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Bunker

What It Takes to Survive the Apocalypse

Read by Adam Sims

“A kind of apocalyptic Super Size Me” (The Guardian) that is both “page turning and thoughtful” (Financial Times) about “prepper” communities around the world that are building fortresses against an array of threats.

Currently, 3.7 million Americans call themselves preppers. Millions more prep without knowing it. Bradley Garrett, who began writing this book years before the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, argues that prepping is a rational response to global, social, and political systems that are failing to produce credible narratives of continued stability. Left with a sense of foreboding fueled by disease outbreaks, increasing government dysfunctionality, eroding critical infrastructure, nuclear brinksmanship, and an accelerating climate crisis, people all over the world are responding predictably—by hunkering down.

Garrett traveled across four continents to meet those who are constructing panic rooms, building underground backyard survival chambers, stockpiling supplies, preparing go bags, hiding inflatable rafts, rigging mobile “bugout” vehicles, and burrowing deep into the earth. He has returned with “a big-thinking, deep-diving, page-turning study of fear, privilege, and apocalypse” (Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland) from the frontlines of the way we live now: an illuminating reflection on our age of disquiet and dread that brings our times into new and sharper focus.

With scenes that are “fascinating, amusing, crazy, chilling, and surreally topical” (Douglas Preston, author of Lost City of the Monkey God), Garrett shows that the bunker is all around us: in malls, airports, gated communities, the vehicles we drive. Most of all, he reveals, it’s in our minds.

Photograph by University of Sydney

Bradley Garrett is an American-born cultural geographer who writes about how space is shaped by human curiosity, imagination, and activity. He is the author of five books and more than fifty academic journal articles and book chapters. His research has been featured on media outlets worldwide including the BBC, ABC, and National Geographic and he has written for The Atlantic, the Guardian, and GQ.

More books from this reader: Adam Sims