100 DEADLY SKILLS REVIEW (+Bonus Book Review)

Originally appearing on my Goodreads. I picked up the ball and ran with it, and I felt much better for having done it. Enjoy this, and if you want to follow me on the social network where you want to give me a wedgie, find me on Goodreads under ‘November Bravo’. I also run @novemberbravo_ and @peshmergadril on twitter. Err.

Oh wow, what a book. This book is some crazy shit. Its cool to take a look at, for the ridiculous and whacky shit (with illustrations) that qualify as ‘skills’, such as:

-A very limited guide of how to hijack a Cessna (with no idea how to take off, fly, or land, assuming you either know how to do at least half of those skills and can parachute).

-Traveling across wastelands and covering your tracks/supplies by air, land, or sea, because you’re going to be doing A LOT of at your desk job

-Turning a cigar tube you’ve stuffed into your ass as a storage unit for money and a weapon if you’ve been imprisoned.

-Transforming mundane things such as a pen, a phonebook, a belt, a roll of quarters, socks into deadly tools of assault and defense (which are remarkably not difficult to apply using your own imagination without buying this book)

Its fun to learn about this stuff, but is completely useless as a book. You either know this stuff and may or may not have used it, or will never EVER approach having to use this. Reading this book will embolden you into thinking you’re some kind of Jason Bourne dumbass if you fall into the latter category, and will likely either leave you dead, in the hospital, or in prison if you try to apply half of these ‘skills’.

The book in and of itself is not objectively ‘bad’; it isn’t poorly written, comes with many illustrations, and even advocates for their very judicious and careful application. However, in the end, this book is highly specious in its implications of letting you ‘become a spy’. It caters to a wide variety of people, including valor stealers, NatSec dumbasses who nebulously pontificate about ‘threats’ and their ‘experience’ and the six people who have maybe applied 3 of the skills out of the 19 they learned in special operations/clandestine alphabet soup stuff.

I wouldn’t be so harsh in this review if the good faith on the author’s behalf didn’t end at the frequent disclaimer-ing in the book; the owner runs a business called ‘Escape The Wolf’, which is about ‘crisis management’ and ‘security’…Wowza. If you’re a rich white person in the suburbs who hasn’t bought into fearmongering bullshit you’ve been sold on domestic threats and purchased several guns, a home defense system, and a life coach to teach you functional fitness/being an alpha male or whatever the hell — this will get you hook line and sinker.

The market for security and consulting companies like this is extremely saturated now that we have plenty of Navy SEALs finishing out their book deals and looking for the next buck to make for pencilnecked chickenhawks afraid of their own shadow with too much time and money on their hands to try and ‘protect whats theirs’. I don’t feel a single bit of sorrow for the jackasses who get sold safety snake oil by this company.

In summary, the book is fun to read, and from what I’ve collected from other reviewers, serves as a good knowledge base for thriller novels/screenwriting, and a unique experience to dissociate from the mundanity of existence, but use it as an opportunity to laugh at the people who take this book and themselves too seriously. 1/5

(and also, my bonus review of AMERICAN SNIPER:)

This book is an exercise in sociopathic military masturbation. It played a big part in motivating me to join the military as a clueless teenager wanting to commit violence against the harmful, but the older I grew the more I was reminded how awful it was. Lying about shooting (and assumedly killing) looters after Katrina on the Superdome, killing women and children if necessary. Calling all Muslims barbarians. Very disgusting stuff. I don’t recommend censoring your child from reading anything or from joining the military, but if I had to, this would probably be on that list.