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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars patriots
good book, slow to start with but picks up pace and is hard to put down once started.
pretty indepth with very good detail on all subjects....
Published on 8 Oct 2009 by Mr. Douglas Evans

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts with a bang, ends with a whimper.
Rawles starts us out on an interesting, if somewhat unrealistic, end of the world survivalist concept, and this provides the real strength of the book. If one can put aside the fact that to prepare for the end of the world like Rawles "Group" is far beyond the financial means of most folks, the preparation material is quite good, providing fairly detailed...
Published on 11 Jun 1999


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts with a bang, ends with a whimper., 11 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Rawles starts us out on an interesting, if somewhat unrealistic, end of the world survivalist concept, and this provides the real strength of the book. If one can put aside the fact that to prepare for the end of the world like Rawles "Group" is far beyond the financial means of most folks, the preparation material is quite good, providing fairly detailed information in an entertaining manner. For this reason alone I recommend the text. It is later in the book, when Rawles begins pandering to every known New World Order/anti-government conspiracy theory that the book begins to lose its appeal, along with a somewhat over-moralistic tone that is grating at times. For example, the author continually talks about individual freedom, but seems to think it OK for his "Group" members to stop and search anybody that passes along the roadway close to their retreat, engaging in summary executions of other survivors without trials, and so on. And one must question the true survivalist mindset in many of the scenarios, where ammunition is wasted to no gain, shooting dozens of rounds into one person, for example. Patriots is worth a reading, but take it with a rather large grain of salt.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong first half, disappointingly weak second half., 24 Jan 2011
By 
Ekij (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patriots (Paperback)
'Patriots' is supposed to be a classic of survivalist literature. It's also been described as a `survival manual disguised as a book'. I found it to be neither.

The story is about a group that had set up a retreat so survive a `the end of the world as we know it' scenario. For the purposes of the book `the crunch' comes as an economic collapse of the US and much of the remainder of the civilised world. The book has a strong anti-socialism theme; the author explains that the collapse of the US was caused by the government running up a huge debt by allowing members of society to free-load. According to the author everyone should work or starve.

The first half of the book covers the members of `the group' making their way to the retreat, how they adjust to a more primitive lifestyle and defend themselves from aggressors. While the author goes into a little more detail on some of the survival aspects than might be strictly necessary I didn't feel it was a `manual for survival'.

Some areas are unrealistic, the group has been preparing for years and has hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition stored but didn't see a need to ensure there were sufficient sleeping quarters for everyone! Given that before the crunch they all spent a few weeks a year at the retreat preparing, training and storing equipment I fail to see how the sleeping arrangements couldn't have been already sorted!

The author is clearly a `gun nut'. No one simply "carries a gun", we have to hear what type of gun, length of barrel, type of clip, number of rounds, what sort of ammunition it's loaded with, type of gun sight and holster. Unless you're also obsessed with guns this gets a little boring after a while.

The book uses a lot of acronyms, and while there is a glossary at the end it's far from complete, unless you're ex-US army yourself, expect to Google a lot of terms as you read this book.

The double standards of the book annoyed me. The main characters feel it's acceptable for them to search anyone who passes on the road near their retreat but when others try and stop them they insist that they have the right to use a `public road'.

There is a section where the author goes back in time to before `the crunch' and introduces two new characters who are in trouble with the police over gun laws. I kept waiting for these two characters to be weaved back into the main plot but it never happened. I don't know why the editor didn't trim this unrelated thread. It's just a rant against federal gun laws.

But despite these weaknesses the first half is enjoyable.

The second half of the book degraded into a formulistic `invasion' of the US by foreign soldiers. A government is trying to re-organise within the US and has requested United Nations support. Since this new government has not been elected democratically, the `survivalist types' feel justified in opposing them, forcefully. For some reason the author made Europe `the bad guys' despite the fact that in the scenario as explained Europe was also in economic meltdown. The country most likely to be in a position to assist (or invade, depending on your viewpoint) would probably have been China. Despite the anti-socialist theme of the book it's somehow `evil' for those that America owes money to expect to be paid what they're owed. Apparently America is somehow special and is not expected to honour its debts. I can respect someone who has different standards but only if they apply those standards consistently.

Despite Mr Rawles being a retired Army officer who should know better, the plot degrades into a farce where we're expected to believe that a militia primarily made up of individuals whose 'combat experience' consists of shooting at deer a few weeks a year can be effective against a modern, well equipped, professional army. Disappointingly trite. If Mr Rawles wanted incompetent bad guys he should have picked an army from a third world country.

