Kater Cheek's Reviews > The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 27, 2012

it was amazing
Read in September, 2012

I liked this book so much that I'm going to buy a copy of it and make my favorite girls read it. In fact, I may read it a second time, just to glean some more information out of it.

Gavin de Becker is a--honestly, I don't know what his job is called, but he's the guy you call if a celebrity is being stalked or if someone at your work might go postal when you fire him. He's got a lot of experience, and his acknowledgements page reads like a celebrity who's who from the early 90's. He's also got personal experience dealing with violence, a you learn from the first chapter.

The book is peppered with tense life-or-death-stakes anecdotes, but unlike most true-crime, it neither blames the victim nor absolves them completely. Everyone has the ability to make predictions and recognize danger. Most people are safe, and most situations are safe, de Becker posits, and when they're not, fear is your warning. In the real crime situations, de Becker goes down line by line and says "here's what the victim did right" and "here's where the victim ignored his/her internal warnings."

De Becker also talks about prevention. In the chapter on Occupational Hazards, he talks about how to more safely fire dangerous employees, and more importantly, how to not hire them in the first place. He talks about why restraining orders are a terrible idea, and how to distance yourself from a stalker. He goes down the list of things that manipulative predators will do to compromise their victims' safety, (and I have to say that I was struck by how similar these behaviors were to pick-up artists' behaviors.)

I'm gonna see if this guy has written any more books (honestly, I don't think he wrote them. I strongly suspect a ghost writer, as it is too competent) and if I find any, I'm going to read those too.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Gift of Fear.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.