Monday, March 9, 2009

Review: The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood

Book Info:
The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life by Ben Sherwood
Audio CD: 11.5 hours
Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (January 26, 2009)
Rating: 3.5/5

Each second of the day, someone in America faces a crisis, whether it's a car accident, violent crime, serious illness, or financial trouble. Given the inevitability of adversity, we all wonder: Who beats the odds and who surrenders? Why do some people bound back and others give up? How can I become the kind of person who survives and thrives?

The fascinating, hopeful answers to these questions are found in THE SURVIVORS CLUB. In the tradition of Freakonomics and The Tipping Point, this book reveals the hidden side of survival by combining astonishing true stories, gripping scientific research, and the author's adventures inside the U.S. military's elite survival schools and the government's airplane crash evacuation course.

With THE SURVIVORS CLUB, you can also discover your own Survivor IQ through a powerful Internet-based test called the Survivor Profiler. Developed exclusively for this book, the test analyzes your personality and generates a customized report on your top survivor strengths.

There is no escaping life's inevitable struggles. But THE SURVIVORS CLUB can give you an edge when adversity strikes.

When I got this audiobook I was really excited about it. I thought it would include all sorts of tips and tricks about the safest way to handle all kinds of situations. The section on airplane crashes was exactly what I was hoping for. It had tips on where on the plane was the best place to sit and things you can do to keep yourself safer in the event you are in a crash.

After this, the book gets away from concrete examples and talks about the more abstract parts of being a survivor. These topics included luck and faith. While these are a big part of being able to survive adverse situations, they didn't lend themselves to the examples that I was hoping for.

One part of the story that I wish had been longer was Sherwood's experience inside the military's survival schools. I thought the scenarios they put him through were fascinating and would have like a little more detail.

While this was an interesting audiobook, it just wasn't quite what I expected. I did find the survivor stories interesting and the website includes some of the people featured in the book, as well as some new survivor stories. 3.5 stars


Sandy Nawrot said...

Wasn't this author on Oprah not long ago? I know I saw a preview of it somewhere. I would have expected the same from the book as you...

Literary Feline said...

Thanks for the great review, Melissa! I won a copy of this book in a recent contest and am looking forward to reading it. It's good to know what I can expect (or not expect) from it--I'll be better prepared.

Kelly said...

That's a really good review! I've been thinking about reading this one, but kept putting off adding it to my list. I guess I have this foolish notion that being prepared for an earthquake is the same as being prepared for anything! I guess we all tend to believe the only bad things that could happen to us are the ones that are common to our area. I'll be in big trouble if we get a tornado, or a crime wave. But...I think I'll be okay in an earthquake or another big old California fire. Sorta got those things thought out and as planned for as can be done.

Melissa said...

Sandy: It wouldn't surprise me if this was on Oprah, but with work I haven't seen that show in forever!

Literary Feline: I hope the review does help. The book wasn't bad by any means, it was just different than my expectations.

Kelly: An earthquake would freak me out. When we get tornado warning though we go outside to see how bad it really is.