Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

by Laurence Gonzales
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"Unique among survival books...stunning...enthralling. Deep Survival makes compelling, and chilling, reading."—Penelope Purdy, Denver Post

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393326154
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/17/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 676,313
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Laurence Gonzales is the author of Surviving Survival, Flight 232, and the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. He has won two National Magazine Awards and is a scholar at the Sante Fe Institute. He divides his time between Evanston,
Illinois, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the New Edition ix

Prologue xv

1 How Accidents Happen

1 "Look Out, Here Comes Ray Charles" 21

2 Memories of the Future 44

3 A Map of the World 56

4 A Gorilla in Our Midst 69

5 The Anatomy of an Act of God 83

6 The Sand Pile Effect 97

7 The Rules of Life 115

8 Danger Zones 130

2 Survival

9 Bending the Map 151

10 Inside The Right Stuff 172

11 "We're AIL Going to Fuckin' Die!" 193

12 A View of Heaven 217

13 The Sacred Chamber 227

14 A Certain Nobility 247

15 The Day of the Fall 260

Appendix: The Rules of Adventure 278

Selected Bibliography 297

Acknowledgments 303

Index 305

Author's Note 319

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Deep Survival 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
Marquito More than 1 year ago
I read this book because it was on the reading list. I went into with an open mind, and I was ready to see how surviving traumatic events were linked to everyday life; well, I wasn't disappointed. * Control your fear by laughing/smiling/making fun at it, and be cool. This actually works. I used it in a meeting and a confrontation on the subway. The be cool mantra rings in my head and it works. * Plans don't always work; rely more on emotional response. I have found myself stuck on a plan and explaining away obvious cues and issues. I can acknowledge it now, and I have even found myself thinking - am I explaining this away? * It's ok to resign into a situation but not give up. It's true you come full circle. The "is what it is" mentality has pulled me through difficult times. There are many other points; not all equally valuable (at least to me). It's a good read; so, enjoy.
samiam89 More than 1 year ago
Deep Survival is gripping, not only because of Gonzales's tales of death and survival but because of the brain science he presents, simplified to apply to everyone. He humbles the elite outdoor sportsman, the weekend warriors, and the average person by causing personal reflection and insight into your own survival skills.

Gonzales reveals ways to discern your inner voice of reason from the struggle with emotion during a survival situation. He explains how a survivor's brain works both for and against them and how they need the voice of reason to be the loudest voice they hear. He also discusses how prior training and experience can help you save your own life, or contribute to losing it.

