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Step by Step

The Life in My Journeys
Narrated by: Simon Reeve
Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (311 ratings)
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Summary

The inspiring memoir from TV traveller Simon Reeve's life of amazing adventures in over 120 countries and the most remote and extreme corners of the planet.  

TV documentary maker Simon Reeve has dodged bullets on frontlines, hunted with the Bushmen of the Kalahari, dived with manta rays, seals and sharks, survived malaria, walked through minefields, tracked lions on foot, been taught to fish by the President of Moldova, and detained for spying by the KGB. After a decade spent making more than 80 programmes he has become a familiar face on British TV, well known for his extraordinary journeys across jungles, deserts, mountains and oceans, and to some of the most beautiful, dangerous and remote regions of the world. But what most people don't know is that Simon's own journey started in a rough area of Acton, West London where he was brought up and left school with no qualifications. For the first time he will tell his life story with an audiobook rich in anecdotes to entertain and inform listeners about some of the most fascinating (and often dangerous) places in the world and what it took to reach them.  

©2018 Simon Reeve (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Audible Sessions with Simon Reeve

Meet the author and narrator of Step by Step
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Critic reviews

"I couldn't put it down, literally couldn't put it down.... A cracking autobiography. It's so diverse, it's beautifully written. It's a real page-turner....The best autobiography of anyone under 50 I've ever read." (Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2)

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What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t put it down!

I have literally been avoiding my family so I can hide away and find out more about Simon’s adventures. I now have a really bad case of itchy feet and think my next holiday might be somewhere really weird. Well written, entertaining and interesting!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A “ must read”

I have always enjoyed the authors travel documentaries , he focuses on the people and the positives in where ever he is in the world . This book has shed so much more light on the positives, I have learnt so much about the world by listening to him narrating his own story, a brilliant listen

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent listen

Simon is excellent both as an author and narrator. production quality was let down in the end by last 2 chapters marred by what sounds like persistent doorbells! Maddening and spoils what is an excellent listen, hope audible fixes this soon

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Adventure with purpose

Straight, honest, warm, insightful, exuberant - what a brilliant book this is! It’s read by Simon Reeve himself, his voice so familiar from all his excellent investigative adventure travel television programmes.

A memoir as well as a travelogue, Step by Step presents his childhood in Acton which was not one you’d expect a courageous traveller to emerge from. School was nothing much and he left without qualifications; his adolescence was deeply troubled and some of his acts of vandalism and out of control behaviour are truly shocking; dogged by depression he came within moments of suicide. I feel for both adolescent Simon but also for his parents who must have suffered years of worry. It was the therapist who told him to take his life ‘step by step’, advice he took to heart.

It was a chain of luck and pluck that got him onto the Sunday Times as a post boy and from there he started writing travel articles. At last absorbed by a passionate interest, he researched the bombs used in the attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993 and wrote the prophetic The New Jackals. After 9/11 and he was feted as the world specialist on Islamic terrorism and The New Jackals which had all but disappeared became New York best seller. Never in his wildest dreams as he drove round Acton in his granny’s adapted car (apart from his BMX bike his only childhood adventures) could Simon have imagined such a life path!

His brilliant travel adventures – ‘adventures with purpose’ he calls them – followed. His engaging amazement and wonderment never leaves him as he travels world wide – not merely observing but getting right in with the people (often requiring sharing prodigious amounts of local alcohol and food. Fancy barbecued rat?) to learn what life is really like. Abject poverty (Somalia, the ‘Stans’) and ruination of the environment (the draining of the Aral Sea) can leave him in tears of despair and sorrow as he draws the listener into places where most people will probably never go. He’s faced terrifying dangers (a stand-off in Mogadishu between his minders and a local gang, both groups armed with anti-aircraft guns).

Above all Simon is totally unpretentious and hugely generous in his investigations, his empathy and zeal, his determination to learn and experience more and more bursting from him and never failing to bind the listener. Even his camera crew are repeatedly appreciated for their work lugging camera equipment as heavy as a fat Labrador through rough terrain, sweltering heat or bitter cold.

Just great!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyable, incredible life!

