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My Heroes: Extraordinary Courage, Exceptional People [Hardcover]

Ranulph Fiennes
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 Sep 2011

In MY HEROES the 'world's greatest living explorer' (Guinness Book of Records), writes about the people who have inspired him - from explorers to policemen, families to freedom fighters.

Wherever in the world Ranulph gives one of his lectures or motivational speeches, someone always asks: 'Who inspired you to do all the crazy things you've done?' For the first time he explores this idea by revealing his own personal heroes and what lessons their actions may have taught him in his own often hazardous profession.

This book describes the extraordinary and often horrific events that led to these ordinary individuals becoming Ranulph's great heroes. From polar survivor to knifed-and-beaten policeman, from a woman missionary to a special forces soldier, these wonderful people will make you proud to be part of the human race.

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My Heroes: Extraordinary Courage, Exceptional People + Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know + Beyond the Limits: The Lessons Learned from a Lifetime's Adventures
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (29 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444722425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444722420
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 227,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Refreshingly different... this salute to mostly unsung heroes is an inspirational reminder of human goodness'. (Daily Mail)

'A gripping salute to those whose determination in the face of fear leaves the rest of us awestruck... thoroughly researched and grippingly detailed... his stories of raw courage are timeless'. (Scotsman)

'Fiennes is making the case for a closer examination of the example set by the men and women he considers heroes'. (The Times)

(It's painfully) compelling. (Evening Standard)

The sort of book that will suggest fascinating lines of research to find out more about some of the subjects. The author has given us a splendid read. (The Canberra Times)

Acclaim for Ranulph's previous books: (.)

'Rip-roaringly readable' (Guardian on MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN)

Sir Ranulph has earned his place in the heroic roll call of Scott, Shackleton and the rest. (Daily Mail)

'Ran epitomises British phlegm, and he puts all other glory-seekers to shame. Long may he continue to make us glad that we are not him, while we stand in awe.' (Country Life)

His courage, determination, stamina - and madness - are truly awesome.' (Daily Express)

Book Description

National treasure and bestselling author, Ranulph Fiennes writes about the people who have inspired him - from explorers to policemen, soldiers to freedom fighters.

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Men and Women; Unremarkable Writing 12 Nov 2011
By MoseyOn
Sir Ranulph Fiennes may be (certainly is) a great explorer and adventurer, but he is not a great writer. This book moves along not on the strength or deftness of his writing (often jumpy and cliché-riddled, with paragraphs sometimes inserted seemingly at random), but on the drama inherent in the stories themselves. But does the writing matter? This depends on why you read a book like this. Is it for the beauty of the writing itself, or for the power of the stories? For me, at least in this case, it is the latter, so I was not as disturbed by the writing as I might have been if I thought I were reading a work of literary art. In eleven chapters and an introduction, Fiennes tells stories of prodigious feats of endurance, survival, courage, determination, faith, and maybe even madness. I'm not sure I would call them all heroes, but then, this book isn't about my heroes, is it? It's about people Sir Ranulph considers heroes, and the definition of heroism is always subjective anyway. I think the best attempt I ever heard to distinguish between courage and heroism is that heroism is great courage for the sake of others. But that's only one possible definition, and anyone that you hold up as a role model because of his or her acts of courage, skill, or determination might just as easily be described as your hero. And who knows? If you ask me again tomorrow I might be ready to change my own definition of heroism.

Though most come from the 20th century, the stories in this book range in time from plague-infected England in the 17th century to the violence in Zimbabwe following the stolen election of 2008. The heroes include adventurers, soldiers, police, a journalist, a missionary, and just ordinary people who showed uncommon mettle when their character was put to the test.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top Book 10 Sep 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ranulph Fiennes..What can I say about this great man? Superb honest book. Very humbling writing... Glad to have actually met the person who was exactly as I had imagined he would be...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ranulph Fiennes is a nutcase. At his age, planning a winter trek across the Antarctic would have been one of his greatest achievements. Shame he had to pull out. The book is fantastic though - The bravery of some of the individuals and groups is very moving. Ranulph has once again successfully put together an inspiring read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable 18 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this book moving, inspiring and very well written. The fact that all the stories are true, made it one of my all time favourite reads.... Mr Fiennes is someone who certainly does not lack courage, and he paints moving portraits of figures from recent and less recent times in a way that brings the characters to life.... if these stories had, say, appeared in a major newspaper,I am sure the author would have been recommended for awards..... as an English scholar in my earlier years, I found the literary style engaging, and I couldn't put the book down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read 29 Dec 2011
By peds
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
delivered on time and well wrapped have read about a quater of it and cannot put it down i would reccomend it
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4.0 out of 5 stars Grab a coffee, and your kindle, and enjoy! 22 Sep 2014
By Mr. B
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fantastic book from the man they call "The World's Greatest Living Explorer"!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Commercial abuse of reputation 21 Jan 2012
By jaysull
This is a poorly extracted collection of mini-histories, of undoubtedly brave people, written in rather stilted schoolboy English.
The author clearly got bored after the first story. Microbiology gets a C minus.
A big disappointment.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Hard to put down' 8 Feb 2013
Many people have stated that this book is not well written. It isn't as well written as some other books, i.e. by Scott Fitzgerald, but this book probably wasn't intended to be a great piece of literature (Though I couldn't fault it when reading).

The stories contained within are very heroic acts, all are great ones. This made it 'hard to put down' and something I will probably end up reading again in the future.
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