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Summary

Losing My Virginity is an amazing memoir, a definitive business guide and an inspirational story that reveals Sir Richard's unique philosophy on business, the Virgin brand and life.
©1998 Richard Branson (P)1998 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Grabs you on page one and never lets go... a rollercoaster ride... read what makes this brilliant and hardworking man tick." ( Spectator)
"Candid and humorous." ( The Times)
"An incredible man, and this is an incredible autobiography... a great read - sex, balloons, intrigue and money." ( Sunday Business)
"Branson has a list of achievements unmatched by any other UK businessman. For anyone burning with entrepreneurial zeal, his reminiscences are akin to a sacred text." ( Mail on Sunday)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Neil
  • Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
  • 12-04-09

A fasinating insight...

Whether you?re a person who admires him or not, Sir Richard is and continues to be one of Britain?s top business personalities. In this book Richard personally delivers his story from beginning to date. It?s a remarkable insight into the man, and really goes a long way to explaining how things came to be and why. One of the things I find most compelling about the story is the intimacy, the personal elements, at some points you smile, even laugh, and then suddenly you?re right there in the heart of the moment as he describes a crises or personal tragedy.

I?m reminded just why I love self narrated biographies when I listen to this, Sir Richard to me has always been one of the greats, and this book offers a close up personal look at his life and story. It?s not so much about the business itself, but more about Richard, his life, the people around him, and how the events and people close to him empowered him to become the person he has.

A fantastic listen and highly recommended, shall certainly listen to again. If you?re looking to know more about the business and what Richard looks for in a person and the traits that outline Virgin then another title well worth listening to is Richard Branson?s Business Stripped Bare. Which to is an excellent listen and scores 5/5.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • L
  • LITTLEHAMPTON, United Kingdom
  • 03-02-12

Pleasantly Surprised

Not at all what I was expecting. A very intimate account of Mr B's life made all the more poignant because it is read by the man himself. Here is a man who has lived by the seat of his pants! Morally questionable, yes and yet wonderfully honest and down-to-earth. A real emotional rollercoaster where we are mercifuly spared spoonfuls of Virgin PR. For the most part, Richard manages to leave his ego out of the equation and leave us with a well-rounded overview of how he got to where he is. Hugely inspiring to be who we are. I'd like to add, he cooks a very nice pizza :-) Thanks RB.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Well worth the Credit

Interesting and inspiring, a must read for all budding entrepreneurs

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The man is his own best publicist

When I was at school, I heard many things on Richard, and even read a book on him(not autobiography), of which I did a report.

Recently I met him on a plane, he was flying first class (not on Virgin!) and shook his hand. So I decided to read up on him.

I believed I read this book many years ago, as some of it felt very familiar.

Now when many people approach this book, they do so from the mindset of wanting to start businesses themself, and become rich. This book will not let you do that. Others are attracted to the brand of Branson, some both.

It is the life story of Richard, told by himself - in a very positive light. It covers his childhood, his businesses - Student Magazine (failed), mail order record business (failed), record shop (failed, but only due to recent internet rise), his recording label (failed), his airline (failing), his purchase of Necker Island, his cross Atlantic trip, his fight with BA. Don't get me wrong he had some one off hits - e.g. Tubular bells.

He lived under constant loans to support his business. That being said it is easy listening, and told by the man himself. It was enjoyable, anyone would love.

Branson in this book comes off as a playboy than a serious, realistic businessman. Now this is what he portrays in the book, it may not be the case of reality.

Let's compare this to some really famous business men.

vs Ray Kroc (founder of McDonald's chain, yes he is the "founder") - read his autobiography
Worked two jobs when starting working as salesman in day and piano player in evening for radio. When starting Mcdonald's worked one job selling milkshake mixers. Once founded McDonald's he went all out and CONCENTRATED on his art. He had HIGH STANDARDS, WAS OBSESSIVE, AND HARD TO WORK FOR.

vs Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathway) - read his biography - Snowball
Father was a stock trader, started learning stocks, and worked for a brilliant man (Benjamin Graham) offering to work for no money. He CONCENTRATED on his art and WAS OBSESSIVE.

vs Steve Jobs (Apple) - listen to his official biography - Walter Isaacson
Abandoned by his parents, adopted, met Wozniak, knew IT was going to big, worked HARD, CONCENTRATED on his art, WAS OBSESSIVE, and HARD TO WORK WITH.

vs Elon Musk (Tesla, Space X, Solar City) - listen to his biography
Closest to Branson, but again - very INTELLIGENT, worked HARD - aka boundless energy/slept in the office (even now at this time of writing), OBSESSIVE, and HARD TO WORK WITH.

vs Jeff Bezos (Amazon) - listen to his biography
Knew web was going to be big, left his well paying job on the biggest risk of his life, worked HARD, very frugal, OBSESSIVE, HARD TO WORK WITH.

