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The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel Paperback – April 1, 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Be very, very afraid. When you step through your door for an innocent excursion, grave danger awaits. You might be mugged; tied up; attacked by scorpions, piranhas, or tarantulas; trapped in a falling plane or elevator, a runaway train, a car on a cliff, a sandstorm, a riptide, or a riot. But now it's safe to take that vacation anyway. Just pack The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel, and you'll know what to do when you find yourself, say, leaping between rooftops: "Because you will not be moving fast, it is safe to roll head over heels, unlike jumping from a moving vehicle." Now you'll also know what not to do: never pick up a tarantula, as the spines on their abdomens are like little harpoons, and don't yank the reins of a runaway camel ("Pulling on the nose reins can tear the camel's nose--or break the reins"). You may have the sense, if a leech invades your air passage, to gargle with a 50 percent solution of 80-proof alcohol--but without this book, would you remember not to inhale?

In short, this is the most delightfully terrifying, all-true, laugh-out-loud hilarious book since the original Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, which covers such horrors as alligators and quicksand. Don't leave home without it! --Tim Appelo

From Publishers Weekly

Just in time for summer travel, the hyperimaginative and slightly paranoid authors of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, 1999's favorite gift book, deliver what will no doubt become popular airport reading for stranded passengers in 2001. Starting with the cheery statistic that "more than 50 percent of all travelers run into problems," and the basic advisory to "always be ready for the worst," the book presents concise and extremely knowledgeable "how-to" assistance on a range of topics: e.g., stopping a runaway train, surviving a hostage situation, escaping from a car hanging over the edge of a cliff, surviving in a plummeting elevator, navigating a minefield, crossing a piranha-infested river, treating a severed limb, removing a leech and even foiling a UFO abduction. Like their earlier handbook, the success of each entry is based on the authors' ability to provide detailed and truly helpful advice on even the most outlandish or horrific situation and make the reader think, "Sure, I could successfully crash-land a small propeller plane on water, or easily climb out of a deep well, or locate and treat individual bleeding arteries on the stump of a severed arm. Nothing to it!" Their delivery evinces a calm precision that even the most worried traveler will find reassuring if faced with one or more of these eventualities, such as trying to escape when tied up ("When your captives start binding you, expand your body as much as possible") or encountering an extraterrestrial biological entity (EBE), unlikely as that might be: "Firmly tell the EBE to leave you alone... Go for the EBE's eyes (if they have any) you will not know what its other, more sensitive, areas are." Although some appendixes on strategies for packing, etc., seem boilerplate, overall this is another eminently practical, enjoyable survival guide. Watch out for those tsunamis! Illus. (May)Forecast: The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook was a runaway bestseller. This will be, too.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811831310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811831314
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel has four primary uses:
(1) To let you fantasize safely about what you would do in a life-threatening situation you probably won't face, but have seen in the movies (survive after being lost in a jungle, escape a mob, survive a kidnapping)
(2) Provide humorous scenarios that you will probably never face to give you a good laugh (being abducted by a UFO, handling a runaway camel, getting rid of a leech in your nose)
(3) Practical advice for challenges that many travelers will encounter (stopping a car with no brakes, handling a runaway horse, foiling thieves)
(4) Reducing risk of harm from unlikely events that you probably do think about (escaping a hotel fire, what to do after falling onto a subway track, surviving an elevator fall).
I was impressed that although I did not expect to learn anything I could ever use, the book actually had several sections which I wish I had known about when I faced travel challenges in the past (handling scorpion stings, what to do in a hotel fire, how to stop a runaway horse that someone else is on, making a shelter in the snow, avoiding having your carry-ons stolen at the x-ray machine). I suspect that I will be able to use this information in the future.
Another benefit I got was to realize that I could handle some emergencies that I would normally consider well beyond me. In these days when travel seems more dangerous than before, this book may also be worth carrying to play the role of Dumbo's magic feather -- to build a little confidence. For example, I don't like to fly in small planes. I think I could follow the instructions in the book for crash landing a small plane in water, as long as someone could help me. But I could never remember all of these details in a crisis.
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Format: Paperback
Don't take this book too seriously and you'll love it! It's a fascinating survival guide, with accurate and real information--the folks who say it doesn't tell you enough are missing the point. It tells you just enough to make you laugh, help you through some difficult situations, and maybe save your life. A great gift for the guy in your family--I know, I'm one. And, to respond to the reader who says that train cars do have ladders, read more closely--passenger cars do not, and that's what they're talking about!
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By A Customer on June 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
A lot of the topics probably will never apply to us in our whole lifetime, i.e. how to control a runaway camel, how to cross a piranha-infested river, etc., so I could simply read them & laugh out loud. It contains useful info, though, such as strategies for packing & flying. I'm not a frequent traveller & could've used those tips, especially since I just got back from a vacation. Of course, I had thumbed throught the table of contents prior to my vacation (and prior to purchasing it), & the topic "how to survive an airplane crash" did not appeal to me at that time--it made me antsy as I was about to go on a plane! I did not want to visualize or even think about airplane crashes at that time! :) But hey, I bought the book afterwards, & I love it.
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Format: Paperback
.....but the information contained in this book was not of tremendous value to the common traveler.
While I learned a lot, I was hoping to get more run-of-the-mill, everyday travel advice. There was some of that in the book (such as having a list of alternate flights with you when you go to the airport, as well as the phone numbers of the airlines; if you are traveling with someone on a plane, pack half of your stuff in each other's suitcase. That way, if one suitcase gets lost, you are not without anything at all).
I also learned that most fire ladders only go up seven stories (from the street), so if I am in a hotel, I will request a street-side room below the 7th floor. I also found out how to escape from a rip tide, emergency braking for a car, and how to avoid a common scam at an airport X-Ray machine.
I did not really need information about jumping from one rooftop to another, removing a leech, crossing a piranha-infested river, surviving a trip over a waterfall, escaping from a tsunami, or catching fish without a rod.
This information that I did not need was, nevertheless, interesting to read. Almost as good was reading about the various experts whom the author consulted in order to write these scenarios.
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Format: Paperback
This book, like the others in the series, is tongue in cheek. Some of the advice and scenarios are practical but others are completely in fun. My favourite was the advice of what to do if you are threatened with alien abduction. You should not let your mind give in to them. In other words, stop hallucinating and you will be just fine. :)

At the same time some of the advice is practical and could be useful to everyone, not just travellers. For example it gives advice on what to do if your car ends up hanging over the edge of a cliff. While not an everyday occurrence it almost happened to a friend of mine during a snowstorm on the highway.
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Format: Paperback
The "Worst Case Scenario" people are really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Surviving an airplane crash and building a snow shelter can be important! But encountering aliens, while offering both an extreme scenario and a touch of humor, isn't specifically travel-related. The same with a plummeting elevator, or losing someone who's tailing you. On the other hand, they've omitted some important items, like getting arrested in a foreign country, or losing your passport. This series is losing steam.
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