In these frenzied, media-saturated times, the lure of a simpler past is more powerful than ever.
That may explain the success of “The Dangerous Book for Boys,” a deliberately retro tome that has become the publishing sensation of the year in Britain.
Exuding the brisk breeziness of Boy Scout manuals and Boy’s Own annuals, “The Dangerous Book” is a childhood how-to guide that covers everything from paper airplanes to go-carts, skipping stones to skinning a rabbit.
It spent months on British best-seller lists, has sold more than half a million copies and took the book of the year prize at last month’s British Book Awards.
The book will be published in the United States May 1, allowing American boys — but not their sisters — to learn how to play marbles, make invisible ink, send Morse code and build a tree fort.
“I wanted to do the kind of book that we had lusted after when we were kids,” said Conn Iggulden, who co-wrote the book with his younger brother Hal.