Long, long ago, when the earth was young – or at least when we were younger – my brother was determined to get on Survivor. He got so far as getting a call from a producer; I still say he would have been a lot more entertaining than half the chuckleheads they’ve had on. Being the data freak I am, I decided that if he could just do his part and get on, I could make him King of Survivor. I started getting books out of the library and looking up all sorts of weird and wild stuff online, and filled a notebook with the most relevant and useful and efficient methods of starting a fire, building a shelter, purifying water, catching fish, and more. (If the end of the world occurs, I ask that the gentle reader keep this in mind when planning his or her survival team: I still have that book (since my brother never got on the show) and I still remember a lot of it… And now I have this book. Think Eugene without a Y chromosome or a mullet. That’s me.)
This book is that notebook, with awesomely snazzier illustrations and a whole heck of a lot more information.
It already had my attention with its premise, but it won my heart with this sentence: “Let us set the scene. Paint the big picture (a little less Thomas Cole pastoral and a little more Edvard Munch horror)”.
And that premise? TAoETtZA proposes to show how not to just survive after TSHTF (one of the author’s favorite acronyms), but to live. Why settle for bland squirrel while huddling in your improvised shelter, or flavorless fish after clearing the undead out of the local prison? There’s no need, if only you read this book.
Not only is it a smart guide to how to eat well when things fall apart, it’s a smart guide to basically everything you need to know about that basic survival: how to prepare while things are normal (if that’s what you want to call it), what to bring when you bug out – and whether you should bug out, what you should concentrate on when foraging in the woods or in town, and the most basic basics of all: how to start a fire, how to purify water, and why you shouldn’t eat cockroaches (apart from the obvious). There are recipes (with punny or otherwise clever names), diagrams (MRE’s come with chewing gum?), and short- and long-range plans for survival. For living. It’s fantastic.
Let’s face it – there are days when I agree with Frodo Baggins: “there have been times when I thought the inhabitants too stupid and dull for words, and have felt that an earthquake or an invasion of dragons might be good for them.” (An invasion of dragons would, in its end result, strongly resemble a zombie apocalypse, although dragons are smarter. And cooler. And they fly. Well, and “scorched earth” might be a relevant phrase. Okay, not so strong a resemblance.)
The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.