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Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  4,931 ratings  ·  371 reviews
Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Domestic crackdowns. Economic collapse. Riots. Wars. Disease. Starvation.

What can you do when it all hits the fan?

You can learn to be self-sufficient and survive without the system.

"I've started to look at the world through apocalypse eyes." So begins Neil Strauss's harrowing new book: his first full-length work since the international
Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by It Books (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  4,931 ratings  ·  371 reviews

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J. Kent Messum
I read this book years ago, but the current volatile political climate is making 'Emergency' more relevant today in a whole new way.

Neil Strauss is probably best known for writing 'The Game', but this is the book that comes up in conversations rather frequently for me. With the tagline “This book will save your life”, the very least it will do is get you thinking how to better prepare yourself against a statistically probable premature death during a catastrophe of some kind. A tough look at su
Elyse  Walters
Nov 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was the 2nd book I read by Neil Srauss.

Its a story about a guy who couldn't change a light bulb, but attempts to be a more competent as a 'handy guy'.
There is a joke that runs in Jewish families (or their use to be) --about Jewish men: NONE of them could change a light bulb. (but that's another book)

NOTE: This book is not meant to be a survival manual. --Yet--its very entertaining. Neil is entertaining! He --(as a character in a fiction book) --is a complex-interesting character -who we se
Dec 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting read, with the occasional great turn of phrase and often brutal honesty. He refers to those that believe people will act similarly to the children in "Lord of the Flies," "Fliesians," which made me laugh Found the effort to include the "white collar" survivalist plans of offshore accounts and other country havens interesting. The short breezy chapters made it extremely readable, but as a novel reader, I found it hindered continuity. The writing style is an interesting mix of serious ...more
Apr 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Nowhere as good as the Game or Dirt, and a very, very slow start (150 pages of musings over why this subject interests him), but when it gets going it really gets going. If you're a fan of secret spy stuff, conspiracy theory, and action movies, you'll love this book, but what I wasn't expecting was that it's strangely touching. By the time Strauss is learning to track people through the woods and find edible plants, you're really rooting for him to get in touch with his non-urban side. A very fa ...more
Nick Lo
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Short version: I liked it. it's not a survival manual, it's a book about the changes in the author's life as he finds ways to tackle his sense of vulnerability and ill-preparedness to deal with a world gone bad.

I picked the book up in a charity shop for a couple of dollars, vaguely suspecting that it was the author who featured in the "How to be Jason Bourne" article on Tim Ferriss' blog (it is):

A few reviews on Amazon complained that the book wasn't reall
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very dry read, but informative. If you're writing a story about survival during the end days, then this is a must-read.
May 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
William Clay
Apr 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: instructional
The first half of the book is quite annoying. The author goes on a fair bit about many of the problems that America has and why it's a target of hatred for so many around the world. That understanding leads him to dedicate his entire life to getting ready to escape the US WTSHTF.
But when he actually gets going with learning stuff, it's a great fascinating read.

It is important to know how to start fire, how to escape from cuffs, what to do if you're a victim of a chemical weapons attack and how
Lukas Lovas
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another awesome book by Neil Strauss. I really like this author, because
a) his writing is engaging and real,
b) he writes about stuff that happens to interest me a lot and
c) he doesn't do things halfway.

The book documents his accumulating knowledge on the subject of "what if", the impact it had on his life, the way he dealt with it and so on. Information in this book was often new to me, it was original, interesting and very well put together.
All in all, definitely worth reading :)
Peter Derk
Nov 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Neil Strauss, probably most famous for his Motley Crue book the Dirt and his book about Pick-Up Artists, the Game, gets a little freaked out about the state of the world. Then he looks into it a little more and gets a lot freaked out, especially when he has to admit to himself that after a life lived in the city where a rolling blackout was the closest thing to the apocalypse so far, he is unprepared to survive any sort of calamity. So, throwing himself into his subject as usual, he decides to d ...more
Jayson Virissimo
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a neurotic, hedonistic, overspecialized, selfish, whiny, Blue Tribe journalist that, driven mostly by his own paranoia, becomes a competent and hardened, but also empathetic community hero. There's some useful info in this one too. For what it's worth, it inspired me to investigate joining the Community Emergency Response Team in my own home city.
Alejandro I Sanoja
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Neil Strauss is doing both, and this book is a great example of that. Not only did a learn many valuable things for life, but I also had a lot of fun while doing so.

Strauss has the ability to make non-fiction look like fiction. What an amazing storyteller, able to combine education and entertainment in such a valuable way.

I thought curiosity was one of my strengths, that I'm all about growing and learning.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best-ones
Would you be the eaten or the eater?

This is the third time I have read Neil Strauss's, "Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life" making it to the top of my most-read-list right alongside authors such as Hunter S. Thompson, Haruki Murakami, Leo Tolstoy, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Patti Smith (to name a few). Get over yourself if you are stuck on the fact Strauss wrote a book with Jenna Jameson or that he wrote a book completely dedicated to the art of picking up women--Strauss is an incredible journ
Nov 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brain-food, favorites
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The audible version is read by the author, a dry-witted New York Times music critic and self-proclaimed nerd who takes us on his journey of transformation from helpless urbanite totally reliant upon modern technologies and conveniences, to independent survivalist prepared to handle just about any doomsday scenario he can imagine. He is galvanized into action after a collective epiphany shakes him into realizing how dependent we are upon The System ...more
Mark Ruzomberka
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Emergency + The Game = How to be James Bond

Seriously Neil we get it you are now the real life James Bond. If only you were British. Your last book the game focused on how to meet women. This one is about driving motor-cycles and shooting guns at the same time. The only thing he still needs is a jet-pack. I mean one of his friends in the book has a submarine in Iceland.

