Have you read Surviving Off Off-Grid by Michael Bunker? I reviewed it last year and I liked it very much. It wasn’t a How-To manual but a “Why this is happening and what you can prepare for” kind of book.
Mr. Bunker’s newest book is called, The Last Pilgrims. The Last Pilgrims is set 20 years after a world-wide economic and societal collapse. The main characters are a group of plain people called the Vallenses. The Vallenses seem to be modeled after a real-life group known as the Waldenses who were persecuted as heretical to the point of near extinction in the 12th through 17th centuries.
The Vallenses, led by Jonathan Wall, are surviving in a peaceful agrarian lifestyle in what used to be Texas. A powerful kingdom arises that resents the Vallenses and covets their land. The pacifist Vallenses are faced with a choice to protect their people or join the militia and take up arms.
The best thing about this book for me was the imagery of a simple, agrarian lifestyle. Going far beyond what most people have read about the Plain People in the United States today, Michael Bunker shows us what it really could be like to live completely off the land. He talks about using grey water for irrigation, growing fruit trees, grain stores, drying meat and plants, making medicines and more.
The character development in The Last Pilgrims is pleasing. I always know a book is good when I start to “see” the characters in my mind and “hear” their voices. Michael got this spot on. I felt drawn to the young girl, Ruth, who was a tomboy coming into womanhood. I could see the friendship between Phillip and Jonathan and feel the grief when loved ones died.
I definitely liked the book, and if I had to point out something I didn’t like, I would be hard pressed but I guess it would be all the military tactical speak. Don’t let it put you off though, it actually adds to the reader’s understanding of what exactly is going on the the new world of what once was the US and Mexico.
The book makes you think deeply about the possibility of such a collapse in the real world. You ask yourself, ” Is it possible?” “Could this happen on some level?” And the answer you have to give yourself is, … “Yes.”
You can get a copy of The Last Pilgrims here. If you order with that link, I get a small payment from Amazon.
Tomorrow (Friday 2/24/12) is Book Bomb day at Amazon where we try to get everyone to purchase their copy in one day in order to get the book up into the top 25 books at Amazon. I think it’s a great idea and I hope you’ll buy a copy then.
The author sent me a digital copy of The Last Pilgrims at no charge so that I could read and review it. I was not reimbursed by the author in any other way and I was not required to give a positive review for the book, I simply like it and wanted to let you know about it.