Saturday, January 16, 2016

Book Review: 'Surviving Survival' by Laurence Gonzales

✰✰✰✰½ Congratulations on being a survivor! But now what? How do you cope with life after you have survived? What separates those who move forward from those who have sunk into depression? Laurence Gonzales, the author of Deep Survival, takes a look at these questions and more in this book. Each chapter focuses on a different survivor's story and way of coping. Indeed, each story was specifically chosen to illustrate the key traits of surviving in the aftermath of trauma. By taking a look at these very different examples of trauma, Gonzales illustrates coping mechanisms that anyone can use to embrace life. Additionally, the book concludes with a chapter dedicated to The Rules of Life; which are twelve strategies to help the reader navigate a life after trauma.

The Bottom Line: When deciding to write this book Gonzales decided not to focus on his own story. Instead he included the survival stories of many others ranging from shark attack to cancer to being trapped alive. No matter what you have experienced in your life, chances are you can find a story to identify with your situation. Readers will be inspired to move forward, by taking a look at how others have overcome trauma.

Additionally, the author takes a look at the science and research behind survival and resiliency. Although many of the concepts in this book are of an academic nature, the book is very readable and the writing is engaging. This powerful read is very highly recommended for anyone who has survived a natural disaster, fought cancer, seen combat, or is just looking for inspiration. Note for sensitive readers: Many of these stories of survival are graphic and sometimes disturbing.

Details: Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience by Laurence Gonzales. Hardcover published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2012. 272 p. ISBN: 978-0-393-08318-7

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