Best Survival Stories

Here is the place to list the best survival stories of all time, fiction or non-fiction.
1

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4.32 avg rating — 6,791,824 ratings
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2

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3.74 avg rating — 330,134 ratings
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3

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4.29 avg rating — 2,716,544 ratings
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4

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3.69 avg rating — 2,397,131 ratings
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5

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3.92 avg rating — 1,407,652 ratings
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6

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4.34 avg rating — 1,031,039 ratings
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7

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4.16 avg rating — 2,967,432 ratings
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8

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3.84 avg rating — 307,226 ratings
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9

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4.05 avg rating — 2,518,810 ratings
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10

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4.40 avg rating — 881,491 ratings
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11

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4.19 avg rating — 421,448 ratings
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12

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4.38 avg rating — 1,981,537 ratings
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13

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3.97 avg rating — 757,676 ratings
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14

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4.06 avg rating — 66,844 ratings
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15

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3.68 avg rating — 260,155 ratings
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16

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4.35 avg rating — 820,529 ratings
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17

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4.32 avg rating — 152,344 ratings
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18

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4.30 avg rating — 1,113,140 ratings
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19

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3.98 avg rating — 1,025,911 ratings
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20

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4.34 avg rating — 656,800 ratings
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21

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4.18 avg rating — 3,129,810 ratings
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22

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3.82 avg rating — 1,183,184 ratings
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23

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3.78 avg rating — 904,268 ratings
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24

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3.79 avg rating — 895,681 ratings
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25

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4.37 avg rating — 95,725 ratings
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26

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4.18 avg rating — 84,097 ratings
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27

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4.13 avg rating — 1,921,438 ratings
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28

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4.10 avg rating — 69,269 ratings
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29

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4.12 avg rating — 565,747 ratings
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30

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3.98 avg rating — 786,619 ratings
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31

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4.03 avg rating — 1,166,452 ratings
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32

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3.99 avg rating — 929,371 ratings
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33

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4.06 avg rating — 449,446 ratings
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34

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3.84 avg rating — 934,113 ratings
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35

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4.18 avg rating — 1,514,726 ratings
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36

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4.28 avg rating — 968,206 ratings
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37

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3.91 avg rating — 99,813 ratings
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38

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3.87 avg rating — 123,625 ratings
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39

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4.18 avg rating — 35,964 ratings
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40

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4.23 avg rating — 555,833 ratings
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41

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3.96 avg rating — 250,538 ratings
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42

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4.28 avg rating — 3,089,694 ratings
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43

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4.38 avg rating — 1,228,237 ratings
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44

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4.16 avg rating — 68,046 ratings
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45

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4.22 avg rating — 2,275,459 ratings
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46

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3.86 avg rating — 187,908 ratings
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47

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4.15 avg rating — 479,763 ratings
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48

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3.52 avg rating — 496,128 ratings
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49

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4.53 avg rating — 155,871 ratings
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50

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3.81 avg rating — 56,632 ratings
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51

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4.39 avg rating — 7,123 ratings
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52

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4.19 avg rating — 265,858 ratings
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53

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4.10 avg rating — 95,622 ratings
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54

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4.21 avg rating — 52,745 ratings
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55

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3.95 avg rating — 433,299 ratings
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56

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4.01 avg rating — 465,672 ratings
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57

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3.96 avg rating — 97,206 ratings
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58

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3.99 avg rating — 1,531,902 ratings
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59

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4.41 avg rating — 277,377 ratings
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60

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4.15 avg rating — 206,399 ratings
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61

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4.42 avg rating — 152,119 ratings
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62

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3.96 avg rating — 17,899 ratings
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63

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4.13 avg rating — 175,840 ratings
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64

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3.86 avg rating — 259,244 ratings
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65

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4.22 avg rating — 16,930 ratings
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66

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3.81 avg rating — 23,466 ratings
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67

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4.26 avg rating — 11,266 ratings
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68

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4.12 avg rating — 16,779 ratings
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69

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4.12 avg rating — 127,361 ratings
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70

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3.78 avg rating — 170,367 ratings
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71

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4.29 avg rating — 22,425 ratings
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71

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4.05 avg rating — 18,357 ratings
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73

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4.26 avg rating — 57,572 ratings
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74

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4.13 avg rating — 468,717 ratings
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75

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3.88 avg rating — 362,837 ratings
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76

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4.12 avg rating — 77,699 ratings
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77

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4.08 avg rating — 138,672 ratings
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78

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4.23 avg rating — 882,369 ratings
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79

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4.27 avg rating — 16,909 ratings
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80

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4.03 avg rating — 78,310 ratings
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81

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4.01 avg rating — 192,493 ratings
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81

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3.59 avg rating — 84,743 ratings
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83

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3.97 avg rating — 14,290 ratings
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84

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4.02 avg rating — 200,330 ratings
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84

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3.94 avg rating — 51,386 ratings
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84

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4.11 avg rating — 393,834 ratings
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87

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3.93 avg rating — 45,889 ratings
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88

