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

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  341 ratings  ·  74 reviews
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.

Published 2013 by Blackstone Audio
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Peter Derk
In preparation for the apocalypse, Sam Sheridan decides to learn skills necessary to survive TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Shooting, hunting, wilderness stuff, arctic wilderness stuff.

The most important chapter, to me, was the last. Basically, it explained a lot about what happens when disasters go down in current times. It's really fucked up. There's a great piece about what happened at the Superdome when Hurricane Katrina refugees were stuck there. Basically, the news of the...more
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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 The 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 disa...more
Krista Stevens
Great in so many ways. Sheridan considers all of the different possibilities the world as we know it could end (nuclear war, aliens, asteroids, zombies, pandemic, etc.) and then determines what skills would be necessary to survive. Then he goes and trains with the best people in those fields and this is the result of that research. He also weaves in some short fictional pieces of he, his wife and their son trying to survive in each scenario. The writing is superb ("There is a tendency to ascribe...more
Utterly useless, it seems like he wrote it just to have an excuse to race stunt cars and hunt elk.
Sam Sheridan's The Disaster Diaries is a fun dash through dire straights of all sorts with a "What Would YOU Do?" spin (or maybe a "What COULD You Do?" spin is more like it). For most of us, what we could do is not much. Why? Because we're pampered, spoiled, complacent, and dependent babies. Meaning: The first minute all hell (and there are many varieties, apparently) breaks loose, we'll be toast along with the majority of our wimpy compatriots.

The book is episodic in nature. In each chapter, Sh...more
The Disaster Diaries is a fascinating look at how to get prepared for surviving the end of the world as we know it, or at least a good old-fashioned natural disaster. It's not a how-to manual so much as a what-and-why discussion. In the course of covering a range of survival skills, from knife-fighting to hot-wiring a car, the book explores what we might expect from human behavior and mental health when society breaks down, and the author's conclusions are surprising. Sheridan writes from a plac...more
Sam Sheridan is a Harvard-educated MMA fighter. So you know what you're getting yourself in. As Sheridan becomes a new father he becomes aware of how little control he has to protect his family. That, and a pretty funny-grim imaginary narrative (earthquake! nuclear winter! zombies! spider-robots!), forms the frame of this nice little book. Each chapter covers another area that lends to survival, such as personal fitness, mental health coping, medical response and, yes, how to fight off a gang of...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I love a good post-apocalyptic/dystopian hypothetical situation, but something about how this reads just made it fall flat for me. His imaginings of what could happen, in italics, are far more interesting than his accounts of training or learning related things. I had to put it aside for other things.
Disaster Diaries is a great primer for entering into the world of "preparedness" or prepping (and possibly paranoia). Learning a little about surviving a wilderness situation, medical emergency, or fight can help you realize how domesticated many of us have become. There are so many skills that most modern humans have forgotten--skills that were dearly paid for and passed down from generation to generation by our "primitive" ancestors.
As he discusses, preparedness isn't just about being ready fo...more

Sam Sheridan has a child. Now, he is freaking out. Not about diapers and sleep. He is freaking about zombies, a tsunami, an earthquake, aliens, robots, bombs, cannibals....he is freaking out about the end of the world, the apocalypse. As a new father, he realizes he is solely responsible for safeguarding someone's life, his wife and son. Now it is the time to put all the knowledge he has learned, all the training he has done and all the instincts he has developed to the test. And he realizes he...more
"Not paranoid, just prepared."

"The Disaster Diaries" came to be because the author, Sam Sheridan, started worrying about being able to protect his son in case there was a disaster of epic proportions.

I wondered how Sheridan would handle this combo fiction/non-fiction book because some of the scenarios he was envisioning were alien invasions and zombies. But even though some of the book was rather tongue-in-cheek humor, it actually was about the author learning the skills he thought he might need...more
Ken Melby
I loved Sam Sheridan's Previous books A Fighter's Heart and The Fighter's Mind and I have read quite a few survival/ disaster books as well, so this was right up my alley. And although I found this book very entertaining and well written, it didn't really add anything to my survival reptiore.

