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on 22 August 2007
Wrting a biography of Michael O'Leary, the notoriously combative boss of Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, was never going to be an easy task. O'Leary apparently had no interest in the book and did not co-operate with the project, though he did grant the author a few interviews in his capacity as a newspaper journalist. Perhaps for this reason, this is more a book about Ryanair than about O'Leary himself. His childhood and education are covered in the first few pages, and references to his private life (his country home, his cattle breeding, his marriage) are few and far between. But we learn a lot about his accountancy background, his obsession with cost-cutting, his relentless battles with all authorities that obstruct his airline's development, his brilliant manipulation of events and situations to maximise publicity for Ryanair, and his general ruthlessness. Surprisingly, the impact of other low-cost airlines hardly features at all - even Easyjet is barely mentioned. But it's the best book on Ryanair I've seen so far.
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on 20 September 2007
I enjoyed this book, although (as others who have reviewed the book will confirm), this book is not really about Michael O'Leary and gives very little information and understanding of the man. It is really about Ryanair and I think the book would be better being called about Ryanair. It tells the history of the business and how it went from a complete financial and business model mess into the amazing business it is today. It tells how the focus and drive of Michael O'Leary was so key and how he used so cleverly PR and pressure to carve it out. Well worth a read. I have read other books such as the book about GO which was also interesting, but this book was even better.
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on 22 May 2016
Love him or hate him there's no denying he impact that Michael O'Leary has had on the airline industry.

It may come as a surprise to find that he's actually a very private man and therefore this book doesn't delve too deeply into that side of him. As others have said, this is as much the story of Ryanair as any biography of O'Leary himself. Nevertheless it's none the worse for that as it exposes how this phenomenon happened under our noses without us noticing until it was too late.

People may have criticisms of Ryanair but largely they are without merit. Michael O'Leary is the undisputed champion of low-cost air travel. If you play the game by O'Leary's rules then you'll get along fine but if you don't then you'll only be lining his pockets even more...and don't say you weren't warned!

It's a well-written book, easy to read and hugely enjoyable. All credit to Michael O'Leary!
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on 26 January 2013
Alan Ruddock has written a terrific account of Michael O'Leary's business career, particularly his astonishing success at Ryanair. Readers should be aware that this book focuses mainly on RyanAir, still a great deal is imparted concerning O'Leary's earlier career. What becomes clear is that behind the rogueish exterior is a shrewd, uncompromising businessman who relentlessly pursued a successful but ruthless costs-driven strategy, turning a struggling minor airline into one of Europe's leading carriers.
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on 23 April 2013
The man is a clearly talented man who has transformed air travel forever
You will enjoy this book a lot
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on 15 July 2014
Great insight to the Ryanair story. I had heard that it was Tony Ryan's airline and Michael O Leary helped to build it. Michael O Leary took it from disaster to world success. Love or hate Ryanair there is no way we would have access to Europe like we do if it wasn't for Michael O Leary.
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on 25 October 2012
I enjoyed this book. As someone already said it's more about Ryanair than O'Leary himsels. After page 200 I got a bit bored as figures and year on year (or quarter on quarter) performance and profits became the focus.
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on 1 September 2014
Excellent read. If you're interested in business, aviation, or Michael O'Leary himself - this is a very interesting read.
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on 19 September 2015
An interesting book giving a good insight into what makes Michael O'Leary tick . A very good read .
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on 4 March 2016
Great read - Michael O'Leary? what a man!!!!!!!
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