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(The Coming Collapse)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  2,017 ratings  ·  232 reviews

The America we are accustomed to is no more. Practically overnight the stock market has plummeted, hyperinflation has crippled commerce, and the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure have fallen. The power grids are down. Brutal rioting and looting grip every major city. The volatile era known as "the Cru

Hardcover, 382 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Atria Books
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3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,017 ratings  ·  232 reviews

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Dec 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: post-apocalytic
If I could give negative stars, I think I would. I read the whole book in two days mainly because I started skimming towards the end. Normally, I love post-apocalyptic tales and, since I'd found this author's previous non-fiction book to be fascinating, I thought I would likely enjoy this book, too. I didn't. I fully expected the writing to be mediocre, and I was okay with that as long as I got an interesting and informative story. Unfortunately, the story was filled with unbelievable characters ...more
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Reading this book cheered me up quite a bit. Why? Because if an author of his caliber can have a book like this printed in large quantities by a major publisher, as well as having an ebook and audio book made of his novel, than I too have a good future hope in the publisher world, once I write a book based on questions I asked on a forum.

Hey, I want a write a book about how America is going to fall apart because of the national debt, what should I include in it?

"All countries except America will
Feb 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
I am a Conservative and a Christian. I believe the world could very well be headed toward a collapse very similar to the one Rawles describes. I agree with many of his characters' viewpoints and choices. BUT, that being said, his characters are not only one dimensional, shallow and overly stereotypical, but they're from the mind of an obviously one-dimensional thinker. The author obviously believes a collapse is inevitable and we are all hurtling toward it without hope of surviving, unless we he ...more
Jan 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No sane person; Right-wing Neo-conservatives
This, quite simply, is the single worst "book" I have ever read. It is an extreme right-wing conservative's wet dream...Hey, Mr. Author-dude, thanks for your thinly veiled christian views and nut-bang anti-government rantings proliferated throughout 400 pages of THE WORST characters ever put to pen and paper. GOOD GOD, the writing is TERRIBLE. Positively brutal, and worse than just being boringly repetitive, the holier-than-thou slant the protagonists have just grinds on the senses after about 1 ...more
Oct 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The worst book ever! ...or maybe not, because this goes to a campy territory, it's so bad it is good...if you are reading it loudly (and maybe a little bit drunk) to your friends.

This warning should be in cover:

'Contains only a good Christians characters and the bad guys are just bad and non-Christians.'

I don't have anything against Christian characters if they have a good function within a story and are reasonably believable, recent good example doing this can be found in Great North Road. But
David Ketelsen
I'm half finished and much to my surprise I'm enjoying it. As you might expect in a book leaning this far to the right, there's a lot of praying and guns but the writing is a lot better than other reviews had led me to expect.

Finished Survivors a couple of days ago. I definitely don't agree with the politics but the book is enjoyable to read. I recommend it to anyone but especially people with right leaning politics particularly if they think social collapse is in the works. The situations in th
Jeremy Citazen Serwer
I stopped reading this less than 200 pages in. This should be filed under Christian fiction. I don't think I've ever read a book with characters this proper. There isn't even any swearing, considering the world is falling apart, christian or not you might utter aloud some expletives worthy of the situation. I have to say I'm sure there are some folks who eat this stuff up but after reading through some of the other reviews I'm in good company slapping this turd with 1 star.
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopia
This is why editors make the big bucks, people!

Man, as a prepper I wanted so badly to like this book. JWR's is so smart and his website is truly fantastic, a treasure trove of prepper knowledge and techniques. But the man is not a novelist. Sorry, JWR...I still respect you, but your book just about killed me. I forced myself to finish it, but it was excruciatingly boring and disconnected. The characters are not very well fleshed out; mostly just a conglomerate of their laboriously listed actions
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Doomsday Preppers
Recommended to Michael by: Nobody
(I wrote this review when I was only halfway through, and I stand by it). Though I respect the point the author is trying to make with this novel, there are moments where this book is painfully dull and repetitive.

To the people saying how it's not the kind of Post-Apocalyptic story they were expecting... I urge you to start being more intelligent, and actually read the description of the book, and a few pages of it, before purchasing and diving in just because you liked the cover.

I digress, on
Oct 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
If you love military and morse code jargon, and are a smarmy christian who thinks everyone else is gonna burn and has no sense of humor, while you might like the content of the book, you will find it badly organized and edited.
Jessica Bronder
This story takes place just as the United States’ economy crashes. The first thing that happens is the dollar becomes increasingly useless. Silver, gold, or barter is the way many people end up getting goods. But others try to rob, loot, or kill to make their own way. This story follows several people as they struggle to survive in the crunch.

Andy Laine is in Afghanistan and sees how everything is working toward a crash. He gets himself some off base supplies and makes a plan to get back home to
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopian
This was rated a two because it deals with a very interesting subject based upon today's times, however it just fails to deliver a good story. The book starts off strong giving us a potential glimpse as to what may happen in reality in the near future if the economy was to get worse and deals with an interesting concept of the world once again "becoming small". However after a while you begin to realise that he is trying to write a non-fiction book in a literary category. He gives way too much d ...more
Harry Roger Williams III
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I emailed the following fan letter to the author:
Hello, James, Thank you for taking time to read this. A quick review of SurvivalBlog shows how busy you are. Just finished Survivors and loved it. The ending makes me think there may be a sequel. Call me an emotional pushover (for a 64 year old straight and married guy) – I shed a tear when ["Spoiler" edited out]. Call me Pollyanna – my wife and I live near Boston and I continue to work as administrator of an urban library. Call me a poor prognost
Vincent Diamond
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Okay, I admit I totally fell for the Walking Dead-esque cover image with the lone horseback rider and the guns and the whole rest-of-the-world has gone to shit look. And it is a solid premise for a story: survivors are inherently an interesting bunch.

