Survivor Stories: Fiction

(Updated September 2006)

Almost everyone appreciates a good adventure story of humans struggling to overcome challenging situations. Here are just a few of the books with survival themes available from the Wolfner Library collection.

To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through our OPAC. Happy Reading!

Airframe by Michael Crichton.
RC 43760.
The flight of a Norton jet from Hong Kong to Denver ends badly with three dead and more than 50 others injured. Casey Singleton, Norton's quality assurance representative, must determine what caused the mid-air accident before the press crucifies the company and a huge contract is jeopardized. Strong language.

Airport by Arthur Hailey.
RC 26524.
A behind-the-scenes look at a big international airport. On a night of raging wind and snow Mel Bakersfield, the manager, is beset by a number of problems from a little-old-lady stowaway to a bomb explosion aboard a jetliner.

Antarctic Navigation by Elizabeth Arthur.
RC 40601.
From the time she was a child, Morgan Lamont has wanted to duplicate Robert Falcon Scott's 1912 expedition to the South Pole by using the same route, equipment, and rations Scott used. She wants to prove that Scott's plan could have worked. As she tries, Lamont will cross over the ice by the Antarctic and be changed by it.

The Aviator by Ernest K. Gann.
RC 15869, BR 4956.
In 1928, pilot Jerry takes off northward, carrying the mail and a passenger, 11-year-old Heather. Suddenly, the plane falters and Jerry crashes into mountainous terrain. Though they both survive, Heather is badly injured, and their hope of rescue is dim.

Blue at the Mizzen by Patrick O'Brian.
RC 49105, BR 12454.
After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin are ordered to Chile to help liberate the country from Spain. But half of the crew deserts and the Surprise encounters disaster at sea. Aubrey-Maturin Novels, Book 20. Series Code AUM.

A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan.
RC 44181, BR 10974.
Recounts the 1944 battle of Arnhem, and the daring Allied airborne assault on Nazi-occupied Holland. The attack, which was intended to capture a crucial bridge and end the war early, resulted in heavy losses and a defeat for the Allies. Companion to The Longest Day (RC 38896, BR 9765). Violence.

Captive Passions by Fern Michaels.
RC 35469.
Sirena Gordez is accompanying her devout sister Isobel to Java for Isobel's arranged marriage to Dutch Regan van der Rhys. When pirates attack their ship, Sirena and a young shipmate are the only survivors. Blaming van der Rhys for the attack, Sirena devises a plan for revenge. Captive series, Book 1. Series Code CAP. Strong language, violence and explicit descriptions of sex.

The Coconut Book by Richard Maynard.
RC 25875.
A subtle psychological version of the Robinson Crusoe story that captures the trials of a man in isolation, fighting to survive physically and mentally on a sandy, barren island in the South Pacific. Some descriptions of sex.

Dinosaur Planet Survivors by Anne McCaffrey.
RC 29690.
Forty years after Kai and Varian go into cold sleep to avoid capture by the mutineers who have taken over the planet Ireta, they awake to find things are even worse. Not only are the mutineers still around, but so are their descendants, while space pirates and the alien Theks are headed towards the planet. Ireta series, book 2. Series Code IRT.

Down the Long Hills by Louis L’Amour.
RC 20424, BR 5396.
When Indians massacre a party of settlers heading west, seven-year-old Hardy Collins and his three-year-old sister are left alone with only a horse and a knife with which to face the hardships of the wilderness. Winner of the Golden Spur Award.

The Feather and the Stone by Patricia Shaw.
RC 38564.
Sibell Delahunty is on her way to Australia when the ship capsizes and her parents are lost. One of a few survivors, she is taken in hand by Irishman Logan Conal, who delivers her to some family friends. Violence, strong language and some descriptions of sex.

Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut.
RC 23831.
A quasi-science fiction novel told by the million-year-old ghost of Leon Trotsky Trout, decapitated Vietnam veteran. In his tale, a handful of unlikely castaways on an island in the Galapagos gradually realize they are destined to become the ancestors of the future human race because the rest of the world becomes sterile and dies out.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King.
RC 48270, BR 12212.   
While her brother and mother argue up ahead on the Maine hiking trail, nine-year-old Trisha stops to relieve herself and becomes lost for days in the wilderness. Her imaginary conversations with Red Sox relief pitcher Tom Gordon help her cope with the evil thing that is following her. Some strong language.

Hell and Paradise: The Norfolk-Bounty-Pitcairn Saga by Peter Clark.
RC 29798.
Intriguing history of two Pacific islands, Pictairn and Norfolk. Uninhabited for millions of years, they first knew human settlements in the eighteenth century when the mutinous crew of the HMS Bounty found safe harbor there. Includes many anecdotes about the depravity and virtue of human nature.

In the Autumn Wind by Dorothy Stroup.
BR 6963.
This fictionalized account of one Japanese family's struggle to survive the August 1945 bombing of Hiroshima offers a unique perspective on World War 2. The novel vividly brings to life the daily rituals and routines of a tightly knit Hiroshima community just before the atom bomb is dropped and depicts the utter devastation wrought in the lives of those who survived the explosion. 