I could go on and on - look at Walt Disney, Bill Gates.

These characteristics don't seem to come out. All the others I have mentioned have more money than Richard Branson by at least several fold. If anyone conducted business like Branson, failure is a high likelihood, instead if you are interested in business, the others mentioned above would be better options to learn from.

The closest to Branson is Donald Trump, a showman, attention grabbing personality. I question both of their net worths. There is a book which helps to counter the image of Richard by Tom Bowers.

That being said, I did enjoy the book, and would recommend it to everyone, if you note the above caveats. I am listening to more books read by Branson, as I like his easy going style.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely loved it - read by the great man himsel

loved it.

I didn't realise RB actually read it himself until I started listening so that was a big plus to begin with.
genuine, insightful and incredibly and interesting story - very funny and heartfelt one moment and then heartbreaking in the next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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FASCINATING insight and very funny

I absolutely loved this book. Richard has had an amazing life and he talks through how he has built a brilliant, global business and kept his reputation throughout.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Wonderful insight in to his life. Will now look to know more. Great man and great book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Arthur
  • Gympie, Australia
  • 09-08-12

Very Good Read

All the 'Persona' hype aside, this is still a very worthwhile read, even when he jumps out of the helecopter !! Read by the man himself, anyone who takes on B.A. and wins gets my vote.

Arthur . Australia

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exciting, insightful and honest

I was addicted to listening to Richard talk about his life, trials, tribulations, loves and his businesses. It's made me love him for who he is and what he stands for: fun, honesty, hard work and adventure.

I recommend this audiobook very highly. It is exciting from the start, and is very entertaining. I now understand what happened with the record company and with Virgin Atlantic which I was not able to fathom at the time.

It's a stunningly candid listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good book

Really liked this book learned a lot about Richard and how he grew up and what is life story is about, i laphed and cried during some of the book and very happy i bought it. A++ for this book always keeps your attention throughtout the book.

Very glad i got this book

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sean Fitzpatrick
  • 31-10-09

Great book about Virgin and the Branson

This was a fun book to listen to. As an entrepreneur dealing with the constants ups and downs of business - it is temping just to say "screw it" and through in the towel. The listener learns about the ups and downs of Virgin, how it got started and its constant struggle with cash flow. You hear about Virgin's success and its failures. In its early years Virgin often took 2 steps forward and then one step back to grow. I can relate.

Branson also does a great job at revealing enough about his life and character to make the whole book work.

Love the book and would recommend it to any entrepreneur trying to grow a business.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 27-04-09

Humorous, Educating and Enjoyable

I will keep this short and brief.

Losing My Virginity is a great book and is a good way to be entertained for a couple hours. Branson is quite ambitious and this book shows how he lived his life the way he wanted to and one of these outcomes was an incredible company. His stories are both educating and humorous. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn the type of life Richard Branson lived.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Connie
  • 09-10-16

Amazing

Where your mind goes your heart follows. Anything is possible no matter what it looks like on the outside.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S Easthope
  • 06-06-18

So many fascinating tales

Great to hear it in Richard’s own voice. There are so many great adventures in this one book that only covers part of his life (from the start of Student mag to taking on BA).

The key message is that he makes decisions fast and usually based on whether he thinks it will be fun.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-02-18

have now listened to this book 4 times! love it!

I enjoyed listening to book much more then richards other ones mainly because he narrates it! that was an excellent decision.
look forward to the next one

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • luismcruz
  • 16-02-18

great life story

I wanted to read His story in the hope of learning some business tactics. Well, I was not disappointed. They were not what I expected but I certainly did learn some lessons. plus, is British accent made the listening a lot more fun.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Edwin Jose Pereyra Gross
  • 04-01-18

it's a captivating and eye opening story!!!!!!!!!!

it's a captivating and eye opening story!
Looking forward to FINDING MY VIRGINITY!
BRILLIANT!
CHARMING!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kent
  • 09-12-17

the narration is great.

Always good to listen to success stories driven from personal determination and a relentless approach to succeed.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ong
  • 02-12-17

A Good Narrative of Richard Branson's Life So Far

An informative account of Richard Branson's life; some aspects of which I was very surprise to learn.

Richard Branson read it clearly and engagingly.

However, the book lacked a deeper insight into the inner mind, motivation and aspiration of Richard Branson. Perhaps the unlocking of one's inner motivation may need a scholarly approach done by someone else.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lika
  • 24-11-17

Not the best biography but still interesting

He has a crazy exciting life so naturally the story was enjoyable. He was quite open about his private life including his affairs and public feud with British Airways. Branson himself narrated the book quite okay, but technicality-wise was not that perfect because you can obviously hear when one recording session was over and the new recording session started: different volume and Branson talk in different note key. Not a big deal, though. Still recommended.