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Book Review: The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook

Don't leave home without it.

by Mark D. Johnson
February 6, 2001

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Book Review: The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook_Mark D. Johnson-Don't leave home without it. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook
By Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht
Published by Chronicle Books, 176 pages

Everywhere you go these days, there is talk about the hit TV show “Survivor” which has sparked an interest in survival skills in the wild. Of course, the show’s contestants are never really in any serious physical danger, and the winner is the one who best survives the social perils with the other castaways. But if you’ve ever wondered how you do actually survive dire situations, The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook is sure to keep you entertained as well as informed. The authors consulted experts on the various subjects as to the strategies they would employ in life-or-death experiences. Though the chances of finding yourself in any of the predicaments mentioned in the book are extremely slim, a tiny percentage of people actually do have to deal with these things and would fare much better having read this manual.

The book’s five sections deal with escapes, defense, big leaps, emergencies, and adventure survival. Here is a sampling of the topics covered:
  • How to survive a poisonous snake attack
  • How to break down a door
  • How to win a sword fight
  • How to take a punch
  • How to jump from a building into a dumpster
  • How to identify a bomb
  • How to perform a tracheotomy
  • How to land a plane
  • How to survive if you are in the line of gunfire

The techniques are revealed through step-by-step instructions and diagrams.

The handbook is a must for any true outdoor adventurist, and an intriguing (and possibly life-saving) diversion for the rest of us. The collection of highly unlikely circumstances outlined in the table of contents strikes one as pleasurably absurd, yet we quickly begin to wonder: how would a person fend off a shark or survive adrift at sea?

This book is an excellent (and timely) gift idea. Memo for future contestants on “Survivor”: be sure to read the chapter “How to Make Fire Without Matches.” It even tells you to practice at home first before going out into the wilderness.

Available at amazon.com. click here for details.

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