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Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know [Paperback]

Ranulph Fiennes
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

1 May 2008

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 North 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.

Frequently Bought Together

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know + Beyond the Limits: The Lessons Learned from a Lifetime's Adventures + Cold: Extreme Adventures at the Lowest Temperatures on Earth
Price For All Three: 33.48

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340951699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340951699
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Rip-roaringly readable' (Guardian)

'Even readers with a broadly low tolerance for macho heroism will find themselves gripped . . . compelling' (Time Out)

'It's exhausting just reading about his exploits, so it is a perfect bedtime book. It's delightful to plump up one's duck-down pillows while vicariously enduring Fiennes's successive plunges into the deadly waters of the Artcic, and his festering crotch-rot.' (Helena Drysdale, New Statesman Books of the Year)

'It is lively and vivid, and often exciting as we anticipate each plunge into deadly Arctic waters. There are some wonderful throwaway lines . . . So, not an alien species after all but - as they say - a national treasure.' (Spectator)

enthralling (Independent)

Book Description

The extraordinary life story of the man described as 'the world's greatest living explorer' by the Guinness Book of Records

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykham-Fiennes was once described by his prospective father-in-law as "Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know." He is also described by the Guinness Book of Records as "the world's greatest living explorer" and this is the major part of the story of his life. I say `part' because, since this book was published in 2008, Ran Fiennes (as he is known) finally conquered Everest - at the age of 65!, in early 2009.

Throughout the book there is one single overriding quality which stands out above all others; For all the accolades poured upon this man, few bother to mention the fact that he is an engaging writer with the gift of capturing the reader's attention. Whether he is white-water rafting or walking to the South Pole, he has the knack of including his readers as part of the team and takes them along for the ride. This is why this book is so hard to put down.

It is an honest account of the life of someone unable to sit still. From his earliest recollections and formative years we move on to his service as an officer with 22 SAS and being required to leave after some exuberant exploits with explosives (and a betrayal by the press!) from where he later re-emerges as a Trooper (private soldier) in one the SAS reserve squadrons. An illuminating account of his active service in Oman is followed by an even more exciting narrative in which, his team travelled along some of the most dangerous and uncharted rivers in the world from the Yukon to the USA as a celebration of British Columbia's centenary. He was also considered by Cubby Broccoli for the part of James Bond!

The next 16 chapters are filled with expeditions and explorations too numerous to mention here.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars paul d 14 Aug 2009
By P. Dodd
I like to read biographies about people who have achieved something and have a good story to tell. Ranulph Fiennes definately fits into that category. I took this book to turkey for a holiday read. I read this book in 40 degree heat whilst reading about Fiennes' travels in minus 40 degree plus temperatures! The man is definately mad, has a cardiac arrest, then recovers and runs seven marathons in seven days! I am not a climber or an arctic adventurer by far, so i was a bit confused by some of the terminology. This aside a very enjoyable book about a modern day hero.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good British inspiration 5 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A formidable character who constantly challenges himself and never gives in.

Well written, I've read it 4 times now and know it wont be the last!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read! 25 Jun 2009
MB&DtK is a wonderful read. I had heard of Sir Ranulph Fiennes through various media coverage over a number of years, but my knowledge was generally quite patchy. This book describes his extraordinary life and exploits in breath-taking detail.

The guy is absolutely amazing; a real 'Boys Own Adventure' in the flesh. Not only do we learn about his astonishing Polar exploits and the horrendous hardships he endured, but the various other endeavours leave the reader equally gob-smacked.

The description of his mountain climbing exploits and his amazing 7 marathons, in 7 continents in 7 days simply beggar belief!

If Britain had more men like Sir Ranulph (in politics, in industry) we wouldn't be in the state we are today!

This is an astonishing life told in an immensely readable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what an extraordinary life Mr Fiennes has led 19 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An inspirational autobiography from one of the greatest living explorers, to read about his many accomplishments was very enjoyable. Fantastically written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Ranulph Fiennes 27 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What unique, inspirational human being, through his autobiography we start to get a glimpse of the man and his life
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book. 14 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this man has had an amazing life and the stuff he has done is ace. i did not know alot about him before i read it but the title give you an idea and i loved it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so much adventure 4 Nov 2013
By Alice
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great adventure book - made me want to go exploring! Constantly in awe of his ability to push himself ever further. Definitely mad! I love the 'why can't I?' approach to life!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
Everyone who has now read it has liked it and found it quite interesting.
A very interesting and enjoyable read.
Published 7 days ago by Frank
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Fiennes
It is quite a good read, but it repeats too much of what I have read by/ of him elsewhere
Published 1 month ago by Paul Bach
3.0 out of 5 stars poor condition book
From what I've managed to read a very interesting book. Sadly I bought it second hand and half a dozen pages fell out when I opened the book.
Published 1 month ago by mckenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional man, exceptional book
What an incredible man and an incredible story. Easily one of the books that I could pick up and read again and again. Fantastic.
Published 2 months ago by D. Everest
4.0 out of 5 stars Mad, bad & very exciting x
A real life boys own adventure, Sir Ranulph achieves super human feats as if walking his dog on the weekend. A must read for all adventure lovers.
Published 2 months ago by Keith Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!
Makes you proud to be British, not only has this man broken countless records and achieved the unthinkable, it's the fact that it's all produced millions of pounds for worthwhile... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Adie
4.0 out of 5 stars Gifted
It was for a birthday present and the recipient likes factual books, especially those relating to exploration or world history
Published 4 months ago by Joanie
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting read
the book us in most instances an interesting read. there are occasions when it can go on a bit in a relatively tedious tone, however the adventures, wealth of knowledge and life... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Djp
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing adventures
This book tells of all the icy cold adventures in some detail, but the writing style has no real flair. It is as if a list of 'events' have been all put together in sequence. Read more
Published 4 months ago by
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Interesting read
Very detailed book
Insightful on the hardships faced whilst on expeditions
Bit too dry for me to finish
Published 5 months ago by Emma Holland
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