Three stars overall. The first half gets four; the second only two.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars patriots, 8 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Patriots (Paperback)
good book, slow to start with but picks up pace and is hard to put down once started.
pretty indepth with very good detail on all subjects....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Patriots - a review, 2 Mar 2009
By 
Y1b (Suffolk - UK) - See all my reviews
A US centric view of a post financial crash survivor situation, following the popular survivalist "bullets, beans and band-aid" approach. Full of thought provoking scenarios and well developed characters working through a variety of problems. Some dated content and unrepresentative of a UK situation, but all in all a good read. If you enjoyed other US based survival fiction such as "Lights Out" or "Pax Americana" you will almost certainly enjoy "Patriots".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the informed! Not your "starter" Y2k book though!, 8 April 1999
By A Customer
This book is actually two books in one. It is an adventure novel about how one group managed to survive in a "worst case" senario. It is also a fairly complete survival guide for the informed. I do NOT think it should be considered as a "first book to get" to educate yourself about "the Y2K fiasco" but it would be an excellent read for those who are already somewhat informed about the upcoming events and need some extra tips. Wesley-Rawles "waxes" a bit about his ideas and religious beliefs, sometimes somewhat humorously even if unintended. One of his characters is quite religious, or we are led to believe, but seems to have no qualms about leading the "team" to a bloody offensive assault (read slaughter) on some shady "biker thugs", and we see a side that is almost "vengeful". Where's the "Christian attitude" there? I don't know... The book sometimes gets a little far-fetched, the characters all seem a bit too cheerful, unreal at times; a main character slices a nice chunk of tissue from her arm and all she can muster is "fiddlesticks! I wanted to finish my canning.." Come on John, a little too watered down, huh? Oh well, just my opinion. Some more examples can be found but I think I would just be nit-picking... In all, I felt it was a good read, my wife enjoyed it too, though both felt it got a bit too descriptive at times for the "uninitiated". It gave us both a lot to think about, helped us "prepare for the worst but hope for the best"... I give it 4 stars!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of guns, very little insight., 11 July 2011
It has taken me months to wade through this book - but I didn't think that I could legitimately review it without having completed the task. For me, the best part of the book was the description of the economic breakdown which leads to the post apocalyptic scenario. Whilst not wholly convincing, it has the merit of being topical and is thought provoking. From then on I felt that the book went downhill. If you are obsessed with guns and want a detailed list of armaments and ammunition, this is the book for you. However, as the sort of hording of guns which Rawles recommends is impossible in the UK it is not very relevant here. The irony of the book is that the protagonists seem to lack the essential personal traits which would probably mark out survivors in a real post-apocalypse scenario - for example, adaptability. The post-apocalypse is tailor-made for the survivalist who has amassed a barrow load of guns and is prepared to shoot first and think - well, never. Had there been plague-type PA scenario these people would have been at a loss as to how to deal with the need for flexibility and co-operation.
For me the weakest part of the book was the one dimensional and unrealistic depiction of people. The good guys are overwhelmingly Christian, the bad guys are cannibals, rapists, drunkards and, of course, poor soldiers. The depiction of the two men with communist sympathies (cannibals) verges on the comical. Somehow we are meant to accept the fact that, because only the select elite are good, it is all right for them to kill so many without any compunction and to relish the body-count.
In the end I was left with the feeling that this book is one man's personal fantasy of the world he would actually like to wake up to. What it lacks is any insight into how survivors in a PA world could psychologically and practically deal with the unexpected or any problem that did not simply require a heap of weapons.
I wasn't sure how to rate this book, because as a military survivalist manual it is excellent and deserves five stars, but as a novel it is inadequate on many levels and barely merits one. For this reason I've balanced it out at three.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard-core Christian fundamental dirge..., 25 Mar 2013
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I like a good post-apocalyptic romp, escapism & if I'm honest...something that will teach me how to make my own chances of survival improve, should the worst happen. I struggled with this book, from the first page - to the last. I found it dreary and very badly written. It is technically a manual, for OCD sufferers interested in survivalism. Sorry Mr Rawles, utter 'fail'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but disappointing, 23 May 2010
By 
Mr. H. Rogers "singlespeedhec" (Essex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patriots (Paperback)
Bought this book off Amazon after the Greek economy went belly up as I was interested in the implications on society after a country suffers financial meltdown. To be honest it is pitched more at the American market as it's impossible to buy a M16 assault rifle in the U.K. for self protection and I must say the author's attention to detail particulary in the military hardwear is second to none. However 2/3 of the way through the book it just was like reading an anarchists bible, maybe I am naive thinking in times of crisis I would like to be pulling together with people concentrating on getting back to normal where as this is aimed at people who are holed up in a remote place and prepared to shoot first and ask questions later. As I said previously the attention to detail is excellent so from that point of view it's a good read but it's not a "feel good" book !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, but has a couple of issues, 7 April 2011
By 
Andy Phillips (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Patriots (Paperback)
The novel is quoted as a classic in its genre in many lists, and I can see why some people might think that. It's a fictional story about a group of Americans surviving the aftermath of a financial crash, but it is written by a hardcore survivalist. As a piece of fiction it's an entertaining story, at least for the first half, as the various members of 'The Group' make their way to the pre-prepared stonghold and fend off various bandits.

However, the book contains A LOT of details about equipment (particularly guns), survival techniques and operating procedures for a militia. This is clearly intended to inform the reader about how to prepare for the inevitable collapse of society, but it is only partly applicable in the UK.

Both of these aspects of the book are handled reasonably well, and would have earned the book five stars in my review. However, the constant double standards exhibited by the group somehow rubs me up the wrong way. The characters are almost all deeply religious but gleefully kill people when they consider it to be 'right'. They insist on retaining their freedom and rights but stop and search passers by. On top of that, the attitudes of The Group when an attempt is made to restore order seems less than helpful, to say the least.

Finally, what is the point of the apparently unrelated sub-plot about the two gun dealers on the run from the law? Isn't it just a rant about gun control laws?

So, quite a good story, and not a bad source of survival tips, but the inconsistent attitudes of the characters (presumably reflecting the beliefs of the author) got on my nerves a bit.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting details but essentially a poor story, 20 May 2009
By 
R. H. Jenkins (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patriots (Paperback)
There's just too many plot flaws and glearing inaccuracies for this book to draw you in. The author seemingly knows about guns, triage, military strategy etc. but falls down spectacularly in other areas such as economics and geopolitics. Essentially it's just one long pro-gun advert which asserts that a fair, democratic state cannot exist without the right to bare arms. Righto. His other book is probably a better bet for straight tactical advice although his credibility is somewhat diminished in my eyes having read this novel.
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Patriots
Patriots by Rawles James Wesley (Paperback - 2 July 2009)
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