It would be nice to write that I have accomplished something of significance in the last few days, but it wouldn't be true. Other than working my way through the labyrinth of the state motor vehicle department to solve the "you can't have your cars in Ohio" issue, I haven't done anything constructive.
For the most part, I have been sleeping and reading. Mostly sleeping. Why I have no idea, but one good thing about being retired is you can pretty much do what you want to do. That includes sleeping all day.
I read Lights Out again. Can't think how many times I've read it since it was released in book form back in 2010, but several times.
Lights Out details the aftermath of an EMP event. Crawford was not a professional writer, and if the book was edited the editor was not particularly good at his job. Like a lot of survivalist fiction, you just have to be willing to put up with an unpolished final product in order to enjoy the book. If basic grammatical errors drive you crazy, you'd be well advised to pass. However, in the survivalist genre, that would mean missing some of the very best books.
At the time this book started showing up on the net, a lot of basic tenets of the survivalist philosophy were being questioned, just as the same issues were being considered by the population at large. Crawford tried to delve into these and to show a workable solution to what he considered to be inevitable societal changes, particularly in gender roles. There were also tumultuous discussions going on about the place of government in an individual's life, what obligations people have to one another, about the use of force in self defense, and the nature of the society that might replace the current system post collapse. There is a great deal of radical feminism in the book. The writer tries to reconcile the views of extreme feminism with reality, and fails abysmally but you have to say at least he had the courage to tackle the subject.
As always when you are talking about survivalist authors, Crawford went to such pains to insulate himself from charges of sexism or racism that that there are inconsistencies and outright anomalous weaknesses in his plot. His protagonists include heroic Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans while his villains are all brutish white motorcycle gangs or redneck thugs. You can hardly fault him for that. It's a facet of American society now that people in positive role models as shown by the media are generally minorities, while those who are shown breaking into your house at night to steal your television are invariably white. Statistics don't bear these portrayals out but political correctness makes it obligatory. It's just something else you have to hold your nose and swallow if you want to learn from the book.
One thing you have to give the author, he does know survivalism. If you read the book, it's loaded with useful information on how to do things, how to build things, how to solve problems. Not just philosophical things but hard facts, such as how to put in a windmill to pump water.
The fact that I've read it more than once is the best endorsement I can give it. I'm sure it's still available free on line, but the book is not expensive.(I've since been told it's not available on line for free now) I know a lot of people liked One Second After. So did I. It's better written, smoother in delivery, and not as steeped in political correctness. I'd say read both, rather than just discarding Lights Out because the literary style isn't as good as One Second After.