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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Art of Shen Ku: The First Intergalactic Artform of the Entire Universe
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2001
I cannot believe the amount of time and attention to detail that went into this book. Perusing these pages, you will learn how to do just about everything...at least, everything that's truly useful when the chips are down. That's about the only way that I can describe the scope of this tome.
Wilderness survival techniques, aromatherapy, acupressure, meditation techniques, exercise programs, knot tying, and even jokes and magic tricks are just a few of the subjects described and amusingly and richly illustrated within these pages. The whole book adheres to an "ancient wisdom of the Orient" theme, and it's hard to tell whether "Zeek" (the author/illustrator) takes this seriously or not. It doesn't really matter, though, as the advice given is generally very useful. Some fringe topics are covered (the existence of "chi", enemas, fasting, etc.) but at least the author concedes that with health matters, it's best to seek the advice of professionals.
Keeping with the Asian wisdom theme, there is a strong focus in this book on the martial arts. As a martial artist myself, I appreciated this focus and hope that it will inspire readers to investigate a style or two with a qualified instructor. But one need not be a karateka to draw more than enough inspiration and information from these pages, on a wide variety of topics.
This fascinating, unusual book is jam-packed with detailed illustrations on every page. Put a copy on your coffee table or in the bathroom, and your guests are sure to take a genuine gem of wisdom home with them, if they don't take the whole book.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Imagine, if you will, that you are in the company of a man who has travelled the world, seen many things that are NOT in the guidebooks, been in the company of many people both great and small, taken a lot of hard knocks, learned much to prevent repeating any mistakes, and lived to tell about it.
This is the book he wrote.
Equal parts Boy Scout Handbook, Whole Earth Catalogue and "Junior Woodchuck Guidebook" (the impossably complete reference book that Donald Duck's nephews carried with them), with painstakingly detailed illustrations on each and every page, tinted with Oriental wisdom.
Just a sampling of the contents (with randomly chosen pages): "Asian secrets of walking stick combat", "A traveler's guide to self-hypnosis", "Rapid reference accupressure treatments", "Emergency entertainment for bored, whining or fighting kids", "Effective beauty treatments with simple natural ingredients", "How to survive disaster situations", "How to condition for martial art strikes", "Non-violent child control", "Simple and healthy vegetarian recipes", "How to execute classic Kung Fu moves".
My friend, this is the one! From boating emergencies to avoiding a fight, from preventing food poisoning to physical fitness information, from natural therapies to preventing bedwetting, from Laws of the Sea to preventing skin problems, from tying knots to yoga postures....
I cannot say enough about this book. Buy it. Better yet, buy two and hide one copy. Someone is bound to "borrow" this from you.
(ADDENDUM: I sent a copy to a friend of mine. He has paid me to send him four additional copies to give away as presents.)
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2001
This book surprised me with its vast scope and humorous wit. This book is sort of like an encyclopedia of general, and not so general, knowledge. It has everything from the great importance of clear finger nail polish, general navigation, nuclear radiation treatment, tips about sex, how to fish, health (diet, vitamins, etc.) and on it goes. It is illustrated by the author, who in his own right is an enigma though a very intriguing man. This book has it all in a neat little package. This is not a sit-down-and-read kind of book, but one that should be used for reference. I pick a certain page and try to learn that particular entry for that day. It can broaden your general knowledge greatly.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2001
In as few words as possible, The Art of Shen Ku is .... a comic book from God. An owner's manual for anything carbon-based. Jackie Chan's cookbook. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" as written by Leonardo Da Vinci. Etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
But all true.
Impressive.
I challenge anyone to open this book, and not go home with it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2001
Absolutely amazing book. It is a "huh" book, you pick it up, ask yourself what is this, until it dawns on you that one person, the anonymous Zeek has put out a idiosyncratic, encyclopedic , wonderful book about a lot of useful things.
I bought it for all the Martial Arts advice and techniques he provides ( useful for almost everyone). But there is so much more, from acupressure to determining character from handwriting, from how to really breath right to ways to stay beautiful, storing food and how to beat ...a bully. Full of sometimes bizarre interesting illustrations by the author, commentary that can border on the mystical, the book is artistic, crazy, and very useful all at the same time.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2001
If life has a how-to book, it just might be this one. As an avid reader with a multitude of hobbies and skill, I'm truely amazed at the depth, breadth, and accuracy of the information contained in this work. From CPR to Aikido to rigging sailboats, this book has it all. Even the experts might find a good trick or two they didn't know.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2004
I'd give this book ten or more stars if I could. The amount of knowledge presented in this book is staggering so I won't even attempt to list them all. The only thing you need to know is to buy this immediately. Better yet, buy multiple copies and give them out as presents to loved ones. Zeek has given the world a true gift with this basic manual to living on this planet. Thank you Zeek. You have absolutely nothing to lose and so much to gain by giving the book a read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2009
This book was given to me as a gift many years ago, at first I did not know what to make of it. It was a cartoon book! There were all of these very artful illustrations and cute little cartoon characters (each with their own little bio!). But soon after sitting with the book alone and having a little bit of time to start digesting what was in the book I was blown away! There seemed to be a little bit of something on just about everything. Want to know how to tie down that load in the back of your truck, check out how in this book. Want to know what herbs, vitamins or acupuncture points will help your energy, again, check it out in this book. It was amazing. It also seems that everytime I am reading on something, I come across some information that I never saw before, it is a continual source of wonderment.