This book really drew me in and I finished it in about a week reading it at lunch time every day. I got the first few sample chap
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Neil Strauss promises to teach us how to survive in the event of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, economic breakdown, riots, disease, and the general collapse of society as we know it. Well, Neil may not have noticed, but we've been attacked by terrorists, the economy is in the toilet, there are riots pretty much regularly, and the flu season comes and goes every winter. Yet America is thriving and there have been no bands of armed thugs roaming the countryside trying to steal your food. I ...more
Tyler Gray
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable book- Strauss is a great writer and it was interesting to meet him at his DC book singing. It definitely motivated me to follow up on some of the things he mentions- I got now involved with the Fairfax Reserve Medical Corps as a volunteer coordinator. In addition to the benefit of public service, the fringe benefits you receive from getting involved are true and even more significant in real life.

For instance, Now my family and I get priority treatment / vaccination / medicine in
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very entertaining and thought provoking book. I randomly put this on my e-reader because I was intrigued by the title. I read just a little of it one day and was sucked in immediately. At times it is a little slow but he looks at preparing for WTSHTF from a wide variety of angles. It has made me consider things that I hadn’t previously in regards to disaster preparedness. I’m going to do my Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training at some point this year, I’m putting together ...more
Vitaly Makievsky
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Most of the authors who take on this topic are paranoid right-wing religious nut-jobs, with very little imagination or any artistic ability. Strauss brings a much needed refreshing look on this very important subject matter.

It is a great book for absolute beginners, and for readers with good knowledge on the subject of prepping and survival. With some interesting discussions with various notable authority figures, perspectives and technical information.

This book isn't a how-to database, but ra
Sebastian N
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Written from a mundane perspective. The reader can feel how the book changes as he gains more knowledge and literally transforms as a human being. This is a good book for the common man(/woman) who thinks about questions like 'how to survive without society'... most of humanity have truly lost something in the lifestyle of today. Many of the courses Neil took should be mandatory for everyone, then maybe we would have less greed and more gratefulness. Instead of teachi ...more
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book!! I've started to try to add some non-fiction to my lists... and this proved to be a good one! Neil Strauss has spent his life in a very urban, comfy world. This book chronicles his journey to become a self-sufficient person in life... learning survival techniques, weapon handling, goat raising, motorbike riding... as well as EMT and CERT skills. Very good read, and pretty clean as well. I'm not sure if I'll read any of his other books... but I'd recommend this one to anyone who ...more
Jon Davis
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for folks worries about the future of the world

A great first-person account of one man's exploration of the world of survivalists, second passports, independent living and learning to help others. The book was an enjoyable easy read with some great ideas. I enjoyed his description of his personal development and how his world view changed over the course of his experiences. This is a great book for anybody worries about where the world is heading and how they will fare WTSHTF. I walke
Alec Rigdon
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was very charming, despite the subconscious fear-mongering. Strauss tells his journey to enlightenment in the world of survival in a funny and heartfelt manner while still packing tons of anecdotes and fun facts in. Emergency might not be the best read for someone who is easy concerned with the end of the world or disasters natural or man-made, but if you can handle the thought, it's a very interesting read.
Michael J.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book because I identify as "runner" like the author. Though I don't imagine I'll get dual citizenship and move all my assets to a Swiss Bank anytime soon I agree with the principle of self reliance. As Strauss mentions in his concluding pages...these skills aren't just about survival they're also about peace of mind. If you're calm and prepared most emergencies turn into minor inconveniences
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To start with I should mention I’m not a fan of books in the nonfiction genre. I really did enjoy this book. It’s a great insight on something I feel a lot of people experience it’s interesting the progress that the author made throughout his journey. I do wonder how somebody could afford to do all the things he did and all the preparation. But nonetheless I think it gives some good insight on things to watch out for and keeping an eye on the signs of our times.
May 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun and interesting book that follows Strauss's journey from urban wimp to crazy survivalist and finally settling on self-sufficient, competent citizen. It is fun to journey along with Strauss on the many adventures and characters he comes in contact with during his quest to be ready when the &%*$ hits the fan. ...more
Chris devine
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A few pages in I realized I had read this before, but it was just as good the first time I read it. The book is pretty funny while teaching you a few things. Most people would never even consider going to the lengths this guy did to prepare for the worst, but most people can probably find something useful in this book.
Jun 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting book that is more memoir than how-to. Strauss interacts and ultimately befriends some of the most interesting survivalists out there. A lot of the information was new to me, and may someday help me. But I'm not quite ready to dig a bolt-hole in my back yard.
Dec 12, 2013 added it
Reviewed at Point Blank and at Booklikes. ...more
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just read this book nine years after the original publication date and it scares the crap out of me even more so than it would have if I'd read it when it first came out. So many of the things Mr. Strauss talks about are coming may be too late.
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Drink & Discuss: January 2017: Emergency 4 6 Mar 03, 2017 10:40AM  

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Neil Strauss is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Game, Rules of the Game, Emergency, and Everyone Loves You When You're Dead. He is also the coauthor of four other bestsellers--Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, and Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, and Dave Navarro's Don't Try This at Home. He can be found at www.neilstrauss.c ...more

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