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Losing My Virginity

Losing My Virginity [Kindle Edition]

Richard Branson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)

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Amazon Review

Love him or loathe him, you've got to admit it, Richard Branson has drive. And guts. And enough ambition to sink a battleship--or perhaps that should be a jumbo jet--or even a whole company of jumbos if the Virgin Atlantic/British Airways debacle (which takes up a huge chunk of this already huge tome) is anything to go by.

Branson's autobiography makes immensely fascinating reading. Whatever you think of Britain's most famous entrepreneur, the odds are that you will enjoy reading his autobiography. You may snort at descriptions of his "poor" childhood--spent eating bread and dripping while living in a house the majority of us visit on Bank Holidays and attending a "minor" public school. You may groan at memories of early initiative tests: how about being ejected from the family car and told by his mother to find his way home--at the age of four? You may flinch at accounts of his early business days as an unwashed, unshod, hippy magazine publisher living en famille with his staff in the crypt of a West London church. But, all in all, you'll get to understand where the guy's coming from--man.

And, like the man himself, there's no holds barred here. Richard bares his soul, from childhood, school days (cheating at exams), loves and losses (lost one wife when a spot of wife-swapping went drastically wrong--for him), death-defying adventures (yes, the balloons are all there), to the rise and rise of the Virgin empire. His interviews for Student magazine and the early days of Virgin Music read like a chronicle of popular music and culture in the late 20th century. Famous names bounce off every page. Prepare to be enthralled by the life and times of a walking publicity machine. --Carey Green


"'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 '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 bares his soul - and everything else - in a non-fiction blockbuster... a must-read', Business Age"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4035 KB
  • Print Length: 626 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307720748
  • Publisher: Virgin Digital (4 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005F3GMAO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,518 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Richard Branson was born in 1950 and educated at Stowe School. It was here that he began to set up Student Magazine when he was just 16. By 17 he'd also set up Student Advisory Centre, which was a charity to help young people. In 1970 he founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer, and not long after he opened a record shop in Oxford Street, London. During 1972 a recording studio was built in Oxfordshire, and the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded "Tubular Bells" which was released in 1973. This album went on to sell over 5 million copies. Since then many household names, including Belinda Carlisle, Genesis, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson and The Rolling Stones have helped to make Virgin Music one of the top six record companies in the world. The equity of Virgin Music Group - record labels, music publishing, and recording studios was sold to THORN EMI in 1992 in a US$1billion deal. The Virgin Group has now expanded into international music Megastores, air travel, mobile, financial, retail, music, internet, drinks, rail, hotels and leisure, with around 200 companies in over 30 countries. Richard is married with two children and spends most of his time at his home on Necker Island.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional read 25 July 2002
I'm not a lover of books that are 500+ pages long so when I first received this book I was a little put off. After reading the first few pages though I was gripped and couldn't put it down. At a very early age, Branson seemed to have that drive that has stayed with him and has made him what he is. His lifestyle in the early days is not what you imagine and he has had his fair share of bad luck. The book takes you step by step through his life up until he is 40. He is a very likeable, genuine and considerate man and he seems to be into everything, literally!. If you think being dislexic might set you back, think again. I admired Branson's drive and enthusiasm before I read this book, now it's got me hooked and I want to find out more about him. A totally gripping book start to finish and this is the first book that I can honestly say that I couldn't put down. It has my recommendation and if I had the chance of working with him I'd jump at it ! Brilliant - well worth a buy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guts and determination and a living legend! 8 Oct 2003
Trust me, this book is highly informative and very interesting. Branson is a determined and corageous man who believed in something and achieved it. He worked hard for success and his background had nothing to do with it. I certainly don't remember a part in the book which refers to him getting anything on a plate.
The disgraceful behaviour of British Airways towards Vigin Air is riveting reading. I bet most readers would question whether they would fly BA again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Biography of an extraordinary entrepreneur 17 Jun 2003
Richard Branson is founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, which is probably one of the world's most diversified companies. It has businesses ranging from music records and mobile phones through to balloon-flying and bridal services. This book is split up into 28 short chapters and a epilogue.
The book starts initially with Branson's failed around-the-world-ballooning attempt in Morocco in January 1997, before starting at his childhood. Richard Branson was born in the South of England in 1950, which is where he grew most of his childhood. "My childhood is something of a blur to me now, but there are several episodes that stand out. I remember that my parents continually set challenges for us." During his time at a big public secondary school started thinking up schemes to make money. These schemes ranged from growing Christmas trees and breeding budgies; most of them leading nowhere. Eventually, his schoolfriend Jonny and Richard wanted to set up an alternative magazine aimed at students. "The first issue of 'Student' was published in January 1968." This led to them setting up a music shop, leading to a record label, and eventually leading to one of the largest privately-owned companies in the world. Each of the different events is discussed in detail, while written in an novel-type style.
I normally do not read autobiographies, since I think most of them are "ego-trips". Not this one however, I was surprised how honest Richard Branson was about his not always successful private life and business ventures. Since this book was first published in 1998, the life of Richard Branson has not been standing still. Therefore, be prepared for Volume II of the Sir Richard Branson-story. And I must admit that I cannot wait.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but too worthy at the end... 31 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm a bit of a junky when it comes to biographies, especially ones concerning business or politics. This book did not disappoint. For a Virgin virgin this book is a really interesting insight into the creation of the Branson Empire.