If you are looking for an intro into this genre that combines a good personal narrative with really helpful advice, I'd reccomend starting with Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life.
That being said, Sam...more
I liked this book. It's somewhere between 3 and 4 stars for me. With all the post-apocalyptic novels getting published, this author takes a travelogue approach: he recounts his experiences preparing for different aspects of the end of the world.

Each chapter is fairly brief, but he goes over:
- Mental preparedness (and how to respond under stress)
- Physical strength, particularly olympic lifting: back squats, holding your breath as you left, and the snatch and clean, and running, both intervals an...more
Shelley Fearn
I have no idea why I like dystopian literature. I think that it is the same reason that I have read so much about the Holocaust and World War II. I really want to understand why some exhibit such fine traits of humanity and compassion while others just stand by complacent while others are destroyed.

That being said, I also find the reading the genre like watching a train wreck. It's hard to look away. But that doesn't mean that I actually want to be in a train wreck. In this book Sheridan puts hi...more
Mark Tullius
Last year, I wrote a blog on how Disaster Diaries by Sam Sheridan was the first book I’d ever pre-ordered. I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a great deal from both of his fighting books and I have an almost unhealthy preoccupation with the shit hitting the fan on a very large scale. As a child who grew up afraid of nuclear war, and a parent who’s spent too much time paying attention to politics and studying so-called conspiracies, it’s hard to find balance between being paranoid and prepared. I w...more
I guess this could best be described as "prepper journalism," like Ted Conover meets James Wesley Rawles; it is one new father's attempt at keeping his end of the world anxieties at bay by learning what it takes to survive in the absence of society's warm inviting infrastructure.

Sheridan, a fighter by trade, investigates various survival practices and chronicles his learning as it relates to grid crash utility. The best of the book is Sheridan's ultimately positive outlook (sorely lacking in man...more
Predictions of the apocalypse have been around for a long time. Sam Sheridan discusses possible scenarios and provides interesting (and maybe life-saving) information on what to do. He talks about survival in the woods, desert, and frozen areas, and about self-defense with guns, knives and bows, what food to eat and how to get it (don't bother with rabbits - not enough protein for the effort).

Sheridan interweaves a kind of fictional narrative about what might happen. I found this distracting an...more
Julie M
It's the End of the World as We Know It...and this guy feels fine. I, however, am apparently woefully unprepared in every way for the modern apocalypse, which is disquieting, but not crazy making it seems. This is a highly entertaining read about Sam Sheridan's quest to acquire the skills one would need in the event of a long-term (or permanent) "grid-down" situation. Making fire, hunting, trapping, making shelter, fighing (with guys, with fists, with knives), situatinal awareness (i.e., paying...more
This book is basically a redux of Emergency, Neil Strauss's book on the same topic: Los Angeleno man gets paranoid about the world ending, decides to go to disaster camp one chapter at a time. It's similarly serviceable as a work of armchair tourism in action movie land, full of guns and knives and ruggedness, but don't expect anything profound.
I didn't read a summer before I downloaded this book, I thought from the title that it would be a fun end of the world novel, it's not. It's a fun telling of one mans real life journey to make him self prepared for a potential end of the world. Has some interesting stuff and really not a bad read
AdultNonFiction Teton County Library
TCL Call#: 613.69 Sheridan S

