The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse

The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse

4.0 3
by Sam Sheridan
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

See more details below

Overview

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.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite disclaimers of not being a nervous survivalist or “a paranoid pessimist,” Sheridan, an amateur boxer and mixed martial arts fighter, uses a collection of stark disaster scenarios to wise up the reader on how to live through those final times. A world traveler with a variety of skills, he envisions a large earthquake in Los Angeles, a zombie invasion, urban unrest, physical injury, and general mayhem, then lists a group of vital measures to beat the odds. Sheridan notes fear, stress, and denial lessen the chances of survival, while preparations such as a month’s worth of food and water and a go-bag filled with daily essentials insure a winning game plan. With a funky sense of humor blended with straight-faced common sense, he 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. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
How to survive any possible disaster, from aliens to zombies to everything in between. If there was a massive earthquake, would you have enough water on hand to last for even a week? In the event of a thermonuclear detonation, would you be able to hot-wire a car quickly enough to escape the shock wave that will kill you? Questions like these (and many more like them) have all occurred to Sheridan (The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game, 2010, etc.) during sleepless nights. A former kickboxer and an experienced sailor, the author's nightmares finally got the better of him once he became a father. "If something was going to happen," he writes, "I wanted to be ready." Using increasingly unlikely theoretical disasters as an impetus, Sheridan set out to learn every possible survival skill, from the most rudimentary (making fire and learning to hunt), to taking a driving clinic for stuntmen, because "when you're driving a slalom course through a zombie-infested city, you need to…maintain control because if you lose it and crash, now you're zombie food." Sheridan is a charming storyteller, and his prose is both thoughtful and playful. He closes the book with a chapter on optimism and the inherent goodness of humanity, stressing that everything he has learned has not made him paranoid and believing that the end of the world is nigh; instead, it's given him the confidence to face anything and the peace of mind that brings him. "At some point," he concludes, "when you've done your best, you have to get on with your life and trust the universe not to fuck you." An upbeat and entertaining survival guide for the end of the world.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594205279
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
01/24/2013
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Videos

What People are saying about this

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."
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 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

"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

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >