100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative's Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation
By Clint Emerson
Review by David Wineberg
Both fascinating terrifying, 100 Deadly Skills is a laundry list of tactics and tools for the paranoid and the subversive. The hero is a “Violent Nomad” out on a secret mission to undermine some other power. He must avail himself of a carload of (common) tools and equipment to be ready for anything at any time. He must constantly be on the lookout for attackers and weaknesses.
It is amazing what a little common sense and a little insight can produce. Most of it is easy to follow and replicate. Some of it is not: In case of explosions, lie (face down) on the floor with mouth open (to prevent pressure from rupturing lungs) and feet towards the explosion with fingers interlaced behind the head (to protect the brain). And cross your feet to avoid temporal nerve damage. You have half a second to remember and execute.
As I read, I couldn’t help feeling that this was a great instruction book for kids and terrorists. Publishing easy-to-follow directions for making a Taser out of a disposable camera, a flash bomb out of a lighter, why soap is an important ingredient in Molotov cocktails and how to turn a newspaper into a deadly weapon are not necessarily the instructions we should be spreading. There are instructions for breaking into anyone’s home through the garage, any hotel room with a handle doorknob, and into anyone’s luggage without damage or trace.
There is an astounding amount of information here, and a prop list that makes it all but impossible to carry out. That Navy SEALs must learn, internalize and simply know all of this and be prepared to execute on it anywhere, any time, is awesome.
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of David Wineberg. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.