Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: Lights Out

Lights Out by Ted Koppel has been on my To Read list since I first read the background information on the book.  I enjoy non-fiction books but felt this was an especially important book to read.  The basis of the book can be summed up by the following:  "Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before."  Rather than being the plot of the next Hollywood blockbuster, this is a possible scenario.  

As much as I anticipated reading this book, I was uncertain how I felt about it after it was over.  The first section of the book was spent convincing readers that a terrorist attack on our power grid resulting in major consequences was possible.  I cannot speak for other readers, but I chose this book based on the fact that I believe something like this is possible.  I did not need approximately 90 pages to convince me of that point.

Mr. Koppel also focused quite a bit on history which I will agree is important.  Already America seems headed in the direction of repeating history. I do see the point of a history lesson.  The problem is that very few people remember what it is like to be totally without electricity.  The radical changes would be a major adjustment from our current way of life.

One thing that annoyed me is that the book states that in the Biblical account of the floods in Genesis that Noah built the ark in seven days.  I immediately stopped reading to check that "fact".  After reading for myself and checking several references (written and actual people), I could not find anything to back up that statement.

In the end I felt the book was well written but could have been better written.  Perhaps it is meant for people who do need convincing that the government and industries do not have everyone under control.  I would have liked to read less about the whys and more about the aftermath and what can be done.  Nevertheless I would recommend the book.

disclosure:  I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review with no other compensation given.  All opinions are my own!

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