The Island by Peter Benchley.
RC 13842, BR 4180.
A journalist and his young son travel to a remote spot southeast of the Bahamas to investigate the disappearance of hundreds of boats carrying more than two thousand people. The obsessed reporter and the boy unwittingly sail into a sinister sea. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.

Island by Thomas Perry.
RC 27579.
An amusing novel of a wily husband-and-wife team who flee with stolen mob money and join forces with a smuggler and an unemployed mercenary to create a Caribbean island haven for tax evaders, gamblers, rich pleasure seekers, and lowlifes. Their utopia prospers for eight years, until aggressive big businesses, invading political organizations, suspicious CIA agents, evil bankers, and some shipwrecked Haitian refugees threaten its survival.

An Island Called Moreau by Brian Aldiss.
RC 19500.
A high ranking State Department official is stranded on a remote island inhabited by grotesque creatures that are half-man, half-animal. He is horrified to learn that the creatures are the product of genetic engineering experiments conducted by a mad scientist. He is even more horrified to learn that the experiments are secretly supported by his own department.

Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells.
RC 50527, BR 4714.
A castaway comes to a mysterious island inhabited by grotesque creatures under the control of two scientists.  Violence.

Jaws by Peter Benchley.
RC 7150, BR 2585
A Long Island resort town tries to cover up a young woman's death when pieces of her shark-ridden body are found along the beach. But the shark strikes again. Some strong language, violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.
RC 32018, BR 9345.
Something is terribly wrong at Jurassic Park on a remote island off the coast of Costa Rica. Visitors and resident are being attacked by strange looking animals that maul them and leave behind a sticky saliva. In reality, dinosaurs cloned and raised by a genetic engineering firm have escaped. Consultants are brought in to solve the problem, but soon everyone is running for dear life. Some strong language and violence.  Also available as a descriptive video, DV 142.

Longshot by Dick Francis.
RC 31971, BR 8315.
John Kendall, a fledgling author of survival manuals, struggles to exist in a frigid attic. When the pipes break, he agrees to write a biography of champion racehorse trainer Tremayne Vickers in return for room and board and a small fee.  His research into Vicker's life turns up the recent murders of two young women. When John gets close to solving the crimes, the murderer forces him to use his own survival advice. Horse Racing series. Series code HRTM. Strong language.

The Lost World by Michael Crichton.
RC 41160, BR 10243.
This sequel to Jurassic Park (RC 32018, BR 9345) is set six years after the dinosaur island park disaster in which humans fought off genetically engineered replicas of prehistoric animals. One survivor of that attack is now a member of a group who returns to the area and meets up with the remaining dinosaurs. Strong language and violence.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
RC 48388, BR 9480.
With horrifying implications, a group of English boys are wrecked on a desert island and have to establish their own system of government.

Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven.
RC 15396.
Astronauts watch with horror from above as earth collides with a comet and chaos reigns among the nations and the survivors. A feisty United States senator's ranch becomes a stronghold against roving armies of cannibals and religious fanatics as he undertakes to build a new civilization. Some strong language.

A Maiden’s Grave by Jeffery Deaver.
RC 49072.
Three escaped prisoners hijack a school bus and take the deaf children and their teachers to a Kansas slaughterhouse. The quickly assembled FBI negotiating team is led by Arthur Potter, who develops an admiration for one of the hostages, deaf teacher Melanie Charrol.  Strong language, violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex.

Malevil by Robert Merle.
RC 8610.
Malevil, a French castle built during the Hundred Years War, is occupied by a small group of survivors of a nuclear explosion which occurred during Easter of 1977. Outside the castle, life is nonexistent and the group endures by sharing with each other and depending on themselves.

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne.
RC 56680, BR 12761.
Adventure story about five men and a dog who are carried out to sea in a balloon and land on a mysterious island. The resourcefulness of the castaways is the theme of this ingenious work.

Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Bernard Nordhoff.
RC 12632, BR 8669.
Based on an actual eighteenth century mutiny, this is the story of sailors rebelling against the brutal life on an English ship, their action against their captain, and their flight to the South Sea Islands. Bounty Trilogy, Book 1. Series Code BOT.

No Greater Love by Danielle Steel.
RC 33938, BR 8746.
Edwina Winfield, her parents and siblings, and her fiancé are all exceedingly happy as they sail home to America aboard the Titanic. But Edwina's life changes forever the night of April 14, 1912 when the Titanic sinks and she is suddenly left with five younger children to care for and her father's newspaper to run.

Northern Lights by Tim O’Brien.
RC 9250.
A psychological adventure set in the rugged arrowhead country of Minnesota. Two brothers, longtime rivals, face a test of survival, when they lose their way on a skiing trip during an unexpected blizzard. Strong language.

Nuns in Jeopardy by Martin Boyd.
RC 9691.
The survivors of an Australian shipwreck include six nuns, four sailors, a rich girl, and a mysterious Mr. Smith who takes charge. They find their way to an uninhabited tropical island, where Smith entices everyone into a state of moral crisis.

