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 — 6,218,433 ratings
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2

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3.73 avg rating — 296,681 ratings
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3

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4.29 avg rating — 2,429,886 ratings
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4

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3.68 avg rating — 2,209,635 ratings
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5

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3.91 avg rating — 1,308,218 ratings
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6

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4.15 avg rating — 2,654,382 ratings
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7

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4.33 avg rating — 945,945 ratings
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8

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3.84 avg rating — 282,857 ratings
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9

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4.04 avg rating — 2,277,819 ratings
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10

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4.40 avg rating — 787,947 ratings
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11

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4.18 avg rating — 383,454 ratings
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12

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4.06 avg rating — 61,201 ratings
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13

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4.37 avg rating — 1,777,186 ratings
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14

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3.97 avg rating — 699,377 ratings
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15

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3.67 avg rating — 242,306 ratings
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16

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4.37 avg rating — 741,580 ratings
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17

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4.35 avg rating — 139,937 ratings
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18

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4.30 avg rating — 1,057,391 ratings
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19

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3.97 avg rating — 944,339 ratings
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20

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4.20 avg rating — 2,825,015 ratings
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21

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4.34 avg rating — 597,367 ratings
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22

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3.82 avg rating — 1,135,302 ratings
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23

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3.77 avg rating — 844,438 ratings
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24

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3.78 avg rating — 804,562 ratings
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25

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4.40 avg rating — 79,855 ratings
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26

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4.13 avg rating — 1,727,856 ratings
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27

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4.19 avg rating — 80,753 ratings
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28

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4.11 avg rating — 63,074 ratings
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29

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3.97 avg rating — 732,324 ratings
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30

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4.11 avg rating — 527,664 ratings
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31

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4.02 avg rating — 1,014,071 ratings
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32

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3.84 avg rating — 876,964 ratings
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33

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4.06 avg rating — 423,705 ratings
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34

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3.98 avg rating — 857,082 ratings
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35

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4.17 avg rating — 1,374,800 ratings
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36

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4.28 avg rating — 877,249 ratings
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37

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3.92 avg rating — 95,390 ratings
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38

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4.18 avg rating — 33,764 ratings
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39

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3.89 avg rating — 111,236 ratings
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40

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4.21 avg rating — 503,878 ratings
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41

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3.96 avg rating — 232,141 ratings
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42

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4.27 avg rating — 2,813,730 ratings
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43

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4.15 avg rating — 433,197 ratings
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44

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4.17 avg rating — 55,222 ratings
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45

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3.86 avg rating — 176,047 ratings
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46

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4.37 avg rating — 1,117,578 ratings
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47

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4.22 avg rating — 2,070,051 ratings
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48

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4.56 avg rating — 130,135 ratings
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49

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3.81 avg rating — 53,465 ratings
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50

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3.50 avg rating — 470,506 ratings
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51

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4.20 avg rating — 251,106 ratings
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52

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4.36 avg rating — 4,403 ratings
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53

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3.95 avg rating — 384,685 ratings
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54

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4.22 avg rating — 48,708 ratings
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55

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4.16 avg rating — 81,210 ratings
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56

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4.01 avg rating — 426,733 ratings
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57

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3.95 avg rating — 90,844 ratings
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58

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3.99 avg rating — 1,399,583 ratings
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59

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4.43 avg rating — 248,123 ratings
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60

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4.18 avg rating — 186,601 ratings
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61

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4.16 avg rating — 159,105 ratings
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62

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3.95 avg rating — 16,461 ratings
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63

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3.86 avg rating — 240,944 ratings
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64

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4.44 avg rating — 142,364 ratings
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65

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4.21 avg rating — 15,799 ratings
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66

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3.81 avg rating — 21,675 ratings
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67

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4.25 avg rating — 10,347 ratings
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68

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4.12 avg rating — 15,831 ratings
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69

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4.03 avg rating — 16,799 ratings
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70

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3.79 avg rating — 150,982 ratings
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71

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4.13 avg rating — 120,624 ratings
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72

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4.33 avg rating — 44,978 ratings
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73

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4.14 avg rating — 423,877 ratings
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74

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4.26 avg rating — 19,162 ratings
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75

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 160,365 ratings
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76

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3.59 avg rating — 79,927 ratings
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77

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4.26 avg rating — 15,778 ratings
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78

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4.12 avg rating — 74,408 ratings
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79

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3.87 avg rating — 329,978 ratings
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80

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4.03 avg rating — 75,512 ratings
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81

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4.08 avg rating — 119,248 ratings
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82

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4.23 avg rating — 797,393 ratings
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83

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3.96 avg rating — 13,268 ratings
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84

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3.92 avg rating — 65,585 ratings
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85

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3.93 avg rating — 41,508 ratings
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86

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4.24 avg rating — 772,397 ratings
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87

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3.93 avg rating — 48,121 ratings
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88

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4.04 avg rating — 182,674 ratings
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89

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4.11 avg rating — 372,429 ratings
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90

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4.01 avg rating — 25,156 ratings
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91

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4.01 avg rating — 216,145 ratings
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92

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4.07 avg rating — 40,608 ratings
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93

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4.13 avg rating — 191,708 ratings
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94

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3.87 avg rating — 98,572 ratings
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95

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 116,952 ratings
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96

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3.85 avg rating — 313,822 ratings
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97

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3.98 avg rating — 147,821 ratings
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98

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3.94 avg rating — 34,511 ratings
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99

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4.06 avg rating — 47,644 ratings
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100

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4.21 avg rating — 70,610 ratings
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1,108 books · 1,707 voters · list created May 16th, 2009 by Ruby (votes) .
172 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Ruby 2388 books
51 friends
Michael 650 books
288 friends
Eric 1412 books
36 friends
Malia 261 books
7 friends
Megan 867 books
175 friends
Kathy 357 books
6 friends
Payton 348 books
45 friends
Mili 424 books
250 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 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.


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...


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