Will to Live: Dispatches from the Edge of Survival

In Will to Live, Les Stroud, host of “Survivorman” and Discovery Channel’s “Les Stroud Beyond Survival,” examines the greatest true stories of endurance and perseverance. By examining real-life survival tales—like the inspiring story of the soccer team stranded in the Andes and immortalized in the bestselling book Alive by Piers Paul Reid—and his own remarkable experiences in the treacherous wild, Stroud demonstrate how seemingly insurmountable obstacles can be overcome by making use of the four critical elements of survival.

Community Review

  • As a survival skills enthusiast I had already owned many survival books. While the information in those books are really good but I found the writing style are confusing and sometimes redundant. But this book, Les Stroud is a good writer. he captured the readers’ heart by good storytelling and simple yet powerful writing style. As a professional published author myself his writing astonishes me and I was hooked up since the first page.
    By telling the real stories of survivors (and also who didn’t survive the ordeals) Stroud clarified what they did right and wrong which I found profoundly useful.
    Most of all, as a personal financial crisis expert myself (I give lectures on this topic for many years) I found the information on survival skills that Stroud laid out thoroughly throughout the book is very useful to financial makeover. Many debtors make the same mistakes as people who got lost in the wilderness : *Fail to read the maps or compass. Fail to prepare in advance. Fail to have backup plans. Only follow the guide or leader and never teach themselves to survive alone. Conflicted group dynamic. Make swift decisions based on fatigue and the need to get home quick . And never think of the worst case scenarios and plan.* These are the common mistakes debtors always do. Therefore I am certain that survival skills can be crucial either you are trapped in the wilderness or in urban life crisis. The skills are to make you get out of trouble ALIVE.
    Parents should have your children read this book. Teachers should hand this book over to students. And life coaches should have the book as an additional guide. It’s 5 stars from me.
  • will to live by survival expert Les Stroud is a collection of different survival stories from all over the world. Interspersed throughout each story is a analysis of the survival strategies displayed and how it worked or could have been done better. These stories are a testament to the human spirit and a demonstration of what one will resort to in order to survive. From survival in the amazon to survival in the Andes mountains where survivors are forced to eat dead humans in order to survive.
    Stressed throughout besides being prepared and organized is the necessity of someone in a group to become the leader to develop a strategy to endure and survive. The ability to improvise, what the author refers to as Macgyverism is paramount in a survival situation .”There are times when you have to sacrifice one object to make it into another , more effective one.”(pg.282). This is shown throughout Will to Live. If you enjoy survival stories and are looking for advice on how to handle dire straits then you will enjoy this collection of stories. Recommended.
  • Why I read this book?
    I’ve been a fan of Les Stroud’s Survivorman and Beyond Survival television shows. There are lots of twists on the televised survival story. Stroud’s is that he goes it relatively alone. He is his own camera crew and, aside from the rescue crew a radio call away, he’s only go himself to count on unless it comes to life of death. Despite his penchant for being dramatic, I really enjoy his survival knowledge. I’ve had a couple of his books Survive and The Will to Live on my Amazon wishlist for some time now.
    My one sentence summary:
    More often than not, the only thing that determines whether a person makes it out of a survival situation is luck and their will to survive.
    Kudos:
    I’ll admit that I am a survival junky so I love reading about the real life survival stories Les Stroud recounts in The Will to Live. The chapters interweave some well-known and perhaps less well-known survival stories with both positive (they lived) and negative (they died) outcomes along with his own experiences before and after he became Survivorman. Stroud also throws in his opinion as a survivalist about what other survivors (or not) could have down with the resources at hand or how he would have wanted to handle the situation.
    Quibbles:
    Stroud’s writing is much like his narration on his TV shows. He likes to be dramatic. Of course when you are reading about life and death survival stories there is no shortage of drama. At times it felt like Stroud was playing arm chair survivalist, except that his credentials make his input more akin to expert opinion.
    Final Verdict:
    High recommend for anyone who is interested in quick rundowns on some amazing stories of survival. If you like Survivorman, you’ll love reading about the behind the scenes of Stroud’s TV programs and the tidbits of his personal life that are thrown in.
  • I found this book to be interesting, but if you’re looking for a lot of personal anecdotes from Les Stroud you may be disappointed.
    In this book, Les examines several real life survival stories. He explains how the people in question got into the situation, what decisions they made an why, and then examines what they did right and what they did wrong. It is very interesting to see how he evaluates them, and more importantly how these stories compare to each other.
    This is not a how-to guide on survival like some of his other books though.
  • Purchased this book by Les Stroud’s reputation and was not overly pleased nor was I disappointed. The book is a compilation of stories and his take on where they went wrong or did something correct. I enjoyed reading it and respect his decisions on most of the stories. Easy for me to say what to do in a warm house, but I give his word more weight. Every story did contain extremely useful information and Les’s sound judgement. Overall I gave it four stars because I am use to Tom Brown Jr’s book formats and wasn’t expecting this format. I think the book is a good one because it tells what to do when normal people get caught off-guard. If you enjoy the series I would suggest this book and Survive, if you haven’t watched the series but are looking at this review check it out. He isn’t like the idiot Bear on Discovery, Les actually will teach you things that can save your life. Plus he doesn’t stay in hotels.

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