Review Of Emergency By Neil Strauss

///Review Of Emergency By Neil Strauss

Review Of Emergency By Neil Strauss

Five years ago, after another Hurricane, I decided it was time to take the safety of my property and person seriously. For the first couple of years the focus was just on Hurricanes and run of the mill home safety. One day an email came to my inbox announcing that one of my favorite authors had a new book coming out ““ Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life. The title and summary didn’t make much sense. It was so far outside the realm of Neil Strauss‘s typical adventures that I assumed it was a joke, but pre-ordered it anyway. Months later the book arrived and I found myself riveted to another Gonzo Journalism-style story from Strauss, but this time it was not about Porn Stars, Rock Stars, or Pickup Artists. Instead it was a story of a guy realizing he did not know how to fend for himself or save himself from bad situations, and then diving in and really doing something about it.

Emergency by Neil Strauss is the book that really lit a fire under my backside when it comes to preparedness; it was my springboard. Emergency took me from concerning myself solely with Hurricanes to embarking on a journey of self-sufficiency, preparedness, personal improvement, and a higher quality of life.

What The Book Is

Neil Struass, Girl, and GoatEmergency is a wildly funny ride, starting in paranoia and ending in personal enlightenment, with plenty of unusual characters and places. It is a story of one man’s transformation from sheep to sheep dog, with good information scattered throughout the book. Strauss’s story starts in a similar manner to many Prepper’s beginnings. Initially it involves a sort of panicked acquisition of supplies. Strauss then talks about learning some skills. Finally, he develops a balance of mentality, preparedness, skills, and a sense of civic duty.

What The Book Is Not

Emergency is not a comprehensive manual or how-to guide. This is something a reader should know right from the start. The assumption, based on the title, would lead one to think it was more detailed. However, fans of the author will know going into it that a manual is outside the realm the author’s writing style, and that his titles are typically facetious. Neil Strauss, as of late, focuses primarily on personal stories.

This book is not a poor man’s, nor a practical Prepper’s tale. In fact, Strauss lays out large amounts of cash for expensive classes, gadgets, supplies, and a bug out location in a foreign land ““ not practical for most people.


If you are looking for an all-inclusive manual, it does not exist. However, there are a plethora of resources and information in books and on the web to fill your head with. See our Survival Book List.

Online Resources

Final Thoughts

Emergency by Neil Strauss is a thoroughly entertaining book. The self-discovery Strauss goes through; the characters, and the adventures, keep the pages turning without boredom.

People who are already well on their way in the Prepper and Survivalist Community will find a good deal of humor in the book – both with Strauss’s adventure and perhaps also looking back at their own experience starting out.

This is not the proverbial first book I would recommend to someone getting started as a Prepper or Survivalist. It’s very easy to get caught up in the first two-thirds of the book’s excitement and completely miss the underlying message at the end. If you want to know what that underlying message is, you will just have to read the book.


Don’t buy this book looking for answers. Don’t buy this book if profanity bothers you. Don’t buy this book if you can’t compare and contrast the main character’s views in the beginning of the book with his views at the end of the book. Don’t buy this book if you can’t take someone’s political views for what they are – someone else’s. Buy this book for a laugh and an entertaining read.

Buy Emergency

Emergency By Neil Strauss is available through

If you have already read Emergency, you may also like: The Last American Man

By |2016-10-15T00:16:26+00:00September 10th, 2010|Reviews, Survival Book Reviews|5 Comments

About the Author:

In his free time, Aaron enjoys hogging the remote, surfing, scotch, mental masturbation and debate over philosophical topics, and shooting stuff--usually not all at the same time.


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  5. Richard Hauser September 16, 2013 at 10:48 am - Reply

    I just finished this book and I’d agree with your review in part, but disagree that this isn’t a good beginning prepper book. I agree that it does not include a lot of hard information, but what it does include is a very good large overview of the reasons for intelligent prepping and I think you hinted at this in the review, but it gave me a lot of ideas about the breadth of study that I should be looking at. I think everyone gets what Neil had at the beginning of the book, which is tunnel vision about issues. For you and I (post-Sandy) originally worried about hurricanes, and further reading and your podcast got me thinking about economic issues. This got me a much better overview of the wide range of issues I need to do research on.

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