Great that Simon reads the book himself, I am not a fan of monotone voice overs. This is Simons story, so only right that he reads it.
Worth a listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captures you right from the start

This book was the best I’ve listened to so far on Audible. It captured me right from the start. It’s emotional, funny and immerses you in the the real stories of his travels. Inspires you to want to see the world more

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A true story of becoming a modern day explorer

An honest and deeply moving portrayal of his early year, difficulties with Mental health and how he grow to overcome it inner battles. Simon tells an incredible inspiring story of how we got into journalism and how he ended up in a job he is his true self! Great book of life trials and inspiring adventures, Simon life if full of surprises, he is an interesting guy! A fantastic book, please read, you will love it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring

Absolutely amazing read .Best book I've read in a very long time !.what an amazing life story and brought to tears a lot at the outset . If there is ever a book of inspiration this is it .😊

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clive Drowley
  • Jessamine House Ings Lane Keyingham HU12 9RN
  • 07-01-19

A wonderful read of dedication . Can't stop reading /listening.

A new type of Travel presenter who is fearless where he goes tells complete truth of the situation that exists where he is travelling. The amount of research he does is staggering as is his enthusiasm to present this accurate account of conditions wherever his travels take him. He must enlighten those who read or listen to his book. A work of complete dedication.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A fascinating read, with poignant messages!

I first came across Simon Reeve, exactly as he says in this book; coming back from the pub late at night and turning on 'Meet the Stan's' on BBC Two. At the time I was studying Adventure Tourism and was particularly interested in sustainable travel and saw all adventure as 'experience' over 'tourism' - something which Simon discusses in this book. I was hooked and have watched all of his documentaries ever since, along with those of other BBC greats such as Ben Anderson and Bruce Parry.

However, what shocked me the most, was that although I greatly admire Simon's approach and style, it wasn't until I read this book that I understood the other part of Simon's journey. I had wrongly assumed he was another boy from the Home Counties, who was probably privately educated and maybe his family had some connection to the BBC. As a young adventurer, I had dreamed of taking Simon's place, leading the camera to the far corners of the world I was visiting. As a cynical state-educated student from rural East Angla, I was skeptical that someone like myself could ever have that chance. The profundity of this book was not the tales of impoverished and war-torn lands - of which there are many important and moving stories - but Simon's personal journey, of a not-to-dissimilar childhood to mine, all the way to the enviable and influential position he holds today.

I cherished the listening experience and the fact that the book is read by Simon himself, meant on multiple occasions a tear dropped from my eye, as came the smiles and the moments of wonder. I can't recommend this book enough.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • McStick
  • 18-09-18

Couldn’t put it down!

I have literally been avoiding my family so I can hide away and find out more about Simon’s adventures. I now have a really bad case of itchy feet and think my next holiday might be somewhere really weird. Well written, entertaining and interesting!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Liz Mitchinson
  • 17-09-18

A “ must read”

I have always enjoyed the authors travel documentaries , he focuses on the people and the positives in where ever he is in the world . This book has shed so much more light on the positives, I have learnt so much about the world by listening to him narrating his own story, a brilliant listen

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Curious Joe
  • 17-09-18

Excellent listen

Simon is excellent both as an author and narrator. production quality was let down in the end by last 2 chapters marred by what sounds like persistent doorbells! Maddening and spoils what is an excellent listen, hope audible fixes this soon

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel Redford
  • 07-01-19

Adventure with purpose

Straight, honest, warm, insightful, exuberant - what a brilliant book this is! It’s read by Simon Reeve himself, his voice so familiar from all his excellent investigative adventure travel television programmes.

A memoir as well as a travelogue, Step by Step presents his childhood in Acton which was not one you’d expect a courageous traveller to emerge from. School was nothing much and he left without qualifications; his adolescence was deeply troubled and some of his acts of vandalism and out of control behaviour are truly shocking; dogged by depression he came within moments of suicide. I feel for both adolescent Simon but also for his parents who must have suffered years of worry. It was the therapist who told him to take his life ‘step by step’, advice he took to heart.

