Scary Like a Rubber Snake

Posted: March 24, 2012 by writingsprint in Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Forbidden KnowledgeHave you ever wanted to know how to be a mafia boss? Break bricks with your hands? Crack a safe? Do all the things that spies and movie criminals do? Forbidden Knowledge is a fun little read by humor author Michael Powell that provides tips and advice on 101 things that not everyone should know how to do.

Each topic gets its own section, ranging from the mundane (“Throw a Punch,” #19) to the supernatural (“Perform an Exorcism,” #69); from prepubescent humor (“Light a Fart on Fire, #37) to adult mayhem (“Start a Riot,” #86). Some topics offer step by step instructions on how to perform an activity, while others are just a few key points about a subject. Some are illustrated, while others have pictures just for the atmosphere.

The book isn’t what I was hoping for: a funny collection of topics about the underground world with grains of truth that I could use to get me started when I wanted to do research on spies and criminals. You do get some insights into real street culture here and there, but some of the subjects are just dumb – spotting a zombie and surviving an alien abduction – and others actually qualify as information that everyone should know, like how to complain and get results, and how to present yourself well in court.

Forbidden Knowledge is a nifty little page turner that makes good reading if you have a long flight, as part of the bathroom library, or for the little shelf underneath your coffee table if you live in a guy’s apartment. It also isn’t a bad source of random ideas for imaginative writers; not a bad source, but not a great one, either. For a real glimpse inside the lives of the dark and secret worlds of criminals and spies, move along.


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