Lights Out
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Lights Out

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  873 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Downloaded from the internet over three million times, this exciting, action-packed, survival story is finally available in book form. Lights Out chronicles the challenges of Mark �Karate Man� Turner when the lights go out over most of the free world. He must find in himself the ability to unite his family, friends, and neighbors if any of them are to survive the harsh...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published December 10th 2010 by Halffast Publishing (first published 2005)
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Samantha Blair
This was kind of an odd read. The basic plot was pretty good. It's a journey through what it might be like to experience an EMP, and many of the individual scenarios were inventive and exciting, if a little unrealistic.

However, the whole thing comes off a little bit like the expression of the conservative male ego. I had trouble getting past the blatant moral messages. We get the feeling that if you go to church, love your wife and kids, scare your daughter's boyfriends off with a shotgun, list...more
Nathanael (Boehm) Coyne
First of all, let me be clear. This book is poorly written. Whilst an improvement on the original free PDF version, the edited and published version is clumsy and tedious to read. It's very methodical and linear following a he said, then she replied then he thought and he said formula. That said, the level of detail is also one of the book's strengths. There are no large chronological or situational gaps. The author has thought of everything and done a great job of juggling such. Another thing I...more
In this genre, One Second After set the bar. This book does not come close. Lights Out and many of it's contemporaries all suffer from serious problems. First and foremost is the fact that the authors are all working from the same playbook. An EMP strike hits, a few people who are prepared take charge as society collapses. Then, when their communities are at rock bottom the super hero survivalists help them survive and teach people how to sustain life when there are no modern conveniences any lo...more
Terry James
This book is an interesting look into the potentially not-to-distant future of America. It takes place in rural San Antonio, TX and follows 'the hero', Mark, as he, his family, and his community battle all the obstacles one would encounter if suddenly the lights go out and there is no more electricity. Because the book is a bit optimistic and sometimes too coincidental, it's better read as a fictional story with all the archetypes present and a definite storyline with designated plot points, rat...more
Man was that a long book. It really reminded me of One Second Later and that's probably why I picked it to read. It had a lot of thought provoking things in it. Opens your eyes to what might happen if something did seriously put the US out of business for a while. The only issue I had was the rambling on about weapons and attack scenes. As a girl (one not particularly interested in these things) I ended up skimming some of the more technical scenes. He went here, she went there, they had this FA...more
I just finished this book and I really enjoyed it. I didn't know what to expect out of it since the author is somewhat of an amateur. But, I think he did a good job. The story line was compelling and the characters were great. The book seemed fairly realistic and portrayed a very real possible scenario of what would happen after an EMP. The book was very informative and I actually learned a few prepping tips and tricks. Just like "Once Second After" I found myself evaluating my own preps. Any go...more
The writing is often amateurish, but the ideas are solid and well thought out, and I liked that most of the characters were regular folks, with normal names and personalities. I found it superior to One Second After, which also deals with the aftermath of an EMP strike over the United States, but in a more hackneyed and sentimental way than Lights Out. Let me put it this way: I'm tempted to take notes. I never would have thought of bleach!
David Crawford's Lights Out is a fictionalized work about a magnetic disaster which kills the electrical power for the entire United States plus additional countries. The main character, Mark quickly invites friends and family to stay with his family in a rural area to make it through the unknown amount of time they will endure the lack of electricity. It becomes evident that the electricity will not be restored and Mark and his friend Jim must weigh whether to accept an invitation into a compou...more
Kami Donnelly
Ok, in regards to writing, this is no piece of literature that will go down with time as a classic, the writing is pretty straight forward. There are a few things that border on unrealistic or just to coincidental in regards to plot points. That being said, this is an excellent book in detailing various What Ifs in the case of a SHTF scenario written in a narrative format. You are presented with several things that may happen if things went south fast and how to prepare for them, as well as cons...more
Daniel Reyes
Definitely one of the best books I have read this year, and that is saying quite a bit since I'm very picky about them. The story is quite believable, even without an explanation of how The Burst happened (no spoilers here, as you'll find out what it is on the second chapter). The story is gripping and has a nice incremental pace to the action, with a well presented and explained sequence of events; at no point was I feeling that there was something I couldn't explain as the logical course of ev...more
Bonnie Calhoun
Very impressive story! I'd say this is a great man's read. I enjoyed it immensely because I like stories like this rich in detail. At 600 pages it is chock full of information about weapons (all sorts of guns, ammo and such), cars and what models and how to fix them to make them run, fighting tactics, and general survival techniques.