Madeleine - 2 stars
I so wanted to like this book as it deals with one of my favorite topics – post apocalyptic society. When it’s written by a self-admitted paranoid fusser then what’s not to love?
I’ll tell you what’s not to love: no real full explanations. I’ve seen this book described as the post-apocalyptic manual but a manual tells you how to do something and shows you the steps. I felt like Sheridan was angling for his own Discovery Channel show where he’d then s...more
Adil Ehsan
A fun romp through the various skills needed to survive the various forms of the apocalypse. From essential survival skills to driving fast cars, it's the light hearted story of one man's journey to develop and master these skills. While this is not a how to manual the one way this book could have been much better is if if had photographs and illustrations to go with it. It would have simply made some sections much more lively and made some of the actions and skills come alive. Ultimately it's a...more
Loved. this. book. Not a 5-star read, but it was hysterical, chilling, and thought-provoking all at the same time. Sam Sheridan is a tough guy. He's been an amateur boxer, mixed martial arts fighter, wilderness fire fighter, etc. No worries about his ability to take care of himself--then he married and had a son and his apocalypse nightmares flared. He takes you chapter by chapter through skills you would need to survive the apocalypse (as he says, "It would be a shame to survive the initial bla...more
Bring it, zombies. I am so ready for you! (Aliens, tsunami, general lack of electricity... any of it)
This is a very interesting personal narrative nonfiction look at the skills one would need to survive in an apocalyptic world. Sheridan seeks out experts in different fields and trains with them--fitness, hunting, camping in extreme conditions---to see what it would take to make it.
Speed will be important-- definitely some weapons, the ability to lift heavy weights. Sheridan's life started in De...more
Angelina Justice
This book was a great blitz through one man's obsessive quest to be prepared for the apocalypse. It could have been better and longer, but than it might have become obscure. This was a shared diary more than an educational book.

That's not to say that you won't learn some important things from reading this book. There are several topics in this book in which I am already well versed. But there were other topics or tidbits that have made me want to learn more.

If there is a best part of this book,...more
This was an interesting look at the skills and training a person would need to survive after a hypothetical disaster involving the collapse of civilization. Just reading this book won't help that much, of course, but I did learn some interesting stuff about starting fires and cars, bringing a sword to a gunfight, and how a blister can kill a person in five days if they don't have access to a hospital. Overall, it just made me glad to be living in the modern world.
This is a practical guide for surviving the apocalypse. Sam Sheridan trains for various survival scenarios and weaves it all together with a hypothetical narrative of things that could happen in an apocalypse situation.

I liked this. I found it informative and interesting, sometimes even thought-provoking. Could I harm another person? Could I if my life depended on it? Sam's writing was more impressive than I was expecting (sorry, Sam), and at times he really saw the situation from all angles. Oc...more
A great read with a realistic view of survival skills needed in case of emergency. the most refreshing part is the view from a place of learning and true knowledge as opposed to the "prepping" mentality of fear and every man for themselves.
Paige Gordon
Sam did a really good job with this book. He tells the stories of learning some essential apocalyptic skills in a very engaging and insightful manner, highlighting the most important parts about each of them. He also weaves a fictitious story about the apocalypse throughout that is very enjoyable and well written. By far though I think my favorite part was how he wraps up the book - asserting that really what you need in order to survive is the right mindset and the right skills, not necessarily...more
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Q and A on Survival 2 11 Jan 28, 2013 07:51PM  
Goodreads Librari...: clarifying merging 6 40 Aug 31, 2012 07:12PM  
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After high school Sam went into the Merchant Marines, then quit and spent some time traveling Europe. He went to Harvard, also working a summer on the largest cattle ranch in Montana. Immediately after graduating, Sam took a job on a private sailing yacht for 18 months all the way to Australia. From there Sam went to Thailand, where he lived in a Muay Thai camp and fought, featuring on National Ge...more
More about Sam Sheridan...
A Fighter's Heart: One Man's Journey Through the World of Fighting The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game The Fighter's Mind The Disaster Diaries: One Man's Quest to Learn Everything Necessary to Survive the Apocalypse

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“If you had a yard as a child, you probably remember it with a startling intimacy. You knew that yard: every inch, every bush, each step on the tree you could climb, the whorls and knots in the branches, the bare dirt spots, the sandy gravel, the soft grass. It was deep, profound, intimate local knowledge. You intuitively knew what was happening around you at all times. Primitive man would have felt that way about a much larger stretch of ground, but it was still "his" territory. This very ability is really what allowed Homo sapiens to expand and succeed the way he did.” 2 likes
“So yes, get prepared, but don't "be first"—don't start talking about *us* and *them* already, because then you're making *them* into the *other*, and that's when the shooting starts. Far too many of the survival books I've read go there, way too early. You're becoming part of the problem; you're not the hero, you're the bad guy. It's all *us*.” 1 likes
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