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Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Narrated by: Ranulph Fiennes
Length: 2 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (202 ratings)

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Summary

Ranulph Fiennes has travelled to the most dangerous and inaccessible places on earth, almost died countless times, lost nearly half his fingers to frostbite, raised millions of pounds for charity, and been awarded a polar medal and an OBE. He has been an elite soldier, an athlete, a mountaineer, an explorer, a bestselling author, and nearly replaced Sean Connery as James Bond.

In his autobiography, he describes how he led expeditions all over the world and became the first person to travel to both poles on land. He tells of how he discovered the lost city of Ubar in Oman and attempted to walk solo and unsupported to the South Pole: the expedition that cost him several fingers, and very nearly his life. His most recent challenge was scaling the north face of the Eiger, one of the most awesome mountaineering challenges in the world. Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes OBE, 3rd Baronet, looks back on a life lived at the very limits of human endeavour.

©2007 Ranulph Fiennes (P)2007 Hodder and Stoughton Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Rip-roaringly readable." ( Guardian)

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Too short

brilliant book, well read etc just too short. Would love to have heard the full version

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

This could have been 5 books

To compress such an awesome life into a few hours of audiobook seems such a shame. I wanted to know more about every chapter,about the reckless capers and the insane expeditions.

This should have been a 5 book series but you get a feeling that the author is simply too modest to write them.

The spirit of the empire and a real boys own adventure story leaps from every page in an age when health and safety rule and squash our daily lives.

2 people found this helpful

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What a bloke

Inspiring and moving. I don't have the patience of a reader so this was a great way to hear this story. A must listen

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Definitely Mad but not Bad

What a truly inspirational story Sir ranulph tellss of his endeavours. This man is a legend and yet he tells it as if it were his destiny. Trekking across both poles, removing the ends of his own frostbitten fingers in his garden shed, has a heart attack on a plane and within 16 weeks runs 7 marathons in seven days on seven continents all toraise millions for Charity. Then he gets to within 300 meters of the summit of Everest, considers this a failure and so learns to climb and tackles one of the most dangerous peaks in the world; the North Face of the Eiger; passing the corpses of several legendary but dead climbers on the way, declaring at the end of the climb that his attention to climbing rather than running has resulted in a loss of fitness. Okay so you can see why he is slightly mad.
Not bad at all. Respect Sir, Total!!

1 person found this helpful

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meh

although he's obviously an amazing adventurer with grit beyond my wildest dreams, his writing style or maybe his delivery was a little lacking for me.

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Not as "exciting" as I had imagined.

Fascinating and extraordinary life. I suppose I personally enjoyed the greater detail found in the books surrounding individual adventures.

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Could be longer but a good overview

This was an ideal introduction but there is so much more to learn from Ranulph’s expeditions.

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factual. but more like a timeline than real drama

Narrator was hoping for more, obviously he isn't a dramatic man,,, but some more emphasis would have been enjoyable. The audible version was 2 chapters, fairly quick. The book spanned from childhood all the way to 2006 so you can imagine each of his epic adventures only had about 5 or 10minutes each, hardly detailed or scene setting. Such a shame I was really hoping to love this.

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Not the complete autobiography...

This short book was like an abridged version or something. Glossed over his life and no depth of character or motivation for his incredible feats of exploration. Disappointed really as I wanted to know what made him tick.

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brilliant book

very good and easy listen. the man achieved so much in his life. would recommend it

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • willsirett
  • 12-03-10

Excellent but...

Excellent book covering the career of an amazing British adventurer. My only problem was when purchasing I did not release quite how abridged it was. Felt very short or perhaps I was simply enjoying the narrative.

2 people found this helpful

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  • S. Casper
  • 17-06-19

Very abridged

Is this the right book for you? It will depend largely on how much detail you want or need.

This audiobook is two and a half hours of Sir Ranulph Fiennes providing an overview or summary of the key events of his life. His other books are between 12 and 16 hours long.

To give you some idea of just how this compares with his other works, I'm including the following example of the level of abridgement you can expect to see.

From "Fear":

"Older boys still fancied me, therefor I developed a permanent scowl and in the streets only looked down at the pavement. Then one day a boy named David Hart, who had joined my house at the same time I had and was also alienated from his peers that he so hated one particular bully that he was going to take up boxing, which was then an alternative to fencing or gymnastics so that he could be up his tormentor. He never did take up boxing, but he did give me the idea to do so. And from then on my constant feeling of shame, humiliation and derision began to diminish".

That same experience in "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know":

"Instead [of suicide], I decided to cultivate a perpetual scowl and joined the school boxing team."

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-06-17

Hero!

Great book, brilliamtly narrated. Ran Fiennes is the world's top adventurer and definitely my hero!

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  • Wright
  • 24-07-12

Far far far too Abridged

Any additional comments?

There are gigantic plot points skipped, you can't even call this a book. It's more like a sample of the book.