The Disaster Diaries is irresistible armchair adventure reading for everyone curious about what it might take to survive a cataclysmic event and those who just want to watch someone else struggling to find out.




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60 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
How to survive the end of the world 26 janvier 2013
Par Karen Sullivan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
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.
26 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Walking the line between paranoia and self-reliance 29 janvier 2013
Par Monica J. Kern - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
It's obvious from the subtitle of the book with its Dr. Strangelove reference ("How I learned to stop worrying and love the apocalypse") that this is not your run-of-the-mill survival book. "The disaster diaries" is an informative yet entertaining entry in the increasingly crowded post-apocalyptic/survivalist/prepper genre. Less dry and boring than the typical survival tome, this book intersperses chapters on such topics as firearms training; car-jacking and evasive driving; and emergency medicine with a set of vignettes in which the author imagines himself trying to protect his wife and baby through a series of post-apocalyptic scenarios, including earthquakes, disease, zombies, and space aliens. The result is something rather less encyclopedic than the usual survival manual, but infinitely more entertaining.

And the point of the book, as I see it, is less to serve as an instruction manual full of specifics but rather to argue the rationale and philosophy behind preparation. Sheridan was not a slouch to begin with; he is a mixed martial arts fighter, EMT, and wilderness firefighter. But once he became a father he realized what every parent realizes: That being completely responsible for the safety of one's child is a scary and demanding responsibility. And being responsible means being prepared not just for everyday life but for emergencies that can happen. As Sheridan remarks, "Just because life is comically good for us in the United States, that doesn't mean it always will be."

The hard-core survivalist would probably be disappointed in this book, but that speaks well of it, in my opinion. Sheridan does an excellent job of making the case that surviving when the SHTF is less a matter of testosterone-fueled domination over one's enemies and more a matter of keeping up with training in basic survival skills and cooperating with one's neighbors. The chapter on firearms was particularly instructive in this regard. Buying a gun and some bullets and keeping it in your closet will not help you one bit in being prepared; you need to engage in lots of regular training to have a realistic chance of using your weapon effectively in an emergency situation. But as Sheridan quotes one of the survival experts he interviewed, "Real survival is bad TV. It's people sitting around under a tree, conserving calories."

The last chapter of the book is probably the most thought-provoking, as Sheridan explores the likelihood of a SHTF scenario happening in the U.S. and the probable reaction of ordinary people who would get caught up in it. He makes the provocative argument that, contrary to media reports and Hollywood, there would NOT be mass panic and crime (and his discussion of what did and did not happen during Hurricane Katrina was extremely interesting in this regard). His moral is that "When disaster does strike, retaining your humanity is the most important part of survival... Working together with your neighbors will have a much higher success rate than going into paranoid bunker mode."

This is not nearly as fun or sexy as taking a Mad Max loner survivalist view of the world, but it's a lot smarter. That's why this would be the first book I'd recommend to a friend who was curious about the prepper movement or was thinking about becoming more prepared him- or herself. The other books full of instructions on how to build lean-tos or cook rats over campfires can come later.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I couldn't wait to see where Sheridan would go with each new chapter 30 janvier 2014
Par Billy Church - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I am a fan of Sam Sheridan's work. His desire to travel and meet new people has made each of his books interesting and unforgettable. He's kind of a crazy guy who is not afraid to put himself in precarious situations in order to investigate or experience that which fascinates him. The end result in "The disaster Diaries" is a well informed, meticulously researched "page turner" that has somehow made me a better person and a further educated member of the population.
This is a fun book to read.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Expectation, Preparation, Revelation 24 mars 2013
Par Michael P. Lefand - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
"Disaster Diaries" is for those who want to be prepared when they find themselves in dire straits. The first rule for survival is to have a plan, even when plans tend to fall apart when calamity strikes, at least you will have a starting point. This is what Sam Sheridan's "The Disaster Diaries" is all about, survival.

Using a succession of possible disaster scenarios Sheridan explores the skills required when the harsh reality of survival becomes clear after the initial trauma of a disaster. These scenarios range from a localized event such as an earthquake to a world shattering apocalyptic event.

Guiding the reader through both the physical demands and skills that may be necessary Sheridan also points out that there are many mental demands that must be recognized and dealt with when disaster strikes.

Covering the basics such as being physically fit, which can benefit any individual even without any disaster? Sheridan shows how outdoor survival skills, such as wilderness medicine, hunting, living off the land and building shelters are important. Equally important are the skills needed to personally defend oneself and Sheridan does a fair job of explaining why firearm training, handguns and rifles, are not to be neglected as well as knife fighting and defense.

Sheridan makes clear attentiveness and focus are just as important as the skills themselves when applying them. Awareness and the ability to size up a situation are part of what Sheridan stresses. Basically that is what the "Disaster Diaries" is about, informing the reader what skills are needed. This is NOT a survival guide. For that I would suggest "Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook."

Sheridan's book serves as a sensible reason for wanting to learn the basics of survival. Told in an interesting way I think it serves its purpose. I think it is worth reading if for no other reason than to make one aware of the possible hazardous one may occur when disaster strikes. I give it 4 stars.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Odd mix of biography, travelogue, and science writing 23 mai 2013
Par Michael Lichter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Sam Sheridan's "The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse" is a not-entirely-successful mix of biography, travelogue, and science writing. Sheridan tells readers that he has been suffering from repeated nightmares about a variety of apocalyptic events, from earthquakes to severe weather to zombies, that potentially threaten himself and his young family. To overcome his fears through preparation for the worst, Sheridan embarks on a program of survivalist education that includes learning how to hunt and track, how to perform wilderness field medicine, and how to drive under extreme conditions.

THE GOOD: Sheridan writes plainly and clearly. His experiences as he attempts to prepare himself for a range of really bad scenarios are exotic and intriguing. Many of the characters he encounters are colorful and have unexpected insights to offer regarding their little slice of the world. His writing on the science of survival is accessible without being badly distorted. I particularly liked the myth-busting he does in the final chapter, showing how doomsday scenarios of people clawing each other to death in the face of disaster is strongly contradicted by the well-documented reality: people generally behave with civility and compassion when they find themselves collectively facing the Big Bad.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD: Sheridan uses his nightmares as a thread to hold the book together. We've all seen those disaster movies, so we don't need his accounts of dream zombies eating dream children. With his background in firefighting, cow-punching, mixed martial arts, and so on, Sheridan may have a rich, variegated history, but the more he talks about his background and his fears, the less relatable he becomes. Furthermore, Sheridan wears his fatherhood as a badge of honor, but his adventures take him away from his wife and son for long periods. This combination of moralizing and absence doesn't sit well with me. I want to be clear that Sheridan does not come off as a wackadoodle right-wing survivalist. He sounds very reasonable and moderate, and he does not predict that Obama's Black Helicopters are about to swoop down on us or anything like that. Still ...

BOTTOM LINE: I found it difficult to sustain interest in Sheridan's adventures, partly because I couldn't relate to the man, and partly because his choices seem so random. If you have more in common with Sheridan than I do, you may well find this book an entertaining and helpful read. Approach with caution.
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