- File Size: 52870 KB
- Print Length: 277 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow (April 3, 2018)
- Publication Date: April 3, 2018
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07B7KRG92
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,823 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Questions for Conn Iggulden
Conn and Hal Iggulden are two brothers who have not forgotten what it was like to be boys. Conn taught for many years before becoming one of the most admired and popular young historical novelists with his Emperor series, based on the life of Julius Caesar, and his newly embarked series on Genghis Khan, while Hal is a theater director. We asked Conn about their collaboration.
Amazon.com: It's difficult to describe what a phenomenon The Dangerous Book for Boys was in the UK last year. When I would check the bestseller list on our sister site, Amazon.co.uk, there would be, along with your book, which spent much of the year at the top of the list, a half-dozen apparent knockoff books of similar boy knowledge. Clearly, you tapped into something big. What do you think it was?
Iggulden: In a word, fathers. I am one myself and I think we've become aware that the whole "health and safety" overprotective culture isn't doing our sons any favors. Boys need to learn about risk. They need to fall off things occasionally, or--and this is the important bit--they'll take worse risks on their own. If we do away with challenging playgrounds and cancel school trips for fear of being sued, we don't end up with safer boys--we end up with them walking on train tracks. In the long run, it's not safe at all to keep our boys in the house with a Playstation. It's not good for their health or their safety.
You only have to push a boy on a swing to see how much enjoys the thrill of danger. It's hard-wired. Remove any opportunity to test his courage and they'll find ways to test themselves that will be seriously dangerous for everyone around them. I think of it like playing the lottery--someone has to say "Look, you won't win--and your children won't be hurt. Relax. It won't be you."
I think that's the core of the book's success. It isn't just a collection of things to do. The heroic stories alone are something we haven't had for too long. It isn't about climbing Everest, but it is an attitude, a philosophy for fathers and sons. Our institutions are too wrapped up in terror over being sued--so we have to do things with them ourselves. This book isn't a bad place to start.
As for knockoff books--great. They'll give my son something to read that doesn't involve him learning a dull moral lesson of some kind--just enjoying an adventure or learning skills and crafts so that he has a feeling of competence and confidence--just as we have.
Amazon.com: You made some changes for the U.S. edition, and I for one am sorry that you have removed the section on conkers, if only because it's such a lovely and mysterious word. What are (or what is) conkers?
Iggulden: Horse chestnuts strung on a shoelace and knocked against one another until they shatter. In the entire history of the world, no one has ever been hurt by a conker, but it's still been banned by some British schools, just in case. Another school banned paper airplanes. Honestly, it's enough to make you weep, if I did that sort of thing, which I try not to. Reading Jane Austen is still allowed, however.
Amazon.com: What knowledge did you decide was important to add for American boys? I notice in both editions you have an excellent and useful section on table football, as played with coins. Is paper football strictly an American pastime? I'm not sure I could have gotten through the fourth grade without it.
Iggulden: I like knowing the details of battles, so Gettysburg and the Alamo had to go in, along with the Gettysburg address, stickball, state capitals, U.S. mountains, American trees, insects, U.S. historical timelines, and a lot of others. Navajo code talkers of WWII is a great chapter. It probably helps that I am a huge fan of America. It was only while rewriting for the U.S. that I realized how many positive references there already are. You have NASA and NASA trumps almost anything.
As for paper football, ever since I thought of putting the book together, people keep saying things like "You have rockets in there, yes? Everyone loves rockets!" Paper football is the first American one, but there will be many others. No book in the world is long enough to put them all in--unless we do a sequel, of course.
Amazon.com: Do you think The Dangerous Book for Boys is being read by actual boys, or only by nostalgic adults? Have you seen boys getting up from their Xboxes to go outside and perform first aid or tan animal skins or build go-carts?
Iggulden: I've had a lot of emails and letters from boys who loved the book--as well as fathers. I've had responses from kids as young as ten and an old man of 87, who pointed out a problem with the shadow stick that we've since changed. The thing to remember is that we may be older and more cynical every year, but boys simply aren't. If they are given the chance to make a go-cart with their dad, they jump at it. Mine did. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to know the book is being used with fathers and sons together, trying things out. Nothing is more valuable to a boy than time with his dad, learning something fun--or something difficult. That's part of the attitude too. If it's hard, you don't make it easy, you grab it by the throat and hang on for as long as it takes.
