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Review: Danger! True Stories of Trouble and Survival

Rating *****


Collected and edited by O’Reilly, Habegger and O’Reilly

Published by: Travelers' Tales Guides, Inc.

Some search for danger. Some find it through bad luck. Others encounter danger as a bi-product of adventure. Regardless, this collection of short stories celebrates those who encounter danger and face its full fury.

This book is for those who want to experience danger vicariously. The true tales will have you shivering in your armchair. You may even be at risk of a panic attack or heart attack brought on by too much excitement. The stories take place across the globe; their only unifying element is danger. In witnessing the writer's plight and then survival, you may even learn how to conduct yourself. How would you handle this situation? Bombs are dropping around you; then your hotel changes management after a furious gunfight. What if you were caught in the middle of a soccer riot in Britain?

Have you ever wanted to follow a gang member into a Los Angeles turf war? If so, you may be harboring a death wish and should think of booking an appointment with a reputable psychiatrist.

The incidents in these stories will strike home. Some occur in places you may have traveled to on business, or on a holiday. Some stories are of seemingly harmless activities that end in disaster. Others are too exotic, or too extreme to be of normal experience. Some stories would not even occur in your wildest nightmares. A doctor in Rwanda witnesses the casualties of war and faces patients who have dug themselves out of their own graves. Or, after escaping a group of militants in the mountains, you learn that your kidnapped colleagues have been killed mercilessly. Other stories will make you laugh out loud. Witness the taming of giant pythons or the generosity of sword wielding Arabs. The excitement is non-stop.

Unfortunately, the book has one drawback. Many of the stories are excerpts from other books and so they will tease you -- leaving you hanging on a precipice and wanting to purchase more adventure travel books for your collection.

Ratings guidelines:

***** Can't imagine a better job
**** Good, but could be improved
*** Close, but no cigar
** Mediocre and hopefully cheap
* Don't waste your time