If lockdown gets so bad you have to eat your dog, here’s the ...


If lockdown gets so bad you have to eat your dog, here’s the book for you

Why curly hair is handy in a crisis, and other lessons from John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman’s SAS Survival Guide

Iona McLaren

Like many readers, you may have taken self-isolation as your cue to get stuck into War and Peace. But after hours of beavering you may now be simply stuck. What you need is a book that speaks to the great themes – the long night of the soul, the triumph of the human spirit, how to fix a carburettor when all you’ve got is a pair of nylon stockings – which is pocket-sized and fully illustrated: Tolstoy-lite. What you need is the SAS Survival Guide.

This multimillion-copy-selling classic was written in 1987 by John “Lofty” Wiseman, a man whose terrifying achievements include becoming, aged 18, the youngest ever recruit to the SAS, and setting up the SAS Counter-Terrorist Team (the ones from the Iranian Embassy siege). Now 80, he makes Bear Grylls look like Paddington. His memoir is called Who Dares Grins.

Coronavirus has pushed us all a bit further along the prepper-anxiety spectrum. If you need a reality check, treat yourself to a long, hard peruse through the SAS Survival Guide. It could be so much worse. This is a book that literally tells you how to make a grass skirt to shield your groin from predatory birds...

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