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3.90 avg rating — 73,068 ratings
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89

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4.03 avg rating — 26,870 ratings
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90

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4.24 avg rating — 864,963 ratings
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91

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 122,634 ratings
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92

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4.03 avg rating — 50,045 ratings
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93

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4.14 avg rating — 220,964 ratings
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94

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3.88 avg rating — 109,444 ratings
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95

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 234,935 ratings
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96

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3.89 avg rating — 348,202 ratings
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97

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4.22 avg rating — 18,511 ratings
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98

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3.62 avg rating — 5,450 ratings
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99

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3.96 avg rating — 173,165 ratings
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100

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4.33 avg rating — 93,686 ratings
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1,108 books · 1,700 voters · list created May 16th, 2009 by Ruby (votes) .
183 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Ruby 2453 books
51 friends
Michael 682 books
289 friends
Eric 1412 books
36 friends
Malia 261 books
7 friends
Megan 915 books
175 friends
Kathy 362 books
6 friends
Payton 348 books
45 friends
Mili 424 books
249 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn QUESTION: Does the protagonist have to survive for this to be a story of survival....If not, Scott's Last Expedition is easily the greatest survival story of them all, n'est-ce pas ?


message 2: by Bibliotheque (new)

Bibliotheque Thom wrote: "QUESTION: Does the protagonist have to survive for this to be a story of survival....If not, Scott's Last Expedition is easily the greatest survival story of them all, n'est-ce pas ?"

Like you, I'm torn: the story survives, triumphantly, but those poor blokes...

Have you read MAWSON'S WILL, aka THIS ACCURSED LAND? An account of Douglas Mawson's absolutely eyepopping feat of endurance in Antarctica. Despite the loss of his companions and huskies (in traumatic circumstances), half-poisoned through the consumption of dog-liver and half-starved on tiny amounts of food, the man ignored his ongoing physical breakdown and trudged on for a hundred miles alone. Just finished it today; wow.


message 3: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Bibliotheque wrote: "Thom wrote: "QUESTION: Does the protagonist have to survive for this to be a story of survival....If not, Scott's Last Expedition is easily the greatest survival story of them all, n'est-ce pas ?"
..."


Thanks for the tip. Sounds much like St.Exupery's Story of Guillaumet in Wind, Sand, and Stars. Breathtaking prose.


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian This list is a mess! The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe?!! Come on people!

The only thing to be said is that this list has mostly been compiled by people who have never read a true survival tale.

Nuff said.


message 5: by Danna (new)

Danna Well, Anne Frank did not survive, she was sort of trying to, but she did not succeed.


message 6: by Gordon (new)

Gordon I agree Ian. Many of these books have little to do with the struggle to survive. There are a few that are really about the human fight for life. Search them out. They are truly amazing stories that place our day to day struggles in perspective.


message 7: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis The argument could be made that Frank's family lived for 3 years than they would've without ingenuity and friends to help them. I chose not to vote for it, and went with Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom first (since Mandela saved the lives of so many others with his victory) and Night as #2. It's really hard to combine fiction and nonfiction here, and ultimately, real people who survived real hardship (Mumia Abu-Jamal got my #3 slot) won out over the very best literature. Nice that we can have so many votes, so at least I got to vote for all of my favorites in both categories.


message 8: by Dawnstream (new)

Dawnstream I don't like this list. "Surviving" hardship is a metaphorical use of the word. Actual survival requires finding or generating food, shelter and fresh water. While Anne Frank's story does touch the heart, she never had to desalinize seawater or build her own house.


message 9: by Chris Hastings (new)

Chris Hastings Dawn wrote: "Actual survival requires finding or generating food, shelter and fresh water."
Actually Dawn, "actual survival" requires continuing to live. In many cases, it may entail procuring water, food and/or shelter, and in other cases it may involve concealment from Nazi soldiers that want to send the protagonist to a concentration camp to most likely die (and in the case of Anne Frank, where she eventually DID die. Anne Frank's diary, Wiesel's Night and other holocaust survival books are just as much about survival as any other book on this list.


message 10: by Chris Hastings (new)

Chris Hastings M/Ðɑηηɑ wrote: "Well, Anne Frank did not survive, she was sort of trying to, but she did not succeed."

She managed to stay concealed for 2 years before she was sent to a concentration camp. That may very well have kept her alive 2 extra years. NOONE survives forever!


message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I also agree with Ian. And Harry Potter? Really people? I mean, I adore Harry Potter, but it is NOT about survival in the way this list was intended.


message 12: by Booklovinglady (last edited Sep 12, 2019 08:50AM) (new)

Booklovinglady The Diary of a Young Girl (#7) is not a survival story...


message 13: by Shadowjac (new)

Shadowjac Booklovinglady wrote: "The Diary of a Young Girl (#7) is not a survival story..."

It kind of is. It's attempted survival the list creator never specified whether or not the subject in question needed to actually succeed and I'd say that due to the large theme of survival throughout the book it belongs on the list.


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