After her plane crashes, a seventeen-year-old girl spends eleven days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better-equipped
group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference?
Examining such stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death—how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not)—Deep Survival takes us from the tops of snowy mountains and
the depths of oceans to the workings of the brain that control our behavior. Through close analysis of case studies, Laurence Gonzales describes the “stages of survival” and reveals the essence of
a survivor—truths that apply not only to surviving in the wild but also to surviving life-threatening illness, relationships, the death of a loved one, running a business during uncertain times,
and even war. In the end, he finds, it is what’s in your heart, not what’s in your pack, that separates the living from the dead.
Fascinating and absolutely essential for anyone who hikes in the woods, this book will change the way we understand ourselves and the great outdoors.
“Gonzales’ writing is effortless and compelling, and his research is first-rate. I can’t imagine a better book on the topic.” —Sebastian Junger, New York Times bestselling author
“A fascinating look into why we are who we are.” —Bill McKibben, New York Times bestselling author
“Unique among survival books…Stunning…Enthralling. Deep Survival makes compelling, and chilling, reading.” —Denver Post
“Gonzales’ vivid descriptions of life in the balance will stay with readers.” —Publishers Weekly
“Stefan Rudnicki’s reading makes these harrowing anecdotes unfold like fiction. By underplaying the gruesome moments, Rudnicki highlights Gonzales’ excellent research on the neurological, physiological, and psychological strengths needed when people find their lives threatened. This is an exciting listen, filled with amazing stories and helpful tips for everyone.” —AudioFile
“The study of survival offers an illuminating portal into the human psyche, and Gonzales, knowledgeable and passionate, is a compelling and trustworthy guide.” —Booklist
“A superb, entertaining addition to a nature buff’s library—or for anyone not tucked safely away in a bunker.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A feast of excitement and wonder. Makes complexity and chaos come alive, girdled by neurological processes, drenched with fantastic accounts of danger and death. You will see the world differently.” —Charles Perrow, author of Normal Accidents and professor emeritus of sociology, Yale University
“Great stories of disaster and survival where one irresistibly wonders, ‘How would I do in this circumstance?’ combined with revealing science about the physiology and psychology of how we deal with crisis. [Gonzales’] science is accurate, accessible, up-to-date, and insightful. An extremely good book.” —Robert Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers
“Laurence Gonzales has masterfully woven together personal survival stories with the study of human perception to reach rock-bottom truths about how to live with risk.” —Peter Stark, author of Last Breath: The Limits of Adventure
“Deep Survival provides a new lens for looking at survival, risk taking, and life itself. Gonzales takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride that ends with rules of survival we can all stand to learn. Equally important, he answers the question: what is the value of taking risks. I love this book.” —Jed Williamson, editor of Accidents in North American Mountaineering
“Remarkable, unique, and compulsively readable, Deep Survival is three books in one: a compendium of vivid tales of disasters and near misses in the wilderness, a probing analysis of what the latest neuroscience and psychology can tell us about ‘who lives and who dies,’ and, finally, a moving memoir about Gonzales’ father, whose own miraculous survival after a plane crash behind German lines in World War II launched the author on his lifelong quest into the mystery of risk and adventure.” —David Roberts, author of True Summit: What Really Happened on the Legendary Ascent on Annapurna
“Professional rescuers will love this book. It goes to the heart of the instincts that drive us to risk our own lives to save others. Gonzales tells us what we subconsciously know—anything is possible.” —Jacki Golike, executive director of the National Association for Search and Rescue
“Deep Survival is by far the best book on the many insights into epic survival stories I have ever read.” —Daryl Miller, chief of mountaineering, Denali National Park & Preserve
“A gripping and thoughtful investigation of the greatest adventure of all—survival. Through riveting tales of disaster and endurance, Gonzales explores the icy mental clarity that characterizes survivors.” —Jerry Kobalenko, author of The Horizontal Everest: Extreme Journeys on Ellesmere Island
“Should be required reading for anyone venturing off the beaten path.” —Jeff Randall, Peruvian Air Force School of Jungle Survival
Laurence Gonzales is an award-winning author and a contributing editor at National Geographic Adventure. He has written for Outside, Harpers, and
Men's Journal, among other magazines. He has won two National Magazine Awards and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He lives in Evanston,
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