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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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What listeners say about Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

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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

6 people found this helpful

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    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.

4 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

2 people found this helpful

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    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!!

2 people found this helpful

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Account of an amazing life.

This was a fascinating listen narrated by Sir Ranulph. Just a pity it was abridged.

1 person found this helpful

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superb

If you ever feel it's a struggle to get out of bed some mornings, think of Ranulph Fiennes. Some people are just born to be exceptional and inspiring. A truly remarkable man

1 person found this helpful

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what a guy

Makes you sit and look at your desk and want to launch it, and go have an adventure.

1 person found this helpful

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Too short, could have listened forever.

Have fallen madly in love with Sir Ranulph and Ginny. Truly inspirational. A wonderful listen.

1 person found this helpful

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A little disappointing

The adventures of Ranulph have always interested me and was eager to get ripped into a good read/listen to get to know this character better. I particularly chose this version of the audio so I could get it from the "horses mouth"
I was a little disappointed . His delivery was a little wooden and the whole audio was way too short. never really got to know the chap. .... same that.

1 person found this helpful

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Is this abridged?

The book felt way too short and that so much of it had been cut. I actually checked with a hard copy I bought years ago and yes, it's been hugely cut and as a result isn't anywhere as near as the original.

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    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.