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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4.33 avg rating — 5,516,960 ratings
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2

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3.70 avg rating — 259,604 ratings
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3

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4.29 avg rating — 2,125,191 ratings
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4

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3.66 avg rating — 1,839,758 ratings
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5

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4.31 avg rating — 835 ratings
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6

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3.89 avg rating — 1,151,066 ratings
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7

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4.12 avg rating — 2,290,218 ratings
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8

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4.31 avg rating — 818,757 ratings
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9

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4.03 avg rating — 2,007,128 ratings
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10

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3.81 avg rating — 259,246 ratings
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11

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4.36 avg rating — 1,487,877 ratings
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12

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4.13 avg rating — 326,736 ratings
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13

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3.96 avg rating — 612,711 ratings
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14

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4.04 avg rating — 55,001 ratings
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15

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4.40 avg rating — 632,522 ratings
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16

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3.66 avg rating — 215,170 ratings
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17

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4.38 avg rating — 621,200 ratings
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18

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4.34 avg rating — 117,520 ratings
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19

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3.95 avg rating — 841,291 ratings
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20

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4.29 avg rating — 968,900 ratings
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21

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4.22 avg rating — 2,491,233 ratings
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22

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3.81 avg rating — 1,058,244 ratings
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23

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4.34 avg rating — 524,416 ratings
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24

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3.74 avg rating — 765,603 ratings
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25

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3.75 avg rating — 665,374 ratings
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26

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4.12 avg rating — 1,456,622 ratings
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27

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4.38 avg rating — 64,055 ratings
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28

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4.19 avg rating — 75,497 ratings
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29

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4.10 avg rating — 56,620 ratings
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30

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3.94 avg rating — 617,733 ratings
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31

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4.09 avg rating — 467,361 ratings
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32

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4.03 avg rating — 861,274 ratings
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33

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3.96 avg rating — 749,041 ratings
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34

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3.92 avg rating — 89,259 ratings
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35

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4.25 avg rating — 745,129 ratings
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36

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4.06 avg rating — 330,457 ratings
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37

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3.84 avg rating — 808,990 ratings
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38

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4.16 avg rating — 1,202,533 ratings
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39

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4.19 avg rating — 441,185 ratings
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40

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3.89 avg rating — 104,485 ratings
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41

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4.17 avg rating — 30,309 ratings
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42

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3.95 avg rating — 209,132 ratings
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43

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3.86 avg rating — 164,149 ratings
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44

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4.13 avg rating — 375,322 ratings
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45

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4.26 avg rating — 2,423,383 ratings
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46

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4.25 avg rating — 45,332 ratings
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47

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3.48 avg rating — 430,788 ratings
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48

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4.54 avg rating — 101,134 ratings
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49

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4.20 avg rating — 1,801,280 ratings
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50

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4.35 avg rating — 963,394 ratings
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51

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3.80 avg rating — 50,301 ratings
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52

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4.21 avg rating — 43,092 ratings
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53

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4.19 avg rating — 225,534 ratings
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54

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3.92 avg rating — 329,403 ratings
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55

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4.15 avg rating — 69,745 ratings
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56

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4.41 avg rating — 212,790 ratings
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57

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4.01 avg rating — 373,937 ratings
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58

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3.95 avg rating — 79,039 ratings
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59

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4.18 avg rating — 168,148 ratings
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60

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3.98 avg rating — 1,204,080 ratings
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61

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4.43 avg rating — 131,635 ratings
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62

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4.15 avg rating — 142,625 ratings
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63

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3.94 avg rating — 14,107 ratings
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64

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3.86 avg rating — 219,099 ratings
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65

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4.19 avg rating — 13,438 ratings
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66

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3.79 avg rating — 18,673 ratings
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67

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4.10 avg rating — 13,661 ratings
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68

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4.01 avg rating — 14,842 ratings
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69

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4.12 avg rating — 111,568 ratings
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70

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3.79 avg rating — 132,098 ratings
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71

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4.25 avg rating — 8,990 ratings
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72

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4.13 avg rating — 370,397 ratings
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73

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4.03 avg rating — 70,077 ratings
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74

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4.20 avg rating — 14,886 ratings
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75

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4.30 avg rating — 36,729 ratings
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76

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3.84 avg rating — 276,794 ratings
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77

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3.59 avg rating — 76,968 ratings
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78

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3.95 avg rating — 11,677 ratings
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79

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4.13 avg rating — 67,884 ratings
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80

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4.24 avg rating — 13,668 ratings
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81

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4.11 avg rating — 90,533 ratings
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82

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3.93 avg rating — 40,431 ratings
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83

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4.22 avg rating — 616,898 ratings
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84

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3.93 avg rating — 61,117 ratings
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85

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3.92 avg rating — 36,704 ratings
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86

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 22,227 ratings
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87

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4.04 avg rating — 159,744 ratings
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88

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3.98 avg rating — 124,146 ratings
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89

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4.22 avg rating — 671,493 ratings
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90

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4.09 avg rating — 338,660 ratings
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91

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4.04 avg rating — 31,460 ratings
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92

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4.10 avg rating — 154,218 ratings
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93

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 187,695 ratings
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94

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3.80 avg rating — 268,747 ratings
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95

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3.85 avg rating — 82,123 ratings
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96

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3.99 avg rating — 109,471 ratings
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97

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3.59 avg rating — 4,787 ratings
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98

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4.21 avg rating — 16,095 ratings
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99

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3.97 avg rating — 127,555 ratings
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100

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4.27 avg rating — 4,889 ratings
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996 books · 1,571 voters · list created May 16th, 2009 by Ruby (votes) .
152 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Ruby 2251 books
48 friends
Michael 597 books
286 friends
Eric 1408 books
34 friends
Malia 261 books
7 friends
Megan 864 books
173 friends
Kathy 322 books
6 friends
Payton 348 books
45 friends
Mili 424 books
252 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 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 Ðɑηηɑ (new)

Ðɑηηɑ 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.


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