Jun 13, 2006

Boys will be boys

The Dangerous Book For Boys is a bestseller in the UK.
The very thought of an educational volume that sets out both to exclude a specific gender and to promote activities with questionable health and safety implications is enough to bring the ultimate condemnation that the world of mealy-mouthdom has to offer - that of being "inappropriate".

Just a glance down the contents page gives a pretty good clue of the direction in which the authors' minds are heading. Even before page 100, chaps will have learnt how to decipher enemy code, make a bow and arrow and plant a tripwire that will alert them to the imminent arrival of baddies in the camp.

"It is the kind of book we would have given the cat away to get when we were young," say its creators Hal and Conn Iggulden, two brothers who grew up not in the Fifties, as the book's self-consciously retro Boys' Own presentation might suggest, but in the Seventies and early Eighties.

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