Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Good but slanted towards physically violent situations.
on 7 June 2012
I found this an interesting book, and certainly Geoff Thompson has confronted and conquered many terrifying situations. The basic advice repeated throughout the book is that the body's 'fight or flight' adrenaline response creates a false sense of fear and panic, and he advises on conquering this by repeated exposure leading to desensitisation.
The author is, like anyone else, writing from his own life experience. Inevitably, this puts a slant on the advice which will suit some readers more than others. Geoff Thompson is an experienced karate fighter, who to challenge his fears, deliberately worked as a bouncer in rough night clubs. Later, he moved on to being a boxer, boxing coach and security adviser.
Inevitably, this career choice means raw danger of physical violence features large in the text. He does try to broaden the focus to fear in general, but rarely do we move far from the heavy world of physical blows. The last third of the book is interviews with people from the world of boxing or special forces military. The boxing example I found especially irksome. Refusing to shake an opponent's hand, and engaging in vile 'grudge match' stunts just to spook him, is deplorable and should not be held up for admiration by the author.
Overall, I felt that as it went on this book became increasingly like a testosterone fuelled visit to a shady world of violence. For some readers, this will be exactly what they need. But For the majority of self-help book readers who probably face less physical fears in life, there are better books out there than this.