Reader Reviews and a May 5th Paperback launch of How to Drive a Tank…and Other Everyday Tips for the Modern Gentleman.

Just in time for Father’s Day the paperback for How to Drive a Tank… is now out and available to order via Amazon and other online retailers as well as any good local bookshop. So after two years in hardback I thought I’d share two of my favourite emails from readers. I’ll share more in future.

And if you’re one of the people who is thinking of emailing me about an adventure you have in mind, please, just do it. I regularly receive requests and read all of them if even I can’t guarantee I can actually take part.

From Stephen (one of my most recent reader reviews):

Hi Frank, Read your book and loved it. Very funny thing happened though; on the day that I bought it, I had planned in advance to (that day) write to Charles Bronson and recommend that with all his spare time he start doing yoga instead of his ten million sit ups a day routine (Yoga has a bad image problem but I do it and LOVE it!!). Then as I was flicking through the book in the bookshop I stumbled across the ‘Yoga for psychopaths chapter…Bizarre!!! Anyway my real motivation for writing is that yesterday I saw that James May (one of the three old sad pretend irreverent from Top Gear, or is it ‘Last of The Summer Wine?), has written (or at least had GHOST-written) a rip off copy of your book called ‘How to land a 330 Bomber and other tips for the modern gent’ and it was in a far more prominent position in the shop. Sadly it seems that Marketing, Plagiarism Capitalism and Brand names are more important than originality and creativity. Sue him if you can! Best wishes and Regards Stephen. P.S. Found the assertiveness bit in your book very helpful in dealing with mad ex girlfriend who I am forced to have contact with.

From Allan (one of my first reader reviews):

Dear Frank I recently bought your `How to drive a tank,’ book, and have to say its one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time. I’ve laughed more reading this book then I have with television lately, and some of the situations you talk about just made me fall flat on the floor ( or laugh very hard on the bus). As a 16 year old lad who is constantly seeking knowledge I must admit I was drawn to `make things go boom,’. You can be sure that if there are women screaming and running away at a party, I am now officially the cause. My girlfriend is now the owner of the book, she has a good laugh at the sexual chapters and particularly loves your introduction to `laughing and crying,’. I don’t mind the fact she keeps telling me I’m going to die one day, but must she be so upfront about it? Thanks for a great read that I am sure will be read many times. From your newest fan.

It’s always brilliant to receive your emails, so do keep them coming. Thanks a million, Frank.

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Is James May trying to flatter me?

People keep asking whether James May’s latest tome is, as they say, “the highest form of flattery”.

What do you think?

Frank Coles 2009: How to Drive a Tank…and Other Everyday Tips for the Modern Gentleman.
How to Drive a Tank

James May 2010: How to Land an Airbus A330 and Other vital skills for the Modern Man.

Our B-title was Modern Man funnily enough.

I’m sure Mr May’s effort will run year-on-year in the stocking stakes. It’s already spawned a TV show. And whether it’s flattery or not when you’re just breaking in, like me, it sure kills any hope of a book two in that particular series.

Ah well, I’ll guess I’ll just have to come up with another original idea. In the mean-time it’s great to hear that Tank regularly gets passed around the dorms of Britain’s boys’ schools as a must-read.

Thank you readers for writing in.

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By the book #1: Life skills Every Man Should Have

Sam Chell, one of the readers of How to Drive a Tank… asks, “How can I get in contact with some of the people you met in your book as i am really interested in doing some of the things you did? Please help me if you have the time, thanks.”

Well Sam, it’s a good question and one I’m asked regularly, so, by section, here are the people, companies and books I used to do the things you read about in Tank. Book links are at the bottom.

Section 1: Life skills Every Man Should Have

Frank in a Tank

Frank in a Tank

Chapter: How to Drive a Tank
Tank School
Contact: Alastair Scott
Tel: 07971 635189 / 01873 880301
Email: alastairgscott AT (replace AT with @)

Chapter: Handbrake Turns and Other Naughty Driving Skills (more…)

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How to Fight…in the real world

Author beats self up

Frank beats himself up for the illustrator

For those of you who enjoyed the chapter How to Fight – The Everyday Application of Extreme Force you’ll know I trained with Mick Coup the originator of Core Combatives (C2 for short). Mick’s uploaded some videos to YouTube that cover the fundamental strikes outlined in the book and I’ve added links to them below.

For those of you who haven’t read the book C2 is a no-nonsense, zero-BS combat system that gives you the fundamental skills and tactics to succeed in a real-world fight.

Mick’s a great guy to train with, both knowledgeable and demanding, and his C2 package is designed to be relied on when the shit really hits the fan. You can also find out more here:


The Basic Highline Strike – Why?

Basic Highline Strike – Lateral Transition Introduction

Now click the following links if you want to watch the rest, enjoy!

Highline Strike Breakdown 1 | Highline Strike Breakdown 2

Elbow Strike Breakdown 1 | Elbow Strike Breakdown 2


Knee Strike Fundamentals

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Reader’s question: Translations?

Happy new year to you all! And many thanks to all the readers of my book for your queries over the Christmas period. I now have a backlog and will try to respond to you personally or post the answer here if it’s a question I’ve been asked more than once.

Max from Jersey asks…

“I am a French man based in Jersey and I read your book. I really enjoyed it. I was wondering if you were considering to translate to French at some point? I think it would be a great success in France. Thanks in advance for your answer. Best wishes, Max.”

Thanks for your question Max. I know there are several translation talks going on at the moment and if a French version is commissioned I’ll let you know here. For German readers we should start one or two translations of the sample chapters on the book page in the coming weeks.

Thanks again, and to all my readers, feel free to ask questions at any time. I will always try and respond to you, although please bear in my mind that sometimes my workload or location often means I can’t.

Keep smiling, F.

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