The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse

By Sam Sheridan
Read by Donald Corren

10.42 Hours 01/24/2013 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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Sam Sheridan has traveled the world as an amateur boxer and mixed martial arts fighter, worked as a professional wilderness firefighter, an EMT, a sailor, a cowboy at the largest ranch in Montana, and in construction under brutal conditions at the South Pole. If he isn’t ready for the apocalypse and the fractured world that will likely ensue, we are all in a lot of trouble. Despite an arsenal of skills that would put most of us to shame, when Sam had his son and finally settled down, he was beset with nightmares about being unable to protect him. With apocalyptic images from movies, books, and the nightly news filling his head, he was slowly being driven to distraction. If a rogue wave hit his beach community, would he be able to get out? If the power grid went down, did he have enough food and water for his family? And if he was forced outside the city limits, could he survive in the wilderness? And let’s not even talk about plagues, zombie hoards, and attacking aliens. How seriously should he take the Internet chatter, the guys who recommend staying sequestered in a bunker in the remote hills? And what kind of life would that be, anyway? Unable to quiet his mind, Sam decided to face his fears head-on and embark on a quest to gain as many skills as possible that just might come in handy should the end of the world as we know it come to pass. Each possible doomsday required a different skill set. Trying to navigate a clogged highway when everyone who’s still alive has the same bright idea to leave town? Better go to the best stunt-driving school in the country. Need to protect your family but have run out of ammunition? Better learn how to handle a knife. Is your kid hurt or showing signs of serious mental strain? Better brush up on emergency medicine and study the psychological effects of trauma. From training with an Olympic weightlifter to a down-and-dirty apprenticeship in stealing cars with an ex–gang member, from an intense three-week gun course in the hundred-degree heat of Alabama to agonizing lessons in wilderness survival, Sam left no stone unturned. Would it be enough if a meteor rocked the earth? Who’s to say? But as Sam points out, it would be a damn shame to survive the initial impact only to die a few days later because you didn’t know how to build a fire. This is participatory journalism at its finest. A rollicking narrative with each chapter framed by a hypothetical doomsday scenario, The Disaster Diaries is irresistible armchair adventure reading. It’s for everyone who wants to know what it might take to make it through a cataclysmic event—or just wants to watch someone else struggling to find out.

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Summary

Summary

A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title” for Nonfiction, January 2013

Sam Sheridan has traveled the world as an amateur boxer and mixed martial arts fighter, worked as a professional wilderness firefighter, an EMT, a sailor, a cowboy at the largest ranch in Montana, and in construction under brutal conditions at the South Pole. If he isn’t ready for the apocalypse and the fractured world that will likely ensue, we are all in a lot of trouble.

Despite an arsenal of skills that would put most of us to shame, when Sam had his son and finally settled down, he was beset with nightmares about being unable to protect him. With apocalyptic images from movies, books, and the nightly news filling his head, he was slowly being driven to distraction. If a rogue wave hit his beach community, would he be able to get out? If the power grid went down, did he have enough food and water for his family? And if he was forced outside the city limits, could he survive in the wilderness? And let’s not even talk about plagues, zombie hoards, and attacking aliens. How seriously should he take the Internet chatter, the guys who recommend staying sequestered in a bunker in the remote hills? And what kind of life would that be, anyway? Unable to quiet his mind, Sam decided to face his fears head-on and embark on a quest to gain as many skills as possible that just might come in handy should the end of the world as we know it come to pass.

Each possible doomsday required a different skill set. Trying to navigate a clogged highway when everyone who’s still alive has the same bright idea to leave town? Better go to the best stunt-driving school in the country. Need to protect your family but have run out of ammunition? Better learn how to handle a knife. Is your kid hurt or showing signs of serious mental strain? Better brush up on emergency medicine and study the psychological effects of trauma. From training with an Olympic weightlifter to a down-and-dirty apprenticeship in stealing cars with an ex–gang member, from an intense three-week gun course in the hundred-degree heat of Alabama to agonizing lessons in wilderness survival, Sam left no stone unturned. Would it be enough if a meteor rocked the earth? Who’s to say? But as Sam points out, it would be a damn shame to survive the initial impact only to die a few days later because you didn’t know how to build a fire.

This is participatory journalism at its finest. A rollicking narrative with each chapter framed by a hypothetical doomsday scenario, The Disaster Diaries is irresistible armchair adventure reading. It’s for everyone who wants to know what it might take to make it through a cataclysmic event—or just wants to watch someone else struggling to find out.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Sheridan, an amateur boxer and mixed martial arts fighter, uses a collection of stark disaster scenarios to wise up the reader on how to live through those final times…As a quirky survivalist primer, Sheridan’s work spells out how to stay alive when the world goes topsy-turvy.” Publishers Weekly
“How to survive any possible disaster, from aliens to zombies to everything in between…An upbeat and entertaining survival guide for the end of the world.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This is no mere guide to surviving disaster; it’s also the author’s personal account of learning to prepare for catastrophe…A clever and very useful guide to getting ready to face the unknown.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

by Paul (AudiobookReviewer) 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Am different kind of memior

I really don’t know what to expect with The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse, my first thought was it is going to be a comedic apocalypse fiction, but again my lack of research and sometimes general knowledge can make me think things that are not true. Once I read the summary of the book I was less interested but more intrigued than before and thought to myself “This could be really good.”

The Disaster Diaries, documents Sam Sheridan’s personal journey through life, while preparing to survive the world’s coming apocalypse (we all know its coming sooner or later), but unlike the most books of this genre, he does so only because of his optimistic belief that you need to be prepared to survive if you expect to survive, even if the world doesn’t end tomorrow. He only started worrying about the end of the world when his son was born into the chaos that is Los Angeles, not because he had watched, or listened to, too many zombie/apocalypse movies and books over the years. He relay many of the adventures that he has had throughout his life that really started when he took his first job as a stewards assistant aboard the large US Military Sealift Command ship USNS Able and morphed into many other tales including: attending Harvard, circumnavigating the globe in a sailboat and working for Raytheon in Antarctica. The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse was a fun and unique biodocupolypse (biography+documentary+apocalypse) and is not for those that can only have a good time if there are zombies and the like.

I thought Donald Corren’s performance wasn’t as over the top as some of the reviews I have read indicate. He fit in with the story well and delivered a solid narration. Nothing really stood out to me about Corren and sometimes that is a good thing.

Author

Author Bio: Sam Sheridan

Sam Sheridan joined the US Merchant Marine after high school and then attended Harvard College, graduating in 1998. He is an amateur boxer, mixed martial arts fighter, and student of Muay Thai and jujitsu. He has worked in construction at the South Pole Station in Antarctica, as a cowboy and farmhand on the largest ranch in Montana, as a wildland firefighter in Washington State and New Mexico, as a professional sailor, and as a wilderness EMT. He has written for Newsweek and Men’s Journal and is the author of three books.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 10.42
Audience: Adult
Language: English