Phoenix Rising by Frances P. Statham.
RC 19756.
A gorgeous Atlanta debutante becomes an army nurse during World War 1 so she can search for her brother, who has been shot down over France. Before she can leave the United States, she is abducted by an escaped German prisoner of war and left for dead in the Okefenokee Swamp. Some descriptions of sex.

The Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico.
RC 57051.
The SS Poseidon, a giant ocean liner turned cruise ship, capsizes when caught by a tidal wave. Will the group of survivors be led to safety, and if so, how?

Robert Crews by Thomas Berger.
RC 38720.
Fortyish, alcoholic Robert Crews, becomes a modern day Robinson Crusoe when he is the sole survivor of a small plane crash. Living off a dwindling inheritance, Crews has never held a job and is woefully unprepared to rough it. Forced to improvise, he survives two months before encountering another human. Some strong language.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
RC 27138, BR 9250.
Crusoe runs away to sea, is shipwrecked, and leads a solitary existence on an uninhabited island near the Orinoco River for 24 years. He meets the difficulties of primitive life with ingenuity and at length finds a companion in a native whom he saves from cannibals.

The Satanic Verses by Salmon Rushdie.
RC 29207.
When two Indian-born actors fall from an exploded hijacked airplane onto an English Channel beach, they must overcome violent personal conflicts in order to survive the catastrophe. Gibreel acquires a halo, but Saladin begins to take on the appearance of the devil, and from here on the story becomes a tale of good and evil.

Savages by Shirley Conran.
RC 26025, BR 7050.
Five elegant, pampered corporate wives whose husbands are competing for the presidency of a Fortune 500 company find themselves stranded on a tropical island when their husbands are massacred during a group vacation. In the cannibal-inhabited jungle, they must overcome their jealousies and suspicions and learn to rely on their own wits, strength, and courage if they are to survive.

Sea Story by Sam Llewellyn.
RC 29465.
Seaborne novel follows the adventures of a dozen characters in a Great Circle sailing race lasting almost eight months via Portsmouth-Capetown-Sidney-Rio-Portsmouth. The competitors battle each other, the weather, often their own shipmates, and always the sea. Strong language.

Serpent by Clive Cussler.
RC 48719.
National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) investigators Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala use their aquatic skills and keen minds to try to retrieve a mysterious object from an armored car on the sunken Andrea Doria. They face numerous adventures fraught with complications and impeded by political schemes. Numa Files series. Series Code NUM.

Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz.
RC 44144.
Los Angeles journalist Joe Carpenter is devastated by the loss of his wife and two daughters, who died in a plane crash. A year later, Carpenter is shocked to meet a mysterious woman who claims to have been on that flight. She appears to bring great joy to the crash victim's loved ones, but then they each inexplicably kill themselves. Violence.

The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King.
RC 56081.
"Superflu," an experimental virus that can kill every conceivable type of antibody the human organism can muster against it, hits the United States and the world, rapidly wiping out the whole of civilization, except for the one-half of one percent who are immune. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.

Survivors by Terry Nation.
RC 10562.
A chilling novel about a handful of survivors from a global plague who battle for life in an empty world. Some strong language and some violence. 

Twister by Jack Bickham.
RC 11150.
Disaster epic that examines the lives of people caught up in the consequences of a twister. The character's lives are not the same after facing the whirling horror of a tornado. Some strong language.

The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen.
RC 43888.
Mousy, plain Nell Calder is attending a party on a Greek island when her husband and daughter are killed and she is badly mutilated. But why? Nicholas Tanek investigates as Nell emerges with a gorgeous new face and a new reason to live: revenge. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex.

The Ungodly by Richard Rhodes.
RC 10671.
Compelling story detailing the human suffering and depravity experienced by a group of pioneers who are trapped for the winter by snow in the Sierra Nevada  mountain range. Strong language and violence.

Voyage: A Novel of 1896 by Sterling Hayden.
RC 50128.
Adventure story of Captain Pendleton's ill-starred voyage on the windjammer Neptune's Car around Cape Horn to San Francisco with a cargo of coal. The brawny crew is driven to mutiny and murder by overwork and ill-treatment. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex.

Winter Harvest by Norah Lofts.
RC 21668.
Novel of the American West, inspired by the gruesome ordeal of the Donner party in 1846. Relates the story of two men and two women who for compelling personal reasons seek a new life in California but who become trapped in a high mountain pass where they face slow starvation.

Winter of the White Seal by Marie Herbert.
RC 19860.
Early nineteenth century adventure story tells of Jonathan Horn, the son of a prosperous Liverpool merchant, who runs away from home. Robbed in London, he is then duped into signing on board a sealer and left stranded on an Antarctic island. There he endures hunger and deprivation, and finds comfort in an affectionate relationship with a beautiful white seal pup.

Winter Rage by John Legg.
RC 46946.
Saint Louis, 1832. Colonel Melton hires Nathaniel Squire to lead an inexperienced group into the western mountains on a beaver trapping expedition. Squire lives up to his reputation as a seasoned trapper who knows how to deal with Indians and the other dangers of the winter wilderness. Violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex.