In the second book of the 299 Days Series, The Collapse, we see the early stages of an economic collapse scenario. In The Collapse, Glen Tate captures some of the unpredictable nature of real life. Events seldom go as planned and they certainly don’t for Grant Matson, who has gone to great lengths to prepare for the safety of his family in the hard times ahead. With so many factors beyond his control, preparation for every situation just isn’t possible. People will make poor decisions, especially when they are blinded by their belief that everything will return to normal, otherwise known as the “normalcy bias”. This is when people just can’t accept that their situation has changed drastically. Often they will disregard or even ignore evidence from their environment that indicates that the new situation is different and indeed dangerous. Grant’s wife Lisa embodies the concept of normalcy bias perfectly. Living her entire life under the shelter of normal, civilized conditions, Lisa is unable to see that the rules have changed with the apparent lack of police and emergency response. It becomes clear after reading this book that normalcy bias is already a widespread phenomenon. How many people do you know that would ignore a collapse situation until it was no longer possible? Oh wait, that would include almost everybody, wouldn’t it?…Most people today carry on with “life as usual”, ignoring every indication that we are indeed on the precipice of some economic calamity. If such a collapse did occur, we are talking a major shift in thinking. …[start of rant…as small, personal example of how self-sufficiency goes so much against the grain, recently with the new addition of 12 hens to the family, I had someone ask me “…you ever hear of a grocery store?”, in a very sarcastic way. For a while, I actually considered this comment, even to the point where I doubted my own efforts. However, after some consideration, I realized that it was this other person that was indeed deluded…The idea that things just come from “somewhere else” with no thought of what this “somewhere else” is all about could just be part of the problem with the modern world. Collapse illustrates what happens when that “somewhere else” becomes “right here, right now”. “The buck stops here” or maybe it always did, except for the thin veil of modern society. Maybe our modern culture was constructed to keep this cold, hard reality at bay. Anyway, I digress. Rant complete]… Without going into too much detail to spoil the book, Lisa is in for a wakeup call. 299 Days: The Collapse does make some political commentary, but I think it goes beyond the traditional right/left political paradigms. I have yet to hear a good argument against the benefits of personal responsibility. So far I am very impressed with the 299 Days Series! The Collapse is a great story with an excellent message, useful information and realistic, likeable characters. I’m really looking forward to the release of the next books in the series!