The book is often bought by fathers, of course. Their sons don't know Scott of the Antarctic is a great adventure story. How could they if it isn't taught any more? Good, heroic stories don't appear much in modern school curriculums--and then we wonder why boys don't seem interested.
Amazon.com: And finally, on to the important questions: Should Pluto still be a planet? And what was the best dinosaur?
Iggulden: Pluto is a planet. I know there are scientists who say it isn't, but it's big enough to be round and it has a moon, for crying out loud. Of course it's a planet. Give it ten years and they'll be agreeing with me again.
As for the best dinosaur, it depends what you mean by best. For sheer perfection, it probably has to be the shark and the crocodile. Modern ones are smaller but their record for sheer survival is pretty impressive. I only hope humanity can do as well. The only thing that will stop us is worrying too much.
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Index for The Dangerous Book for Boys, Conn Iggulden
Dog tricks, 177-179
Charting the Universe, 174-176
Solar System, 217-224
Star maps, 182-183
Battles, 53-60, 114-128
10 Commandments, 225
Books, other, 262-264
Essential things, 1
First Aid, 129-133
Bow and Arrow, 35-38
Coin Tricks, 191-193
Pen & Pencil, Hangman and others, 144-146
Role Playing, 250
Table Football, 43-45
Grammar, 39-43, 105-109,
214-216 (words), 251-256 (verbs)
Battles, 53-60, 114-128 (see also Stories)
Declaration of Independence, 163-166
Timeline, American, 243-246
Wonders of the World, 256-261
Cook for survival, 238-240
Grind an Italic Ink Pen Nib, 157-158
Grow sunflowers, 247
Skip stones, 171
Tan hides, 241-242
Tie knots, 9-11
Wrap a package, 180-181
How to make:
Boat, paper, 98
Hat, paper, 98
Fireproof cloth, 140
Marbled paper, 111-112
Pinhole projector, 172-173
Pocket light, 143
Secret ink, 149
Water bomb, 99
Knots, tying 9-11
Latin language, 195-197
Paper Airplanes, 1
World, 11-15, 90-93
Antarctic Exploration, 75-78
Fighter Pilot, 204-206
First Flight, 139-140
Mountain Climber, 154-156
Scottish History, 230-233
Timers and Timepieces, 48-49
United States, 134-138
Wonders of the World, 4-8
"Don't swagger. The boy who swaggers - like the man who swaggers - has little else that he can do. He is a cheap-Jack crying his own paltry wares. It is the empty tin that rattles most".
I have only returned to leave this review as I needed a copy for my youngest boy as well.
Ages ~10(for advanced readers) - 18 or older
Top international reviews
Das Buch ist einfach ein tolles Geschenk. Wir haben es jetzt schon vier Mal zur Geburt verschenkt ( auch in der Mädels-Variante) und nun für Bekannte in Irland, die drei Jungs haben und viel Outdoor unterwegs sind. Wir verschenken dieses Buch so gern. Es lohnt sich definitiv, die gebundenen Ausgaben zu nehmen, wenn es ein Geschenk sein soll, da es einfach hochwertiger ist. Die englische Version ist im Format etwas breiter, dafür hat es etwas weniger Seiten, als die deutsche Variante. Aber ansonsten gibt es hinsichtlich Qualität und Inhalt keine Unterschiede. Es gibt wenige Dinge, von denen wir so begeistert sind. Von diesem Buch sind wir es allerdings sehr und würden es immer wieder kaufen. Natürlich haben wir es uns auch selbst gekauft ;)
As much as I like American things (I am American), because his father is Canadian and we live in Canada, it is really nice that they have this Canadian edition. It isn't perfect, but it is definitely good enough. I honestly recommend this book for EVERY boy out there. It couldn't hurt for their sisters to read it too. :-)
NO LO RECOMIENDO PARA NIÑOS PEQUEÑOS, SIENTO QUE ES PARA ADOLESCENTES Y ADULTOS PUES ES MUCHA TEORIA Y PRACTICA.
In my opinion this book is a gem and every boy should have it!