Sunday, August 15, 2010

Slack, Ed. Two Legged Snakes: Understanding and Handling Manipulative People.

Simple Truth Publishing. 2010. c130p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 978-0-9825514-1-7. $12.95. ISBN 9780982551424 (e-Book). $7.99.

Most of us probably do not like reading about troublesome situations and/or people, but every once in a while a reality check is a good thing, particularly if it can help us avoid bad experiences. In this humorously- and generously- illustrated (more than eighty illustrations), self-help publication, Dr. Ed Slack (B.S., Psychology, & M.S., Clinical Psychology, California State University, Sacramento; Ph.D, Clinical Psychology, Sierra University, Sacramento), a psychologist with more than 25 years experience working with people who are both manipulative and gifted, discusses a kind of person you may have encountered with disastrous consequences, the “two legged snake.” According to the author, the two legged snake (TLS) or bipedal snake (BS) is a manipulator, who comes in all forms and from all walks of life. Slack describes this kind of individual in terms of various categories, not limited to the Primary and Secondary (pp. 7-10) as well as the Day to Day (D2D) and Public Level. (p. 23) Beyond the aforementioned classifications, Slack discusses the 13 different forms or types of two legged snakes: the Charmer, Backstabber, Bombast Entertainer, Bilker, Decorated, Misdirector, Rhetorical, Situational, Media Maven, Lost, Lifer, Justified, and the King Cobra. (pp. 24-38) Intending to help readers and non-readers identify the various kinds of manipulators, the author also presents the types of people or “fans” who surround them, the persuasive techniques used by bipedal snakes, and their biting styles. He offers advice and tips for handling and dealing with TLS and for “making the world a less snaky place.” Addressing persons who are going through difficulties as well as everyone, since we all have “snakes in our heads,” the author sets forth keys for perceiving and overcoming deception. He suggests how readers can make good choices, not be deceived, and gain the skills to realize when they are being duped. Helpful and thoughtful, albeit on levels that may be superficial to some individuals, this humorous, fast-paced guide on a serious subject by an experienced expert will interest general readers and others. Offered for purchase with a back-of-the-book, selected bibliography and a reproducible two legged snake spotters’ checklist as well as with a downloadable bonus chapter and a money back guarantee on the book’s website, it is recommended for many public libraries as fun, supplementary, introductory, self-help manual. Review Book. Availability:,