Sunday, March 8, 2009

Review: The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood

~Another Review from my husband Greg~

*This is a review on the audio book edition*

As the executive producer of ABC’s Good Morning America, Ben Sherwood became fascinated by the many astounding survival stories presented by a variety of guests on the show. He came to wonder what it took to make it through impossible situations and live to tell about it, especially considering that most of those involved were often otherwise ordinary seeming individuals. This fascination lead to both a book and a web site dedicated to the phenomenon.

Be careful though, this is not a MacGyver style survival guide. It is more about the personality traits and belief systems involved in survival. And when we speak of “survival”, it is not limited to plane crashes, car accidents and the like; rather it is in the broader context of all of life’s greater challenges which includes such things as health conditions, loss of loved ones, and financial hardship.

I found most of the survival anecdotes fascinating, although quite frankly, some of them did make me cringe a bit. I’ll refrain from revealing too much, but among those I found most compelling were; the woman impaled by a knitting needle through her heart and how it saved her life, the only pilot known to survive an ejection at over Mach 1 (faster than the speed of sound), and the Serbian flight attendant who made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the person who survived a free fall from the greatest height, namely 33,000 feet!

In addition to exploring a repertoire of survival experiences, the book also includes a toolkit to help you discover your own “survivor personality”. This portion of the book relies heavily on "The Survivors club" website ( you can link to HERE) which includes a sophisticated survivor profile test along with many other survivor oriented resources. Unfortunately, I was unable to take the test due to the site’s insistence that I either upgrade or switch to a different browser. You don’t have to be a software engineer like myself to understand that this is inexcusable when there are several trillion websites already out there that work perfectly fine with Internet Explorer 6.0. So for me, the site remains a mystery. Still, I was able to infer my survivor profile from the description of the five types (The Fighter, The Believer, The Connector, The Thinker, and The Realist).

The audio book concludes with an interview with the author along with some words on how this research has personally affected his own life.

Aside from its educational and entertainment value, the book is a solid resource for those looking to both assess and improve their awareness and survival quotient for a range of crisis situations, some uncommon and some mundane, those which many of us will inevitably face. I’ll rate the book 4 out of 5 in its class (5 once the website is fixed). This book has life changing potential for its readers and I firmly believe that lives will be both saved and extended as a result of disseminating the wisdom garnered from this book.

Unabridged version is available in CD and Digital Download formats.
Also available in hardcover and e-book.
Find out your Survivor IQ by taking the quiz.

Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book Group.

*Enter the giveaway to win your own copy of the audiobook edition of The Survivors Club.

Find all of the details HERE.


  1. Greg,
    Excellent review which made me want to read this book. I think this is also a book that my husband would enjoy reading!!

  2. I enjoyed the survival stories and tips in this one, but the psychology part just didn't work for me. I'm glad you liked it.

  3. I'm listening to this one right now in the car, and I've liked it so far. It's too bad the website didn't work for you!

  4. Interesting review. I love audiobooks, so I'd enjoy giving this a listen.

  5. As I was reading your review, somehow I knew that a software engineer wrote the review (before I read the part that you're a software engineer). How did I know? I'm a software engineer. It takes one to know one! Very thorough and thoughtful review by the way.

  6. Wow that was a great review. The book sounds interesting and informative. I love that it is an audiobook.

  7. I would love this book Please enter me to win


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