100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation

Written by Navy SEAL, Ret. Clint Emerson
Black and white line illustrations by Ted Stampyak

NON FICTION. DO IT YOURSELF. There are so many delights in this book it’s difficult to pick a few to discuss. My favorite tip might be the pages that show how to use a roll of duct tape to recycle your old set of encyclopedias into improvised body armor (pages 20-21). Or it could be the page the proves once and for all the pen is mightier than the sword. (pages 74-75. Hint, I have ordered a handful of Zebra steel barreled pens.) Of course there are Mr. Emerson’s directions for concealing small useful tools in your pubic and armpit hair (pages 16-17). My mind reels but I can only deduce that SEALS do not manscape—except in circumstances described on page 190. If in the small hours of the night you, like me, have found yourself pondering how to get rid of dead bodies successfully, Emerson offers several suggestions (pages 208-209), though his offhand direction to commandeer jet fuel from small private airports doesn’t seem realistic, at least in my circumstances. I also am left wondering exactly how much jet fuel it takes for a two hour burn in a fifty gallon barrel. The devil is in these details. The tips on upside-down burial are good though, and my NYC hardware store carries a chicken-wire substitute so the water burial might be the easiest to achieve. Do you want to know how to steal a vehicle (page 56), cross enemy borders by air (page 12), or make a taser out of a disposable flash camera (page 162)? It’s all here, and much, much more.

I gave several of these books as Christmas gifts and think every household should have a copy. It’s a tough world out there. Studies have shown that people who worry and plan ahead for emergencies actually do better when these emergencies arise. At the very least the book will improve your fantasy life and offer some useful plot suggestions if you plan to take James Patterson’s Master Class. And come the day you find yourself bound with zip ties and desperate to escape from the trunk of a car speeding north, you’ll know what to do and live to thank me for the suggestion.

100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide for Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation
by Clint Emerson, Navy SEAL, Ret.
With black and white line illustrations by Ted Slampyak
Touchstone/Simon and Schuster
October 13, 2015
258 pages

Sandra Jordan