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Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life

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With the same sharp eye, quick with, and narrative drive that marked his bestsellers The Game, The Dirt, and How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Neil Strauss takes us on a white-knuckled journey through America's heart of darkness as he scrambles to escape the system. It's one man's story of a dangerous world—and how to stay alive in it.

I've begun to look at the world through apocalypse eyes. It usually begins in airports. That's when I get the first portent of doom. I imagine explosions, sirens, walls blown apart, bodies ripped from life.

Then, as I gaze out of the taxi window after arriving in a new city, I see people bustling around on their daily routine, endless rows of office buildings and tenements teeming with activity, thousands of automobiles rushing somewhere important. And it all seems so solid, so permanent, so unmovable, so absolutely necessary.

But all it would take is one war, one riot, one dirty bomb, one natural disaster, one marauding army, one economic catastrophe, one vial containing one virus to bring it all smashing down. Wive seen it happen in Hiroshima. In Dresden. In Bosnia. In Rwanda. In Baghdad. In Halabja. In New Orleans.

Our society, which seems so sturdily built out of concrete and custom, is just a temporary resting place, a hotel our civilization checked into a couple hundred years ago and must one day check out of. It's an inevitability tourists can't help but realize when visiting Mayan ruins, Egyptian ruins, Roman ruins. How long will it be before someone is visiting American ruins?

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