This book should be taught in every high school to provide teens with a hunger for exploring their world balanced with ways to prepare for the unexpected survival moments we all inevitably encounter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rambling thoughts without clear objectives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has some interesting stories, but the author interrupts them with pages of technical discussion that are often peripheral to true understanding; there's a lot of discussion of psychology and neurochemistry that don't illuminate the subject.
Nhug5280 More than 1 year ago
When confronted with a life-threatening situation, 90% of people freeze or panic this book is about what the remaining 10% do to survive and thrive. It is written by Laurence Gonzoles, who has written for national geographic and other nature magazines. His writing style is a bit jumpy and confusing at times, but that is also what makes it a fun read. He uses a lot of imagery and first hand knowledge to seem like he really knows what he is talking about. Deep Survival goes through many real life scenario which entail survival themes. From snowmobilers in the backcountry, to hikers on mount hood. Almost every type of survival is talked about in depth. The major theme throught the entire book is that those with the will to survive will survive, it doesnt matter the tools at your disposal. Another message in the book is that all training you have will go out the window when your running on pure adrenalin; once that fight of flight response is engaged, those are your only two options. This is not your normal survival handbook that tells you what you need to know, the only message that this one tells you to bring out into the woods to survive is that you must want to survive. What I liked most about this book is his seemingly experienced attitude, like he knew what he was talking about. This really made the book believable and a true non-fiction experience. This I didn’t really enjoy about this book were the jumpy ramblings not having todo with survival, or his oh so canny way of relating everything back to his grandfather. We get it bro, your grandfather is your hero, he doesn’t need to be in every paragraph although. I also didnt like how long this book was for the message it was getting at; it didnt need all 15 chapters, it could have gotten away with just 5. In the end I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars for the messages and evidence it had, this could have been 4 stars if it was just presented in a better way.
TheDancingGoats on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Deep Survival, A concept with application in more profound places than nature.Heavy industry, the human created Balrog¿by weight and capital is plagued by disaster after disaster. Lives lost. Treasure burned.It happens again and again. Same deaths, same destruction, same result. Everyone stands aroundand wonders why.Gonzalez nails it¿Chaos theory and complexity¿they predicate disaster. This makes disaster a natural result of human designed systems. The more complex, the more likely prone to disaster¿but don¿t think about that the next time you press a button on an elevator or climb into a shiny tube that hurls along next to the speed of sound.The one million part Space Shuttle with a predicted failure rate of one in 60 flights¿The answer is just this: Simplify. At all costs¿Another book that is a key to hidden knowledge. Read it and open doors.
NateJordon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Deep Survival" is not just a series of flesh-eating tales of survival, it is a deep investigation into what it takes to survive in life-threatening situations. Gonzales deftly combines factors of psychology, emotionality, spirituality, and physicality as the premier forces that determine who lives, who dies, and why.
Philotera on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is, imo, an absolute requirement for anyone who is interested in the mechanism of what makes a survivor. it consists of stories, anecdotes and analysis. I found it fascinating and that it correlated with my own experience. Highly recommended.
nyiper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the best books I've read. It was fascinating and written in such an engaging way, full of detailed true stories---a real page turner but full of so much research about the mind and the body ---the physical, emotional reactions to changes that all of us experience that are life altering in their effects and complexity. The Appendix is a wonderful ending to this book, along with the list of books in the selected bibliography. the Appendix pulls it all together in a "so now what do I do?" approach.
chrisrys on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be an excellent and informative look at the psychology differentiating "survivors" and "non-survivors." Gonzales draws upon a number of death-defying tales, personal anecdotes, scientific research studies, and classic intellectual works in an effort to determine what (if any) steps could help an individual or group of individuals survive in a given situation. The writing is fascinating at times, makes a ton of sense logically, and weaves a diverse set of experiences into a coherent set of directives for the reader. My only criticism is that the overabundance of personal stories and a bit too much repetition in the name of tying the points together detracts from the message, but overall a great and exciting read.
rivkat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book a lot less engaging than I wanted to. Gonzales argues that being a survivor is fundamentally about being both prepared and open: prepared, in having certain skills that allow you to survive in the environment in which you find yourself (like knowing how to make a fire in the wilderness) and open¿picking up on signs from your surroundings and responding to them; making rational plans but being flexible when necessary.Though many of the stories were striking and intense, I felt like there was a lot of padding in the book¿huge amounts of repetition, especially of catchphrases about the brain (panic bad; distanced rationality good). And Gonzales basically assumed rather than defined ¿survivor,¿ even though he also noted that some people who do everything right die anyway because the challenges are too great and some people who don¿t do things right don¿t die because they are lucky, so ¿survivor¿ turns out to mean something in between ¿someone who has the fortitude to survive crisis¿ and ¿someone who possesses attributes of which I approve.¿ Most of the survival stories are wilderness or shipwreck based, though there are a couple of 2001 World Trade Center stories. And there¿s a fair amount about Gonzales¿ attempt to emulate his war hero/bombing raid crash and war camp survivor father by taking extreme risks and flying stunt planes, which did not seem to me to be very comparable. At the end Gonzales steps back to argue that it¿s not just natural for humans to do things like climb dangerous mountains that regularly kill people, but also admirable, because (at least if they do it with training and knowledge of the risks they¿re taking) they live more fulfilling lives. Um, maybe, for them? But I concluded that smug outdoorsmen are really no more fun to listen to than smug marrieds.