At first I was a bit cynical of the book, how could someone know so much about so many different subjects? I tested it, over time I had friends who were well versed in their individual disciplines; I checked with acupuncturist, martial artist, yoga, herbologist, they all agreed that the information was of value. I was sold!

Since then I have gifted so many of these books and also loaned out my own copy, never getting it back and buying new ones (I did this so many times, my wife finally on my latest copy, wrote a nice personal little note on it, maybe so I stop giving my copy away?!?)

I cannot recommend this book enough, get it today.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2001
The Art of Shen Ku caught my eye immediately! It wasn't just the cover but the colour & the information it gave, you either knew this book is for you or not!!I still cannot begin to comprehend how detailed it is, I've never seen anything like it before, its amazing. It contains everything you could possibly want; from how to sew on a button to improving your sex life!!I would reccommend this book to anyone & everyone who likes something new, original & interesting & of course, those who, like me, have a passion for travelling, for it really is the ultimate travellers guide!
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I have been a voracious reader of all kinds of books on numerous and unusual subjects. This book may be one of the most unusual and unique books I have ever read. The title is what caught my eye. The Art of Shen Ku: The Ultimate Traveler's Guide of this Planet" by Zeek. This text makes the claim to be "The first intergalactic art form of the entire universe." Strangely, that claim may be actually true. After reading this huge fully illustrated volume. I have to say I have never came across a book with so many wide and varied topics as this text. It is like an encyclopedia in scope, covering an enormous amount of material.

The following is just a very small sample of information this book contains: Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Heart massage, A traveler's Asian Health Secrets, How to maintain sexuality while traveling, How to survive disaster situations, A traveler's guide to staying beautiful naturally, A guide to kids' ailments, A guide to character through hand reading, hand writing, numerology, A condensed course in Acupressure skills, Vitamins deficiency chart, A guide to beating sex problems, allergies, skin problems, Reflexology zones, How to deal with bullies and bandits, Asian health secrets of pulse diagnosis, face diagnosis, A guide to enhancing Ki, Juice fasting, Aromatherapy, Yoga Postures, Various exercise plans for men and women, Basic wrestling, Self-Defense and Stick fighting techniques.

In conclusion, if you are seeking a very unique and fully illustrated guide to just about anything you can imagine, you may want to check out this book. It will amuse you while at the same time providing some really great information and tips you can actually use. I found it a great read.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Haiku Moments: How to read, write and enjoy haiku)
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