Kal Cobalt's Reviews > The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why

The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley
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's review
Apr 01, 2011

really liked it

An engaging and cohesive narrative of what happens in our minds and bodies when shockingly negative things happen. I read this as research for a novel I'm writing -- I had a decent grasp of PTSD and other trauma disorders from a clinical perspective, but was hoping for something to help me connect the dots between psychiatric treatises and actual human behaviors. This book fit the bill nicely. I made pretty hefty use of my Kindle's highlight feature on this one.

I recommend this to anyone interested in what happens to people during trauma. It's suitably non-clinical for an introductory text, but at the same time, if you're familiar with the clinical side of things, you'll still find plenty of readability and value to the personal stories told here.

Despite the word "disaster" in the title, this is ultimately a very hopeful and optimistic book which hopes to arm the reader with enough understanding to save valuable time if the reader is ever confronted with disaster themselves. It's also a good read for anxious/OCD types, as it isn't in any way exploitative of tragedy and explicitly addresses the problems humans have in fearing more vivid but less likely scenarios.

Also: a good book for grammar/format nuts. Very clean read.

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