This guy (who wrote it) REALLY did his homework on how to make things work after an EMP. There is a slight bit of romance...not an actual thread but woven in, but it...more
Kirk McElroy
I loved this book. It was very entertaining, considering it is a day to day account. There were times I couldn't put the book down because I couldn't wait to see how the karate man was going to keep his group together. On the same account the hate I would have toward the other characters, would keep me up late just hoping to read that he was dismembered horribly. A bit longer read than I would usually take on but found myself hoping it would keep going.
The prose definitely needed an editor and some of the structure was a awkward. Some of the foreshadowing was way too heavy, but there were some nice surprises on occasion. The one thing that kept me reading the book is the information. The story is based on what could happen when the electricity no longer flows and society dependent on it breaks down. Some of the books scenarios are definitely worth thinking about.
Kris Irvin
This is by far a better book than Jason Wesley Rawles "Patriots." That said, it's still unnecessarily long. Crawford probably could have cut out 300 pages and it would have been a much tighter, better story. I lost track of who characters were constantly, and got really bored of the technical details of everything. Not a total waste of time, but pretty meh.
This is a 600 page fictional book. It's similar in concept to the book "Patriots" by Rawles but has a better plot and character development, but a little less hard information. It's a must read or anyone interested in in preparedness or survivalism.
Ronald Tobin
LIGHTS OUT is one of my favorite what if books. Yes, it started off as an Internet narrative story that was put into book form. It does have a few rough edges as a result. I did not find these nearly as distracting as some readers did. I found this story to be gripping and immersive right from the start. This is the story of several people who end up banding together and creating a community as civilization falls apart in the aftermath of an Electro Magnetic Pulse attack on the United States. Th...more
Stacey Stump
Really long. Very preachy/republican/Christian but that's expected in this genre. Starts out good but drags on and on.
Ben Z.
It's surprising that people like this book so much. Piece of junk!
Chris Holly
An excellent read. David Crawford, an excellent contributor to, started this novel on another website, honed it and grew it and added to it. It was universally loved by those who ask those kinds of questions that get a strange look or a funny eye, questions like "What if the electricity went out and we had to live with it out for a while? How would we live? And could life be worthwhile?" I love this book because it confronts the nature of man and the reality one would face dealing with t...more
LindaB.D. (old AKA LindaD.)
Wow, what an amazing book! No trilogy or tons of more books to buy, thank goodness. It was really a great read- all in one book. The U.S. has no electrical power. The story does not go into depth about why there's no power, but that doesn't matter because the story is so good that you don't care "why". It concentrates on a small community that struggles to survive against gangs and traitors. At first I was concerned that it had a lot of characters. It had the perfect amount. Some you love and ot...more
This end of the world as we know it book had many good features. I was particularly intrigued to look at the elements of the initial collapse of society. I wonder if people would sit in their homes for over three weeks with limited water. I do agree with the author that the government is likely to step in and control food using the distribution system that we employ at supermarkets. I think the government would also step in and control fuel. If we have any functioning government you would think...more
Kyle Pratt
When an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) destroys the power grid, this intriguing novel begins. Mark Turner is at work in the San Antonio area when the Burst, as it is called in the novel, sends the nation into chaos. Telephones, and most radios go silent, late model cars die, planes fall from the sky. Government struggles to maintain order and provide relief, but in the cities, society quickly breaks down. The novel follows Mark, his friend Jim Davis and a growing community of family and friends as...more
This book was a long read and seemed to take forever to finish it. My feeling is the author has tried to have a "practical" look at how people would survive if electricity and modern technology were suddenly taken away from us with a powerful EMP burst. The author obviously loves his guns and in every instance we are told the type of gun and type of bullet each character is carrying. I have to admit it made my eyes glaze over a bit.

The characters are a bit wooden I thought in the way they were w...more
So I obviously love the subject matter. Surviving large catastrophic events fascinates me. In fact it fascinates me so much that I gave this book 3 stars strictly on subject matter alone. This book read like a high school creative writing paper. The author obviously has done research into survivalism and many of the aspects associated with it. His research into other areas was lacking though, for example, when he was describing a pulmonary embolism, he gave incorrect information. If I weren't in...more
Carol Holcomb
This book gave me quite a to do list: buy lots of guns, ammo and a really old car, make friends with a black belt and ex marines, build a windmill, move to a neighborhood with at least one doctor, nurse , welder, and farmer or just pray I never go through this. I know I am not prepared and probably never will be.
Dave Lambing
Interesting read, but poorly written. At 600 pages, it easily could have been half that long. The writing style was that of a middle schooler..."and then he said..then she said...then he walked to his house...then he sat down". Agree with another reviewer that "One Second After" set the bar for this genre, and this book doesn't come close.
Jim W
Excellent Doomsday read

I really enjoyed Mr Crawford's tale of how quickly the world would spin out of modern government and morality control.
The story was riveting and the characters realistic as if anyone of them could really be someone you already know. I would recommend to any reader who enjoys reading for the pleasure of reading.
This is a "what if" book. What if the lights went out and it took years for them to go back on? What would happen to our society? Very thought provoking about how people will survive and the desperate measures to get the basic necessities of life. This book had a lot of great info about being prepared in a worst case scenario. Sometimes a little extreme in my opinion. I gave it 4 stars because there was a lot of language that could have been left out. It also went into such great detail about gu...more
Poorly edited, misspellings, and at times, thoroughly cheesy dialogue. And yet, I am still giving it 4 stars. In fact, if the few things I mentioned were fixed, I'd bump it to 5 stars.

This book drew me in and I really got invested in the welfare of the people in it. It started me thinking about a lot that I need to do to be prepared for a disaster. I have some basics put together but there is a lot more I could have in place, even if it what I face is just a few days after a natural disaster and...more
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