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Don't Try This at Home: How to Win a Sumo Match, Catch a Great White Shark, Start an Independent Nation and Other Extraordinary Feats (For Ordinary People) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1 edition (September 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767911598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767911597
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,007,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chances are slim that you'll ever need-or want-to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel or tow an iceberg to a drought-stricken nation, but improbability certainly hasn't stopped the extreme-situation how-to juggernaut launched by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht, creators of the original Worst-Case Scenario book and its multiplying cousins. But while the Piven-Borgenicht volumes offer advice that just might be helpful-it's possible, after all, that you would someday need to jump off a building into a dumpster-Fulghum takes the loony route, offering tips on how to do what you never should: chop down an old-growth sequoia, sink a submarine, break into Fort Knox, Buckingham Palace or Area 51. Fulghum's dry sense of humor enlivens the chapters of offbeat challenges, each with its own shopping list of items needed to pull the stunts off. To sink a submarine, for example, "one Oliver Hazard Perry-class (FFG-7) antisubmarine frigate" is necessary ("arrange for use through the U.S. Department of Defense," he notes). Fulghum even suggests how long each project will take (six months to a year to form an independent nation, three to five days to chop down that 200-foot sequoia). This is a detailed, amusing and utterly useless read for anyone who wants to know how to do something zany-without actually wanting to do it.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

From the author of Like Father, Like Son (1996) comes this comical how-to guide for people with really weird ambitions. Want to break into Fort Knox? Sink an enemy submarine? Catch the Loch Ness Monster? Fulghum tells you how, sort of. The book is formatted like a typical how-to guide: each chapter contains a list of necessary supplies, step-by-step instructions, and an estimate of the time required to complete the project. But listen to this: two of the necessary items for breaking into Fort Knox are an outgoing personality and a truck full of cows. Smuggling top-secret documents requires the services of two Boy Scouts stationed on either side of the U.S.-Canadian border and a reversible windbreaker. It's this combination of the mundane and the bizarre that keeps the chuckles coming. Although the book is not quite a spoof-- the instructions often make a delirious kind of sense--Fulghum's tongue is firmly in his cheek. (The goal of breaking into Buckingham Palace, for example, is to short-sheet the prince of Wales' bed). Call this one Mission: Hysterical. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William Springer on May 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
Imagine calling Fort Knox and asking the best way to break in and steal the gold. Don't have the guts for it? Don't worry, because Hunter Fulghum has done it for you. He has contacted everyone from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to his local alien experts to find out how you would do everything from Swim the English Channel to Borrow the Mona Lisa to Start an Independant Nation.
Aside from being funny and quite interesting, the book is very well written; I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Young on May 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book will definitely raise a few eye brows when people catch this in your library. I myself wanted to catch a great white shark and name him Fred. It's funny because it takes everything so seriously and makes you think. But over all don't expect yourself to sit down and read it in one setting. It for me at least didn't hold my attention that long. I ended up and just browsing through it with a 'hmm' expression. It's interesting but not worth spending your money on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vernon R. J. Lund on January 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Definately intersting, and definately just for fun. Many items are common sense if you take the time to stop and think about them, but there are a number of items that have little gems of information that a layperson would never have known to try should they ever encounter such a situation.

Fun, if ultimately impracical.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scott A. Miller on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've found Don't Try This At Home to be lighthearted and fun. It's also impractical and seems to be based largely on complete fantasy. What is it about you ask? Think of it as a 264 page Do-It-Yourself guide for the armchair adventurer.

Megalomaniacs will want to skip right to "Form an Independent Nation". In just 8 short pages, Fulghum describes the steps you'd need to complete. Like most of the items in the book, Forming an Independent Nation does have a large number of prerequisites. For example you will need "hard currency", especially if you choose to acquire your nation through peaceful means. Well no worries, just check out Fulghum's section on stealing gold from Fort Knox.

Thrill seekers, there's plenty of material here for you too. Good starting points are "Fly Through the Eye of a Hurricane" or "Guide and Surface a Nuclear Sub through Ice". My personal favorite is "Drive a Tank through a Tornado". Fulghum says the tank is "available from the US Army, contact the Pentagon to arrange purchase or lease". Does anyone have a phone number?
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