Book Review | Alive!
Authors: Editors of Reader’s Digest
About the Book:
The stories in Alive! highlight life-and-death moments where the will to survive is the only thing that keeps one hanging on when hope seems lost.
In “The Tot and the Twister,” Derek Burnett tells the dramatic story of a grandmother’s determination to protect three children when a tornado rips through her house. In “Terror on the Cliff,” Kenneth Miller recounts hiker Larry Bishop’s harrowing forty-eight hours clinging to the side of a mountain, thoughts of his wife and daughter giving him the courage to await help. And in “Face to Face with a Grizzly,” Kathy Cook describes how two women who are being mauled by a bear summon all of their strength to defy death.
A captivating collection at once gripping and inspiring, Alive! will keep you on the edge of your seat and remind you how ordinary people can do extraordinary things in extreme circumstances.
I knew when I read the description of the book, Alive! that it was one that I wanted to read. I read the news websites on a daily basis and many times the stories are depressing. Alive! is the stories of survivors. These are people who have suffered unimaginable odds and lived to tell about it. I read the book in a matter of two nights. It was engrossing to say the least!
The stories are short and are grouped into sections. For example, section one, titled Facing Mother Nature’s Fury, tells real-life accounts of people who lived through tornadoes, landslides, shipwrecks, firestorms and more. I was tense reading the stories about the twisters. I have been having recurring nightmares for over 10 years about tornadoes. And no I’ve never been in one either!
The second section is called Courting Disaster and features stories of adventure seekers who had some bad luck while on their journey. I’m not the adventurous type and you’ll never hear me say I’m going to climb a mountain or trek across the South Pole. It was something to see how brave these individuals were and how they survived under such brutal conditions.
In The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time, I read about a jet crash in the jungle and a little girl trapped under a 10,000 lb boulder in the mountains. The last section is called At the Mercy of a Wild Animal where I read about attacks of yellowjackets, a shark, mountain lion and bears.
After reading about Shannon Parker’s attack by a mountain lion in California, I had to google her story. I watched her interview on Larry King and was amazed that she was alive! It was a brutal attack and she was very lucky. I don’t know what I’d do if I ever found myself face to face with a wild animal like that.
The stories with the bears hit close to home. Recently in Canada, a woman was killed by a bear in Alberta in a predatory attack. I was reading the news and thinking how awful and imaginable it was. It just made me really appreciate the here and now and be thankful for what I have.
Even though all these real-life accounts in Alive! are harrowing to read, they are also inspiring and proof to me that miracles do happen.