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Extended Audio Sample Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why: True Stories of Miraculous Endurance and Sudden Death Audiobook, by Laurence Gonzales Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.0005808887598 out of 53.0005808887598 out of 53.0005808887598 out of 53.0005808887598 out of 53.0005808887598 out of 5 3.00 (3,443 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laurence Gonzales Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2017 ISBN: 9781538442715
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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.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne | 2/18/2014

    " The book gathers pace as you progress so persevere through the first half. Easy reading and enlightening with a good summary to allow the reader to 'close' the book with satisfaction on finishing. Recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 surfurbian | 2/11/2014

    " Nice explanation of the shortcomings created by overconfidence in one's expertie. Outlines principles that can be easily abstracted and applied to a multitude of situations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue Jonson | 2/10/2014

    " One of the three best books I've ever read. It's about the psychology of surviving a disaster. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori Tobias Christiansen | 2/9/2014

    " A friend bought this book for my husband and he loved it so much, I had to read it. It's about surviving trouble in the outdoors, but it's a really a handbook for life in all situations. What I took from it, among many other things, is: keep an open mind, focus on living, look for opportunities, believe you will survive and that you are lost only if you believe you are lost. One very practical tip, when walking somewhere make a mental note of things at many turns. Some native cultures sing themselves a map. Gonzales is such a fine writer and took what could have been a very boring topic and made it hugely interesting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andreas | 1/26/2014

    " ...didn't finish. Got the point after a few chapters - felt useless after that... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 1/25/2014

    " Relates surviving in the wilderness to everyday life, changes they way I think about difficult situations. Laughed out loud many times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 1/19/2014

    " In depth examination of what makes a survivor. Well researched and well told, a must read for fans of outdoor wilderness stories and survival types. Anyone that plans on ever leaving their couch for more than a trip to the fridge should read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edward H. Busse, III | 1/17/2014

    " He nails it - why do some people survive and others don't in the exact same situation? Mr. Gonzales provided me with the inside track into the psychology behind success and failure in survival and gave me a whole new appreciation for what it takes and how to get it done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat Aderhold | 1/14/2014

    " Brilliant. A great discussion of the power of emotions and our need to corral them so they don't break us. Wonderful compelling stories, scintillating prose and compelling subject matter. Read it, please. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendell | 11/25/2013

    " Fascinating book! It was a little hard to start, but then I changed mentality. Approach this one as a text book and investigation into the complexities of nature's nature and it will be much better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kara | 11/22/2013

    " I just couldn't get into this book. The author speaks a lot about brain function, and when reading while tired it is very hard to follow. The survival stories are exciting, but these are only a small part of the book. The author also goes off on tangents and repeats himself a lot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorna | 10/15/2013

    " I really enjoyed the "Zen-ness" of this book. After I stopped being intimidated by all the science the whole point came together for me. This is a special book with information that could help you when stranded on mountain side. It can also be useful for a particularly bad day at work. Read this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 10/9/2013

    " It just wasn't right for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendra | 10/9/2013

    " It is non-fiction and some of the neurological information was way beyond me but I thought this was a fascinating book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Glenn | 8/16/2013

    " an interesting perspective on how the brain works. the author has some pretty incredible survival stories, and has reported on some pretty incredible non-survival stories. Bottom line: be careful. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth Pratt | 6/19/2013

    " A lot of interesting information about the brain and how it works for us or against us in survival situations. The author, however, is way to high on danger-sports, which I consider a waste of time at best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 4/1/2013

    " Another top five all time:) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wesley Blixt | 2/14/2013

    " Pompous and tedious in places, and written a little too much like an infomercial. Still extremely valuable insights that will make you want to give to loved ones. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marine | 3/17/2012

    " wow. Book is very well written, contains a lot of stories. Made me think about how I perceive life in general. I definitively have the map bending issue ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hikincatfish | 3/1/2012

    " Great book for the outdoor enthusiast who ever wonders what if...the worse should happen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jimmy Lee | 2/29/2012

    " Can you tell I had a survivalist phase? This book is like mini accounts similar to into thin air, but not as engaging. This is more like a text book, telling stories of people and why they survive and others don't. Still very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nobe | 12/11/2011

    " An amazing book that will challenge your concept of a likely survivor. The author included good stories that drew the reader in to emphasize research and points. The author included a good balance of psychology, philosophy, and practicality of survival. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 cordel anderson | 9/5/2011

    " I remember being amazed in a couple sections that gonales' thesis--that human survival in wilderness settings is not only deeply mysterious and compelling, but also scientifically discernible--wasn't mumbo-jumbo. But the best parts are the fun, manly anecdotes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ronnie | 8/20/2011

    " Lyle read first and we constantly talked about how good it was. One that makes you think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 5/9/2011

    " Deep Survival had some great stories of survival. The author, however, often dragged on about how being overconfident, being underprepared and wanting a thrill ended up killing people. Worth the read, but skim some of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Markericphillips | 5/4/2011

    " Very different from what I normally read, and an interesting look at reasons why some survive and others don't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Moonstruck | 4/11/2011

    " You will have a great respect for thinking on your feet after reading this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gavin | 3/19/2011

    " It was a pretty good book. It was a semi-documentary, but it was interesting. If you want to know how some people live when going through hell, then read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taunya | 1/13/2011

    " *** good book, too many stats for me "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean | 1/1/2011

    " Okay book. Nothing surprising but interesting stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd | 12/27/2010

    " Rarely does one find an author who is able to give voice to the deep spiritual and intellectual experience that a life of adventure entails. Mr. Gonzalez does just that. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeremy | 12/8/2010

    " I mistakenly judged this book by its cover. I stopped reading at about p 60. The author presents a great deal of scientific information about the workings of the brain and the self without explaining where he got the information from and without making it accessible to a non-specialist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Curtis | 12/1/2010

    " Not what you'd think from the title it's a book more about psychology from what i gather. "

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About the Author

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, Illinois.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014, and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.