The difference here is that the authors have addressed the kind of glitches, pitfalls, disasters and conundra one might encounter when sojourning in distant or hostile lands. Hence there are sections offering advice on: How to Control a Runaway Camel; How to Survive in Frigid Water; How to Pass a Bribe; How to Deal with a Tarantula; and so on. Some of the problems and chapters might seem a little far-fetched and remote (How to Cross a Piranha-infested River); others all-too local and everyday to be confined to a travel book (How to Survive a Mugging). Each and every chapter is clearly written, accompanied by simple but effective illustrations, and derived from the accumulated wisdom of top survival experts in various armies, navies, academies and universities. There's also a very handy appendix dealing with general travel tips, such as which thumb-gestures to avoid when you don't want to insult the natives, and how to say, "Hello, I have been seriously wounded" in Japanese. This is a must-pack for all modern adventurers. --Sean Thomas
Quick: You're on an elevator when the cable snaps, plunging you into free fall. What do you do? Jump in the air at the moment of impact, right? Sure, except that the elevator "will likely collapse...and crush you," note the authors of the bestseller "The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook." The right answer: Lie flat on the floor to distribute the impact. In deadpan tone, Piven and Borgenicht advise how to survive a plane crash, remove a leech (burning it off will make it regurgitate, causing infection who knew?) and escape from the trunk of a car. The scenarios owe a debt to action flick clich's how often do you find yourself leaping from rooftop to rooftop? but their utter implausibility doesn't make this read any less riveting.