The Art of Shen Ku

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Paperback, USA.

The Art of Shen Ku is a compendium of semi-useful knowledge by Zeek and first published in September 2001. It covers a lot of information that is expected to be helpful to a traveler and explorer including navigation and first aid, a lot of basic martial arts, and, unfortunately, a lot of pseudo-scientific nonsense. Each page is filled with cartoon illustrations of the subject matter.

I received this book as a gift from my girlfriend at the time. When I got it, I found it to be very interesting and right up my ally, but as I learned how much pseudoscience was it, it quickly lost my favor. While an experienced skeptic can glean useful information from all the crap, there is nothing to explain to the inexperienced reader what is factual and which is nonsense. Because of this, I would not recommend this book because, without a lot of extra research, there is no simple way to know when the information is right, partially right, or dangerously wrong.


I own a paperback copy of this book and have read most of it.



  • The book is fully illustrated with decent cartoon line art.
  • A lot of the information tables are especially useful.


  • To give the book an informal feeling, the author uses Comic Sans for the entire book. GAH!


  • The book contains a lot of misinformation that is so wrong it can be dangerous. For example, it suggests you can cure HIV with herbs, tells people stop wearing corrective lenses, and pretends to have surefire ways to tell when a woman is ovulating (so you won't need to use protection?).