The years of living dangerously

Due out next week in the States is the British bestseller The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn and Hal Iggulden, and, well, there’s a lot to be said for a bit of applied peril:

The Dangerous Book is a childhood how-to guide that covers everything from paper airplanes to go-carts, skipping stones to skinning a rabbit. It spent months on British best-seller lists, has sold more than half a million copies and took the book of the year prize at last month’s British Book Awards.

The book will be published in the United States May 1, allowing American boys — but not their sisters — to learn how to play marbles, make invisible ink, send Morse code and build a tree fort.

Yeah, right. Does it come with its own “No Girls Allowed” signage? Then again, the wearers of short skirts get short shrift in the Dangerous Book anyway:

Girls are discussed, in a single chapter, as something akin to another species: “They think and act rather differently to you, but without them, life would be one long football locker room. Treat them with respect.”

At the very least, don’t skin them like a rabbit. And anyway, turnabout is fair play:

[L]et the boys have their books. You see, there’s a book coming out just for girls, soon. It’s called The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls, for women “who dream of making elderflower cordial and need reminding of how to play cat’s cradle.”

Meanwhile, next week I face the hitherto-unprecedented (for me, anyway) task of trying to talk a woman into installing a sound card for me.


  1. Winston »

    28 April 2007 · 7:45 am

    Much of that sounds similar to a book we had growing up in late ’40s and early ’50s. It was called the Cub Scout Handbook. And a magazine called Boy’s Life. Chaz, you’re probably old enough to have at least heard of those…

  2. CGHill »

    28 April 2007 · 10:07 am

    Of course. And both of those have long since slid into desuetude, all the more reason for a revival of those classic boyhood skills. (Not that girls are getting a better deal.)

  3. Mister Snitch! »

    29 April 2007 · 2:43 pm

    Once again, trend-sniffing Chaz comes in well ahead of an Instalink.

  4. CGHill »

    1 May 2007 · 8:01 pm

    Oh, and the sound card is in place. Took her the better part of nine minutes. (It would have taken me around 20.)

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