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154 Reviews
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional read
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...
Published on 25 July 2002 by Mr Dewi Jones

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but too worthy at the end...
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...
Published 24 months ago by Adam Lake


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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional read, 25 July 2002
By 
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guts and determination and a living legend!, 8 Oct 2003
By 
M. O'connor (Darlington United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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
By 
Gerard Kroese (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but too worthy at the end..., 31 Aug 2012
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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Down to Earth and Inspirational, 27 April 2006
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars An insight into the business and personal life of a great entrepreneur, 24 Jun 2006
By 
Paz (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best autobiography ever!!!!, 17 Feb 2004
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D. Simons "collectauctionamazon" (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
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I work for an airline and so could see what Richard Branson was saying later on in the book. This man is a genius. This book could almost be a medical book for anyone going out into business or already in business. After reading this book I was left totally inspired.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable, 12 Mar 2007
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is the highly readable account of Branson's life and business ventures to date. He comes across as extremely personable and honest, with a great deal of integrity. His battles with BA make fascinating reading and his various balloon flights and other 'extreme' sports adventures make for exciting interludes to his business life. The picture plates are also very clear and give a good cross section of his life. This is so easy to read and thoroughly engrossing, once you start reading, you can't stop and you're left with high respect for a British business role model.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab from Start to Finish!!!!, 20 Feb 2004
Richard B has proved himself to be an honest and straightforward individual, why else would he share his failures, bad decisions and vulnerabilities along with his terrific negotiating skills and PR. He surrounded himself, accidentally it would seem, with old friends who all seemed to make up the ideal management team. They were all there - the analytic one, the teamworker etc., etc., and Richard the visionary !
The person who said the book was dull must have got it mixed up with something else. I've never read 573 pages so quickly!
This book was indeed a fascinating read, especially if, like me, you're newly self-employed, what inspiration!!!!
Thanks Richard - can't wait for volume II x
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard is an inspiration, 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Losing My Virginity (Paperback)
I am a business future antrepreneur guy, Richard Branson is one of the few people that truly inspire me, you must read his biography. Great lessons not only for business but for life also.
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