It was a chain of luck and pluck that got him onto the Sunday Times as a post boy and from there he started writing travel articles. At last absorbed by a passionate interest, he researched the bombs used in the attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993 and wrote the prophetic The New Jackals. After 9/11 and he was feted as the world specialist on Islamic terrorism and The New Jackals which had all but disappeared became New York best seller. Never in his wildest dreams as he drove round Acton in his granny’s adapted car (apart from his BMX bike his only childhood adventures) could Simon have imagined such a life path!

His brilliant travel adventures – ‘adventures with purpose’ he calls them – followed. His engaging amazement and wonderment never leaves him as he travels world wide – not merely observing but getting right in with the people (often requiring sharing prodigious amounts of local alcohol and food. Fancy barbecued rat?) to learn what life is really like. Abject poverty (Somalia, the ‘Stans’) and ruination of the environment (the draining of the Aral Sea) can leave him in tears of despair and sorrow as he draws the listener into places where most people will probably never go. He’s faced terrifying dangers (a stand-off in Mogadishu between his minders and a local gang, both groups armed with anti-aircraft guns).

Above all Simon is totally unpretentious and hugely generous in his investigations, his empathy and zeal, his determination to learn and experience more and more bursting from him and never failing to bind the listener. Even his camera crew are repeatedly appreciated for their work lugging camera equipment as heavy as a fat Labrador through rough terrain, sweltering heat or bitter cold.

Just great!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-01-19

Really enjoyable, incredible life!

Great that Simon reads the book himself, I am not a fan of monotone voice overs. This is Simons story, so only right that he reads it.
Worth a listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anita
  • 15-01-19

Captures you right from the start

This book was the best I’ve listened to so far on Audible. It captured me right from the start. It’s emotional, funny and immerses you in the the real stories of his travels. Inspires you to want to see the world more

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Colour read
  • London
  • 13-01-19

A true story of becoming a modern day explorer

An honest and deeply moving portrayal of his early year, difficulties with Mental health and how he grow to overcome it inner battles. Simon tells an incredible inspiring story of how we got into journalism and how he ended up in a job he is his true self! Great book of life trials and inspiring adventures, Simon life if full of surprises, he is an interesting guy! A fantastic book, please read, you will love it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-01-19

Inspiring

Absolutely amazing read .Best book I've read in a very long time !.what an amazing life story and brought to tears a lot at the outset . If there is ever a book of inspiration this is it .😊

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clive Drowley
  • Jessamine House Ings Lane Keyingham HU12 9RN
  • 07-01-19

A wonderful read of dedication . Can't stop reading /listening.

A new type of Travel presenter who is fearless where he goes tells complete truth of the situation that exists where he is travelling. The amount of research he does is staggering as is his enthusiasm to present this accurate account of conditions wherever his travels take him. He must enlighten those who read or listen to his book. A work of complete dedication.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • N. Whittaker
  • Suffolk
  • 06-01-19

A fascinating read, with poignant messages!

I first came across Simon Reeve, exactly as he says in this book; coming back from the pub late at night and turning on 'Meet the Stan's' on BBC Two. At the time I was studying Adventure Tourism and was particularly interested in sustainable travel and saw all adventure as 'experience' over 'tourism' - something which Simon discusses in this book. I was hooked and have watched all of his documentaries ever since, along with those of other BBC greats such as Ben Anderson and Bruce Parry.

However, what shocked me the most, was that although I greatly admire Simon's approach and style, it wasn't until I read this book that I understood the other part of Simon's journey. I had wrongly assumed he was another boy from the Home Counties, who was probably privately educated and maybe his family had some connection to the BBC. As a young adventurer, I had dreamed of taking Simon's place, leading the camera to the far corners of the world I was visiting. As a cynical state-educated student from rural East Angla, I was skeptical that someone like myself could ever have that chance. The profundity of this book was not the tales of impoverished and war-torn lands - of which there are many important and moving stories - but Simon's personal journey, of a not-to-dissimilar childhood to mine, all the way to the enviable and influential position he holds today.

I cherished the listening experience and the fact that the book is read by Simon himself, meant on multiple occasions a tear dropped from my eye, as came the smiles and the moments of wonder. I can't recommend this book enough.