Book review: Man Up! by Rod Green

Man Up!
Man Up!

How many men out there are getting tired of the sedentary pleasures of our brave new world and secretly long to be ‘a real chap’?

After all, there is only so much web surfing, shoot-’em-up game playing and Lady Gaga DVD watching to be done before boredom starts to set in.

Of course, there are many things for which a modern man can be truly thankful – takeaway pizzas, sat-nav, disposable razors and painless dentistry to name but a few – but they have come at the expense of the age-old, chivalric skills.

The tradition of fathers passing on life skills to their sons has all but disappeared so if you want to reconnect with the ability to create your own adventures and deal with danger, Rod Green has some invaluable advice that will help you to ‘man up’ and impress the woman in your life.

From basic tasks like sewing on a button, lighting a camp fire and climbing a tree to building a snow hole, escaping from a car in water and emergency landing a small aircraft, this humorous but helpful encyclopaedia of masculine know-how will give you a fighting start in your quest to toughen up.

Man Up! presents useful but often long-neglected skills and imparts wisdom gleaned from many sources. With just a little forethought, plenty of good sense, a few handy implements like torch, compass and first-aid kit, a sound background knowledge and the right attitude, Green shows how to deal with potentially risky situations.

There’s the chance to learn and, in some cases, relearn forgotten skills like how to set a broken limb, harvest food from the wild, make a raft, find water in the desert, cope with suspected poisoning and even escape from a bear.

For good measure, Green throws in some 21st century twists on the old hints and tips as well as universal guidance like keeping a cool head, carrying a stout stick and matches on expeditions and never underestimating the value of a sturdy and comfy pair of brogues.

Man Up! comes in an elegantly designed, but hardy and robustly masculine, volume making it the perfect gift for Father’s Day and the ideal rite of passage from boyhood to true manhood!

(Michael O’Mara, hardback, £9.99)