My only negative is that the last quarter really bored me. The business bit is so much more intersting than hearing about how he's trying to save the world, cure disease and stop global warming. Less candid and more dreamy.

All in all though very happy to recommend what has been a really good read on the whole.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Down to Earth and Inspirational 27 April 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book catalogues a series of truly impressive achievements, but does so in a very down to earth way. At no point do you feel that Branson is exaggerating his input into any of Virgin's achievements - credit is given where it's due, and blame accepted where appropriate.

Through understanding what has gone on behind the scenes in Branson's life, it becomes clear that this hasn't all been an easy ride, nor has anything been handed to this man on a plate. He and his fellow workers have built the Virgin empire through hard work, a lot of forward thinking, learning vital lessons from big mistakes, and by never being afraid that they might have to pick themselves and start over after a big fall.

If you're looking for a bit of inspiration, whether you're a business-head or a regular Joe, there will be something for you here. Branson's determination and enthusiasm in both his business and personal life are inspiring, but it's nice to know he's not completely perfect; really he's just like the rest of us, just a little more daring (and at times, one might suggest - daft?!)

I look forward to reading about the next ten years!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Paz
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A very enjoyable read, charting the highs and lows of Richard Branson's business and personal life from his beginnings at Student magazine to the hugely successful Virgin Group of today.

Those expecting his philosophy on successful entrepreneurship to be covered in detail may be disappointed, however it still makes very interesting reading - leaving the reader with a good understanding of his business style and his true passions in life.

One of the better autobiographies!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed every page
I have to admit it is a brilliant book. Really enjoyed reading every page and quite a insight into the life that breathes within virgin group.
Published 12 hours ago by SWagener
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 8 days ago by Arthur Holden
4.0 out of 5 stars Fanstastic first 2/3rd's of the book,
Fanstastic first 2/3rd's of the book, ended up skipping most of the final chapters due to the waffle about ecology and the environment
Published 13 days ago by Callum Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning...
Loved the background to Richard's success...the latter stages of the book not so gripping...
Published 26 days ago by Simon Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the best book in the world
This book is very interesting but extremly simliar to his other book Screw it lets do it.So if you have read his other book i wouldnt advise reading this. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Mrs Julie M Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing story. I look forward to his other
Very inspirational. What an amazing story. I look forward to his other books
Published 27 days ago by michael wenger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Almost unbelievable in some parts
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Bought for my husband he loved it
Published 1 month ago by Deborah
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
An interesting insight into the early days of Virgin; Branson writes honestly about the chances he took and how he built up the Virgin brand into a global.empire. Read more
Published 1 month ago by iris fox Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
As someone who loses interest in books very quickly a book of nearly 600 pages seemed a little ambitious, however a bit like Branson and some of his crazy expeditions I have... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Martha Thompkins
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