> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Thoughts: Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse



Thoughts: Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse

Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse-- is the latest edition of J.W., Rawles' epic novel of survival post a widescale economic collapse.

I've been meaning to pick it up, and when I finally got around to ordering it, had some struggles ordering it. Made the mistake of ordering from Buy.com, who after sending shipping confirmation, summarily canceled and refunded my order w/o my request. I went through Amazon, which was back-ordered by weeks after having sold out of the book, but was able to find an Amazon affiliate that shipped the book to me hassle-free.

Rawle's book has been through several edits and updates, and this edition is the latest and most recent. However, it was not an entirely comprehensive update. As an example, in some part the book talks about Barack Obama's election, but the general references to firearms, equipment and so on seem to be firmly in the late 90s, early 2000s. Some dates have been updated, while others haven't. It can be slightly jarring, and it's sometimes glaring obvious that a piece of up-to-date information was inserted into an older edition. A more comprehensive edit would have definitely helped here. However, the information is still relevant, and some readers may not notice at all.

"Patriots" aims to be a survival manual wrapped within a novel, which makes it an unusual read. On one hand, there is a wealth of useful information and thought provoking scenarios. On the other hand, the characters are generally forgetable and interchangable, and the book often gets buried in minutiae that the reader may or may not find interesting. I skimmed over several sections where my attention started drifiting, but was fascinated by many others.

When "Patriots" hits its stride and hits the balance between novel and manual, it's great.

One complaint is the seeming improbability of the survival group the novel focuses on. They're all quite successful and no one has any kids. It does mean that the group has lots of disposable income to afford the wealth of equipment, ammo, and other preps that they have. The book focuses on an optimally prepared group, which is interesting, but ultimately, the focus on logistics (retreat, preps) may rule out the book's informational usefulness for many readers. Few, I imagine, will find themselves in the same life/financial situation as the main characters presented in Patriots. A more "real-world" focus could have been beneficial.

Another nitpick--the group is based out of Chicago--why on earth did they set up their retreat on the other side of the country in Idaho?

Last one--some readers may find the last 3rd of the book overly far-right winged in politics, mildly offensive, or hard to believe. I wasn't bothered by it, but your mileage may vary.

Overall though, but book is an entertaining and informative read. At the ~$10 cover price that you can buy the book for, it's basically a must read anyone seriously interested in long-term survival post societal collapse.

Rawles reports
that he is working on sequels to the novel, which I am vastly looking forward to. "Patriots", his first novel, written years ago and updated several times since, is still a great read and resource--can't wait to see what his new books will be like.