The Disaster Diaries: Book summary and reviews of The Disaster Diaries by Sam Sheridan

The Disaster Diaries

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse

By Sam Sheridan

The Disaster Diaries
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2013,
    384 pages.

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Book Summary

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"As a quirky survivalist primer, Sheridan's work spells out how to stay alive when the world goes topsy-turvy." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. An upbeat and entertaining survival guide for the end of the world." - Kirkus

"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

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Sam Sheridan joined the US Merchant Marine after high school and then attended Harvard College, graduating in 1998. He is an amateur boxer, mixed martial arts fighter, and student of Muay Thai and Jujitsu. He has worked in construction at the South Pole Station in Antarctica, as a cowboy and farmhand on the largest ranch in Montana, as a wildland firefighter in Washington State and New Mexico, as a professional sailor, and as a wilderness EMT. He has written for Newsweek and Men's Journal and is the author of three books.

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