Adrianesc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was fascinated by reading the personality traits of survivors. I find it interesting to put myself in the place of the people in the situations and consider what I would do.
Nerd_Girl985 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The premise behind the book is interesting and some of the stories that the author uses to illustrate his points are compelling. However, the author's writing style was somewhat disjointed and appeared to be an attempt to artificially inflate the drama of the already compelling situations that were being referenced. I was distracted and pulled out of my reading experience every time the author related personal anecdotes to make a point. It was as though the author really wanted to write a gripping memoir about all of the "death-defying" things that he had accomplished but he couldn't find a publisher so he wrote this book and peppered it with as many of his adventures as possible.
Sovranty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book won't give you the expert tips or knowledge required to survive a catastrophic event of any kind, be it emotional, financial, or physical. What it does give you is the path to build a stronger mental capacity for such events; this mental ability/will is what Gonzales believes is at the center of every survivor. Highlighting the need for personal responsibility in every matter at every level is what made me read to the end.While a better read than Everyday Survival (which I read first), it is still not the seamless structure I was expecting. Gonzales uses dramatic real-life events to example his survival theory. It becomes difficult to read when Gonzales continues to example the examples with other stories (mainly of his own personal accounts), as it feels like the stories circle themselves into the ground. Having read both Survival books, if you intend on reading at least, read Deep Survival, but don't expect to be blown away by the answers to "Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why."
MrDowney on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book will change you. It's compellingly written, hard to put down, and really makes you stare off into space in wonderment.
co_coyote on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book started slowly for me, but as I kept reading it became more and more fascinating. I've spent quite a lot of time outdoors in the mountains and I could find the truth of what Gonzales writes about (both good and bad) in my own experiences of becoming lost and disoriented as hypothermia set in. Even worse, I could see the panic, loss of focus, narrowness of vision, and general idiocy taking over in my tennis match last night when I was starting to be slaughtered by a 15 year old. Fortunately, I remembered what I read, slowed down,and took a couple of deep breaths. Before I knew it, a couple of old-man lobs had the kid back under control.
JerryColonna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terrific. Can't praise this enough. The subject is fascinating in and of itself but the applications for this thinking are broad and profound. On one level, this is about people who survive extreme conditions. But, on a deeper level, this is about each of us and the ways we survive (or not) the travails of every day life. Thanks to Ben Saunders to sharing it with me and thanks to Ann Mehl for prompting to read it.
markmobley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a revelation to me. I chose it because I saw a "Buy 2 and Get 1 Free" sign and it looked interesting. That was the understatement of the year.I did most of the reading in the Starbucks of NYC and was so amazed at the insights that I decided to read this book once per year for the rest of my life.It masquerades as a book about survival situations, but in truth it delves in to the recesses of the mind and spirit. Gonzales has lived this book from the day he was born. He has been driven by the specter of the coolest living father to drive himself beyond all limits. In finding the limits, he has brought back information that the rest of us can use to live in a much more mundane world.He freely quotes ancient sources, from Stoic philosphers to biblical authors. But the context is never dogma, only living interpretation. It reveals so much of why you have felt the way you have felt and reacted the way you have reacted. Not only that, it lays out a roadmap for understanding and mastering your physiological and psychological reactions, bringing you to the top of your game.I am not sure if Gonzales could top it. It is his Magnum Opus.
khuggard on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting but inadequately executed book. Deep Survival attempts to answer the question "what makes people survivors?". To do so, Gonzales presents us with stories of survival glued together by scientific and psychological research. The stories are fascinating; the scientific glue is not. That's not to say there aren't interesting tidbits found in the scientific explanations, but overall Gonzales does a poor job of relating his facts to his stories. The overall technique ends up being a little bit jumpy and hard to follow as he tells a little bit of story, explores some science, gets back to the story, interjects another story, explores some more science and finally gets back to the original story. I also felt that Gonzales interjected his own experiences too much. He seemed to want to relate to every dramatic survival experience he related. He does share one relevant story about getting lost on a hike. But most of his personal relationships to the overall theme seem contrived and after so many of them he comes off as a little egotistical. I did finish this book because like I said the adventure stories were fascinating and I knew that if I could get through the long-winded but somehow inadequate explanations, I would get to another one.
colinsky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fun read. Interesting stories of survival, the main theme being an attempt to define the difference between those who make it and those who don't.
rcgibson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Case studies of what people do when confronted with a life or death situation. Even if you're not an adventurer, it's still fascinating reading. One of those books that should be required reading in every middle school.
mms on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Picked up this one on a lark - love adventure/survival stories. Could NOT put it down. Chapters divided by at-risk human behavior (including group dynamics), complete index, extensive bibliography, a last chapter that is an essay that should be entitled "OK, Now What Have We Learned", and an introduction that will knock your socks completely off make up this work of "Deep Survival".
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