Book Review by Aarene Storms: The Ultimate Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Ultimate Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook 
by David Borgenicht, Joshua Piven and Ben H. Winters
At last, all of the accumlated survival wisdom from the 13 Worst Case Survival books is compiled into one gigantic volume of preparedness. Everything from "How to Wrestle Free from an Alligator" to "How to Survive an Alien Abduction," from "How to Remove Stains from Carpet" to "How to Jump from a Building into a Dumpster," and from "How to Treat a Severed Limb" to "How to Survive Nuclear Fall Out" -- it's all here, plus much more.

With important points emphasized in red print, and line drawings to illustrate important concepts, the information is presented clearly, concisely, and with characteristic humor. You may never need to know "How to Stop a Car With No Brakes," but there's no telling when you might need to know "How to Detect a Letter Bomb" or "How to Survive a Zombie Attack."

The information is great, and the book is easy--and fun--to read. I wish the authors had cited their source material. They say that their material has been derived from "experts in the subjects at hand, as recorded by accomplished journalists and writers." The Table of Contents is useful, but there is no index, making the book more of a browsing favorite than an actual survival resource.

The book contains descriptions of bloody situations (plane crashes, bear attacks, and accidental dismemberments), and sexual situations (including fake sexual situations, as in "How to Fake an Orgasm"), as well as descriptions of unwise activities (sword fights, crossing buildings on a wire, and breaking into cars). The humor diffuses most of the situations that some readers may find offensive.

Recommended for recreational readers and survival wonks, ages 12 to adult.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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