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Lights Out

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,739 ratings  ·  133 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 âKarate Manâ 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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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,739 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Nathanael Coyne
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Terry James
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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, ...more
Sep 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
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 ...more
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,
Daniel Reyes
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Bonnie Calhoun
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Linda B.D.
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apocalypse
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 ...more
Kami Donnelly
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, eotw
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
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Kirk McElroy
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Chris Holly
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Kyle Pratt
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teotwawki
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
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the lack of polish in the book (typos, grammatical and spelling errors) this is one of the better stories I've read in a long time. The author does such a great job writing believable characters struggling to put the pieces back together in a world where everything they know has been smashed to pieces. I think he put a bit of himself into more than a few of the characters. Not only is it a good read but he also offers up many interesting solutions to problems one would face in a EOTWAWKI ...more
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scott
Recommended to E.J. by: Brent
Shelves: 2011
Finally finished the book!!!!
I stayed up til 5 am in the morning just to finish the book.
Like many people pointed out already, the writing is a little amateurish and there are so many parts that repeat same stories over and over. But I can see some were intentionally repeated which I found pretty smart.
Although it took me forever to get into the book, the last 30 % of the book was really good.
The characters are very believable and the plot was very realistic and well thought out.
I even had a
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.
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best written, most realistic, best flowing survival novel out there, bar none. The characters are engaging, the author is factually knowledgeable, and there's plenty of action. One of those rare books that you can't put down!

Five stars aren't enough, if you are in to apocalyptic survivalist novels...
Jim W
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly a good one. Even though it is fiction, it gives some good ideas of a group of people banding together when a disaster strikes. I have read the online version first, then purchased the book. It was not available in Canada, I had to purchase through the Amazon in the USA. In fact, I even started a group on Facebook called Lights out.
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked it. It is long but I fell in love with the story as it went along. To be honest, it really was a good book. I wish it was longer now that I finished reading it. If you start it, stay with it, by the end you will not regret it.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again the book ends too soon. I always hate when a good one ends. This was one of those. There could still be a sequel, many unanswered questions, even with the epilogue that hints at several stories that need told. I recommend this book and this watch eagerly for more from this author.
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
It starts off slow, but picks up after the endless grocery shopping trips. I enjoyed the characters so much, that I would love it if the author turned it into a series.
Ronald Tobin
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Uncle  Dave Avis
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a really good book! The plot is believable and could actually happen. The story that emerges is well constructed and moves with a rapid pace. The main characters are well developed and are interwoven with each other and the whole situation. The plot, sub plots, and situations are presented in a magnificently interesting way. I highly recommend this book for any adventure loving reader.
Kris Irvin
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Samantha Bryant
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prepareness
One of my favorite books we even got a autograph copy of his book. Takes place in my own City of San Antonio, Loved that this is another book based in the city after a Disaster that I think the author did really well on keeping it real. Good writer, a favorite among preppers.
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