Well, except these survivors.

Survivors and characters who *overcome* problems are interesting. Survivors who do Everything Right and who Never Have Problems are, well, boring. Plus, this does not seem to be an author for whom writing an iota of emo
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I am a fan of apocalyptic literature and I thought the subject matter of this novel was thought provoking in its simplicity. There is no one major event that leads to society's collapse, but rather a series of governmental missteps, many that are scarily familiar to us living through this economic period, that result in a gradual breakdown of the United States and Europe. While there were times I felt that the author's message of reliance on faith and the constitution became heavy-handed, the tr ...more
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Leaves the reader hanging--what's going to happen to the ruthless gang La Fuerza, whose leader has threatened to kill everyone in the community which ambushed them and destroyed their vehicles?

And what's going to happen to the ProvGov, which is more like a dictatorship?

Doesn't get interesting towards the end of the book, then leaves you hanging. Not a must read. Only interesting in a few parts.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to on CD.

Not just another "end of the world novel" but an extremely realistic look at what would happen to the US and the rest of the world in the midst of a complete economic collapse. The writing and story telling is excellent. Rawles does a great job fleshing out and developing his characters as well as the story arcs. I have no idea as to what the author's background is, but I would guess he spent some time in the Army. There's a lot of "inside baseball" references that only a vet w
Alain Burrese
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed James Wesley, Rawles' survivalblog and I liked "How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It." While I hadn't read "Patriots," I wanted to give "Survivors" a try. It looked like a good read, and I do enjoy reading about surviving. So, now that I finished the book this morning, I have mixed feelings. I really liked parts of this book, but there were other holes in the story that really needed filling, and I was a bit disappointed with the ending. It leaves you hanging, wondering ...more
Rogue Reader
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia
I never thought I would read a book like this one. Extremists, militants, survivalists. It must be the challenge of planning, forethought and detail that makes this genre so compelling - the challenge is that you will survive the collapse, the confidence that you have the skills to do so.

Survivors could be a much better book. After the failed attempt to stop the marauders, everything goes to shit. We don't know enough about Alex to know if he should have been better prepared or equipped. After A
Dec 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would have never picked this up if my uncle hadn't insisted that I give it a try. I told myself not to judge this book by its cover, but I really should have because it was easily the worst book I've read in many years. While I found its conservative survivalist-porn perspective eye roll worthy, it's not the politics that bothered me, it's just a poorly written mess of a book. It's littered with far too many one dimensional interchangeable characters, distracting jumps in time and location, th ...more
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'll start by saying that I really liked the book. Rawles does "instructive fiction" better than anyone else. The book kept me entertained throughout, but it wasn't as instructive or entertaining as Patriots.

There were several errors about Belize and Mexico (both areas where I've spent a lot of time) that disappointed me. They could have been easily corrected by traveling there or talking to someone who has.

The biggest annoyance to me is the constant referencing of religious themes. I recognize
Dimitri Paulyn
Dec 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Loved the premise of a disintegrating society. Unfortunately this is where the good part ends.

First of all it is entirely United States - which is fine, but it would be interesting to know what is going on in the rest of the world.

Then - there is the obvious agenda of the author to the effect that all should be heavily armed with an array of battleground weapons - just in case.

Then come the tedious descriptions in minute detail of all the different weapons being deployed by the soon to be surviv
Lindsey Smith
Jun 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-aloud
I should start by saying I am likely not the intended audience for this book. But my husband was reading it, so I started reading it aloud to him, for fun. It didn't take long for us both to start wondering at the absent plot, the nearly absent character development (every single character is ex-military, it seems; every good character is a strong church-going Christian etc... basically there is no nuance in character here), the formulaic drama, the paragraphs of unrealistic dialogue as well as ...more
Dave Bryan
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent forecast of future probabilities!

Excellent forecast of likely scenarios in the days immediately ahead for America and or the world! A great read to get us all thinking straight!!!
Nina Wagner
Oct 23, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Thinking about reading this, but it comes with a scorecard in front, so I'm not sure.
Kimanzi Constable
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Don't believe the negative reviews about this book, it's totally awesome. people that don't like this book are people that don't want to accept the reality about our country and our economy!
Liked it.
not a sequel, but a parallel -
don't think this wrapped up much in th four corners.
Things to consider:
This is a prequel to the authors other book, Patriots.
The Christian overtones are very, very heavy.
Henrik Rostoft
Mar 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Christian right wing apocalyptic literature are apparently not for me.
Dave Johnson
Mar 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Worst book I have ever read. Wish I could give zero stars.
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James Wesley, Rawles (born 1960) is an American author, best known for his survivalist-genre Patriots novel series. Rawles is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer. He is the founder and Senior Editor of, which covers survival and preparedness topics, and has published collected material from this in two books. He also works as a survival retreat consultant. Rawles is a Constitu ...more

Other books in the series

The Coming Collapse (5 books)
  • Patriots (The Coming Collapse)
  • Founders (The Coming Collapse)
  • Expatriates (The Coming Collapse)
  • Liberators (The Coming Collapse)
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