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Mad Dogs and Englishmen Paperback – 27 May 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (27 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340925043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340925041
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sir Ranulph Fiennes was the first man to reach both poles (by surface travel) and the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported. In the 1960s he was removed from the SAS Regiment for misuse of explosives but, joining the army of the Sultan of Oman, received that country's Bravery Medal. He is the only person yet to have been awarded two clasps to the Polar medal for both Antarctic and the Arctic regions. Fiennes has led over 30 expeditions including the first polar circumnavigation of the Earth. In 1993 Fiennes was awarded the OBE because, on the way to breaking records, he has raised over £10 million for charity. In 2009 Sir Ranulph Fiennes became the oldest Briton to climb Everest. He was named Best Sportsman in the 2007 Great Britons Awards.

Product Description

Review

A whirlwind romp through the annals of time, peopled with the good, the bad and downright mad among the Fiennes clan. (Sunday Telegraph)

Fascinating...it is some family tree (Adrian Chiles, The One Show)

Praise for MAD, BAD AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW (-)

'If you ever struggle to drag yourself out of bed on a winter's morning, pick up a copy of Ranulph Fiennes' autobiography. It's an inspiration.' (Mail on Sunday)

'Rip-roaringly readable' (Guardian)

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

'This is the memoir of a supreme sportsman, an uber-earthling who could show the Martians a thing or two about what the best of us can achieve' (Financial Times Magazine)

'"Ran' epitomises British phlegm, and he puts all other glory-seekers to shame. His dry wit, self deprecation and steely determination never to feel a scrap of self-pity are in the very best tradition of British travel writing. Long may he continue tomake us glad that we are not him, while we stand in awe.' (Country Life)

'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)

A very funny, moving and inspiriting look back at the family history of one of the greatest explorers ever to live. We all love Sir Ranulph Fiennes, he never disappoints. And this book is no exception. (Bear Grylls)

Book Description

Explorer and bestselling author Sir Ranulph Fiennes takes a journey around his vast and eccentric family tree, and reveals an amazing family history.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
To be honest i had no idea what to expect when i downloaded this title, I really don't normally touch this sort of book, But i Like Fiennes, i have read his fiction novels so i know he can write, and the man himself is an enigma.

So why read this? Well a book that shows a view of a single family history going back to the Norman invasion, and how that family intertwines with the history of this great nation and played at times a pivotal role in its evolution, it was too much to pass up. I'm sure there is an element of 6 degree of separation going on at times given the incestuous nature of the aristo's in times of yore, but even that does not account for just how many great people or important events were touched by this family, or how interesting it all is seeing it tied together.

It could put you off doing your own family history, or it could kindle a need to know who you are where you came from, what role did your family have? I very much doubt many will have this outcome, but even the odd shining star is fun and even without, its amazing finding out.

I recommend this to any reader, Ranulph has a very humorous wit that pervades the book and is not averse to poking fun at himself or his family or the royalty of Great Britain, i really enjoyed this read, something very different from what i normally read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By holls on 22 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I consider him a fine author, his subject matter is never dull, whether we're talking SAS jaunts, secret societies, desert explorations or fitness manuals, you really get the impression that he's done his research and often has firsthand experience. So. The Family is old, has its roots in the Dark Ages when Britain was a different beast altogether, its people always close to the heart of the nation as it grew, and the whole thing is a lovely if somewhat fast ride through British history; it's hard to keep up! In fact, I don't know how he managed to keep his cool while writing it -there's almost too much here, but he handles the characters, and historical framework, with his customary aplomb and dry sense of humour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By john easton on 3 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ihave not read it yet so cannot comment.Sir ran is a very fine author and a remarkable man,If it carries on in the same vein and style of his previous works then i will not be dissapointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A cracking read! Fiennes makes genealogy an interesting subject - but who wouldn't be interested if you had such a weird pack of relatives and a bloodline like his? However, I was surprised to discover that this eBook lacks the family tree diagrams that were my overriding reason for buying it all, and so I ended up also having to buy the book proper just to get the diagrams. While I can accept the fact that the book's photos are not reproduced in the eBook version, had I known it would also lack the printed diagrams, I would have saved my money and bought the softback version alone.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. MCMAHON on 17 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Being a family tree obsessive (I have traced mine back to 1500s) this book is a brilliant read. I would highly recommend it to history lovers as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barneys mum on 3 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this on holiday and needed to concentrate really hard to keep track of all the characters. I loved Rans easy going style and how he gave you a fix on a certain family member and referred back to him or her. I wish I had not thought of it, but I equated the Fiennes family with "Where's Wally" and imagined them popping up with their red and yellow striped hat throughout history. This is the first time I have read a 1000 years of British history in one hit and found it a good way to view the whole picture. I was horrified how many people died in the medeival battles especially given the population of the time and when viewed against Afghanistan where we get worried about one person dying. I admire the Twisleton-Wyckeham-Fiennes family for mostly keeping their heads below the parapet and for keeping a property in one family for 600 years. But most of all I admire Ran for writing a book of this stature whilst climbing Everest. A book for your Desert Island perhaps.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a great read, I take years to read any book usually, but might get this finished in six months! Believe me that's good going for me! Very helpful with English history, putting events in order, and as a family historian myself even more interesting, especially as I 'know' some of my ancestors back to 1200s too, and I recognised some names I've come across in my own research. I am a fan of Sir Ranulph even more so now!
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Simon Smith on 8 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
A big challenge to wrap up one thousand years of family history with the history of England whilst producing something readable and entertaining for the lay reader. The result is too dry and lacking in personal anecdote to be a success. Often the relevance of the Fiennes family is little more than a footnote.
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