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4.1 out of 5 stars15
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 2 June 2007
If you have any other survival books in your home library, don't bother with this one. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, other than it's been written for an international audience and so is very general (covering a wide range of topics in little detail), but it contains exactly the same advice as every other survival book out there. I very much doubt Chris Ryan wrote the whole thing himself, as there're only a few places where his conversational style and anecdotal references become apparent. I bet most of the content was lifted from other manuals.

Now there's nothing wrong with that, you can't expect someone to remember everything off the top of their head, but if you already have a survival manual then you just don't need it. If you actually need a survival guide (and let's face it, few of us ever will) then I would also not recommend using it as your sole reference, since it's not usually detailed enough. Use it to get a general understanding of what you need, then go get more specific information with regards to what you need to know for your circumstances, and about the local environment you'll be entering. (To Ryan's credit, he does actually mention this advice in the book several times.)

Usually this will mean, for example, getting a book or expert instruction on abseiling if that's what you'll be doing, or asking a local ranger's office about the wildlife of your destination.

Having said all that, the book is actually a decent general reference, doesn't seem to contain any bad advice and is fairly well laid out and easy to understand.
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on 27 October 2003
summary: an excellent book that covers a lot of ground
This book's presentational style is loosely "encyclopaedic" with general chapter headings covering the topics you would expect. Within each chapter, topics are covered methodically with as much or as little information as necessary. This is a style that, imho, works very well because superfluous detail is omitted whilst detail that is needed is provided.
At first glance this book is slightly disappointing because the number of illustrations appears low, for instance there are few illustration of food plants, etc.. In that context this book could easily be three times its size. However, once you get into it the book's layout and content is, again imho, first class because nothing important is omitted whilst its clear the superfluous has.
It is the amount of attention to detail in the topics covered that is, for me, most impressive, for instance: removal of sheep ticks is covered in detail when other publications don't mention it at all. (Ticks are a real problem if you pick one up, apart from the disease the may transmit, you can guarantee two to three weeks of a festering wound if you don't remove it "properly" and simply scratch it off.) Another topic that is covered well that is the preparation of game for food and here photographs are used appropriately. In my experience this is an area that is not covered well enough, leaving unanswered questions, and possibly a suffering animal if ill-explained techniques are tried out by someone who is inexperienced. On this point a slight word of warning, the photos of game preparation, whilst minimal and in context, are used to illustrate how to competently prepare your kill.
"Ultimate" as a term to describe a book might easily be penned as over-blown hype from the publisher but in this instance it is a very good description; Chris Ryan covers and impressive amount of ground in this book and, imho, does it well. (Mind you, the publisher gets a metaphorical slap for the typos!)
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on 25 October 2003
I've just taken a close look at the book.
It's a nice one but if I had to say a con,
it would be that the book is a bit too general.
Don't get me wrong, Chris Ryan gives really good advices
in this book.
There are some pictures to better explain some things
but I' d say not enough of them.
The book is quiete thick already so it can explain
why they're only few of them but they could definitely
reduce the pictures taken from the TV Show(Hunting Chris Ryan)
and add some others, more about the subject of the book.
Like I said, this book is good for a general overview but
I saw book more complete than this one.
Being an alpinist, I was really interesting by some of the snow
related thing.I didn't find any word of the easiest snow shelter
to build with a shovel(and this shelter his famous in Siberia): The Snow Hive(a "cheap" igloo).
As well helpful in mountains.
If you want a more complete guide, buy the SAS Survival books.
If you just want a nice book for your home and general useful informations, buy this one.
I do think this book will please most of the people.
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on 6 January 2004
Doesn't live up to the hype, and certainly not ultimate.
Covers a wide range of topics, but very quickly and with varying detail. The diagrams are limited and poorly referenced from the text.
Interesting overview, and a basis for further reading, but there are more comprehensive and detailed reads out there.
Hate to say he is cashing in on the series, but it reeks of it...
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on 17 July 2013
love this book had it as a kid and i am still learning things. would recommend this to any one who wants to read up on survival chris ryan is one good author
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on 25 October 2013
This is an great read. The information is stuff that he would have used in the SAS. And after meeting Chris Ryan it is even better.
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on 20 February 2014
Really pleased with this book I brought it for my partner he said its excellent best book he has read in a while
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on 22 July 2010
I've had this book for a few years now & being ex forces I am quite judgemental with this sort of stuff. That said I found it very useful as it covers a lot of the basics quite well. He mentions survival psychology - the will to live - this is vital as without it no amount of survival techniques are of any use whatsoever.
What I like about Ryan is that he speaks from hard experience he not only talks the talk he has literally walked the walk ie his Bravo 2 0 walk. So I have great respect for the man.
There are many books on survival available from well respected experts, Ray Mears, Lofty Wiseman, Bear Grylls, I personally feel that Ryan is in the same league.
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VINE VOICEon 24 July 2004
Great book, lots of pratical stuff about surviving in the wild. Probably best for people who want to imagine themselves being hunted to the death as opposed to the Ray Mears more relaxed enjoy-and-learn style.
Nothing very new, but it's all tried-and-tested stuff, and mercifully free of the feats of nettle twine engineering Mears recommends for catching squirrels.
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on 6 April 2016
Excellent condition... as good as brand new...
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