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Come Back Alive Paperback – June 1, 1999
The 30 Best Self Help Books
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Come Back Alive isn't exactly a book that inspires you to dive into the delights of traveling. Robert Young Pelton is best known for his previous book, The World's Most Dangerous Places, and has survived numerous calamities--from car wrecks and a plane crash to killer bees. That he has indeed come back alive does initially lend credence to his advice--which includes what to eat in the bush, which animals are most deadly, and how to avoid being kidnapped.
Pelton's survival tips and facts range from the obvious (if thirsty in the desert, look for greenery) and the interesting (deer send some 16,000 humans to the hospital annually by causing auto accidents), to the patently absurd. While he may be most helpful when writing about nature, Pelton--a worldwide traveler--comes off as colorfully clueless when he heads out to urban destinations. While advising travelers to travel lightly, he recommends loading oneself onto a plane thusly: "Use a soft, legal-sized carryon bag. Wear a larger than normal waist pack with heavy items, use a correspondent's vest to stuff in other heavy items, clothes, and fragiles. Carry a second laptop bag ... filled with reading material, CD player, whatever...."
Not only does this sound like an Olympic feat, it also contradicts his advice not to look like a tourist. As for how to surreptitiously conceal cash, Pelton recommends rolling it up in straws. That's right, straws. Certainly original, but the presence of numerous straws in a suitcase seems a likely way to ensure your luggage is ripped apart for cocaine. If carrying it on your person, what does one do to dislodge a bill from the straw, toot it at the cashier?
Nevertheless, with its charts (of average miles walked by a lost person), quizzes (are you a leader?), and occasionally insightful information, Come Back Alive is a remarkable journey through Danger Land (a.k.a. the modern world), and one that is sure to help enliven any cocktail party with its informational icebreakers. "I'm reading the oddest book," you might begin, "which recommends carrying money in straws...." --Melissa Rossi
From the Inside Flap
Welcome to the art of survival!
Come Back Alive is the indispensable and witty guide to avoiding nasty situations, whether on a business trip, an adventure vacation, or a weekend hike. In this book, the author of the classic travel annual The World's Most Dangerous Places, Robert Young Pelton--"Dangerman" (Toronto Globe & Mail); "tourist with an attitude" (Outside magazine); "the patron saint of adventure travelers" (ZineZone. com)--reveals the secrets that have kept him alive and laughing:
in the desert: finding water where it ain't, dehydration and rehydration, copping a nuclear tan
in the jungle: trekking, camping, jungle tucker, what to do when there's no bridge
in the woods: when you're tentless and clueless, when dinner's still mobile
in the snow: dressing for excess; building a snow cave, what to do when someone's going hypo
on the road: surviving adventure travel, from mild to wild
when assaulted: passive self-defense, active self-defense, better ideas in self-defense
when kidnapped: how to avoid it, how to survive it
during natural disasters: hurricanes, avalanches, lightning, earthquakes, and more!
when facing nasty animals: animals that bite you, eat you, sting you, and what to do when Bambi strikes back
You will also learn strategies for adventure travel, urban areas, war zones, terrorism, crime spots, and even the dangers of your own house--the place you're most likely to get into trouble.
Whether you are young or old, man or woman, going on a business trip, a ski weekend, an African safari, or just to the corner store, Come Back Alive gives you the comprehensive and fascinating advice you'll need to protect yourself. No matter where you're going, what you're doing, or how dangerous you want to get, Come Back Alive is essential to your safe and stylish return.
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Top customer reviews
This book gave me the street wise self-confidence necessary to talk my way out of sticky situations. When English is your primary language in a French-speaking country, you have to know how to handle it. When the situation presented itself, I was prepared for the follow up questioning. Something I never would’ve imagined. If you travel, you’ve got to know this stuff.
I read survival FM’s and other books but most of the content was irrelevant to me. Those books didn’t prepare me for what happened. After Come Back Alive, I was prepared to venture out in Pelton’s "World’s Most Dangerous Places."
Read it on vacation and REALLY have a good time!