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The Disaster Diaries: One Man's Quest to Learn Everything Necessary to Survive the Apocalypse

The Disaster Diaries: One Man's Quest to Learn Everything Necessary to Survive the Apocalypse

4.3 6
by Sam Sheridan

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Gain the basic skills you'd need to live through a cataclysmic event—one humbling and angst-filled lesson at a time
We're inundated daily with images of chaos and catastrophe from movies, books, and the nightly news. When Sam Sheridan became a father, these tales of disaster became impossible to ignore, and he was beset with nightmares about


Gain the basic skills you'd need to live through a cataclysmic event—one humbling and angst-filled lesson at a time
We're inundated daily with images of chaos and catastrophe from movies, books, and the nightly news. When Sam Sheridan became a father, these tales of disaster became impossible to ignore, and he was beset with nightmares about being unable to protect his son. He soon realized, however, that each possible doomsday scenario required a different skillset, and in order to really survive the apocalypse, he'd have to learn everything, from starting a fire to stealing a car, learning to fight with a knife, and even building an igloo. With just the right mix of seriousness, paranoia, and self-deprecation, The Disaster Diaries is irresistible armchair adventure reading that informs as much as it entertains.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
809 KB
Age Range:
18 Years


Meet the Author

Sam Sheridan is a Harvard graduate and the author of the books, The Disaster Diaries, A Fighter’s Heart, and A Fighter’s Mind. He’s been a boxer, mixed martial arts fighter, sailor, cowboy, South Pole construction worker, and Merchant Marine. He lives in Los Angeles.

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The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Purchased with no expectations but more out of plain curiosity, I was extremely impressed, finding an enjoyable and entertaining read. Not survivor fiction or a prepper how to, its more about how the author goes about obtaining needed skills rather than a step by step on using these skills. Sure, if things go bad you know that you may need to build a fire, shoot game, hotwire a car, or defend yourself, maybe with a knife, or even with a stick. There's a big difference in knowing that you may need a skill as opposed to actually learning that skill. There's no BS here, no hype, just a straightforward narrative of the author's experiences, informative and thought-provoking. Totally authentic and even scientific at times, I frequently found myself saying "I need to read this book he' s refering to" or " I should looking more closely into that". Any prepper, regardless of what they may be preparing for, will be better off for having read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sheridan's log speaks to reader as if he were speaking to himself, with an open mind & unskewed vision. In layman's terms, he diagnoses plausible (& fictitious, but still fun to think about), realistic scenarios that are clearly on the mind of todays generation. He brings an honest, "no sh*t" assessment from the perspective of, "what would I do RIGHT NOW?" & acknowledges the fallacies in thinking that plague the modern everyday man today. From there he takes us on an adventurous tour, developing common skills that have been lost to the common man. Humorous yet harrowing, fun yet dreadful, Sheridan's book will surely become a manuscript for anyone concerned about the well-being of oneself & others
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This writer has a gift of writing that takes you into his world effortlessly. He takes a challenging topic and makes it logical and doable and as he says...lovable. You sense that although he has dabbled in and accomplished some pretty amazing feats in his relatively young life, he is not so terribly full of himself that he isn't afraid to show you his soft underbelly. His preconceptions and shortcomings are laid bare for review. His reverence for his mentors, teachers and guides is heartwarming in an era of selfie taking hotshots. I'm only sad he doesn't have more books out in a topic I'm interested in. Heck, I may get his other books of which I have no earthly interest in, just to read his writing. You just feel like you want to know this guy better when you are done with this book. Looking forward to more of his work!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, lots of useful information intertwined with an interesting fictional subplot that used each newly attained skill. All said, well written, thought provoking, challeging, and well worth spending some serious time reading because you just never really know...,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago