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Losing My Virginity: The Autobiography Mass Market Paperback – 9 Jun 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 288 customer reviews

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Losing My Virginity
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; New Ed edition (9 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753510200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753510209
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 4.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Love him or loathe him, you've got to admit it, Richard Branson has drive. And guts. And enough ambition to sink a battleship--or perhaps that should be a jumbo jet--or even a whole company of jumbos if the Virgin Atlantic/British Airways debacle (which takes up a huge chunk of this already huge tome) is anything to go by.

Branson's autobiography makes immensely fascinating reading. Whatever you think of Britain's most famous entrepreneur, the odds are that you will enjoy reading his autobiography. You may snort at descriptions of his "poor" childhood--spent eating bread and dripping while living in a house the majority of us visit on Bank Holidays and attending a "minor" public school. You may groan at memories of early initiative tests: how about being ejected from the family car and told by his mother to find his way home--at the age of four? You may flinch at accounts of his early business days as an unwashed, unshod, hippy magazine publisher living en famille with his staff in the crypt of a West London church. But, all in all, you'll get to understand where the guy's coming from--man.

And, like the man himself, there's no holds barred here. Richard bares his soul, from childhood, school days (cheating at exams), loves and losses (lost one wife when a spot of wife-swapping went drastically wrong--for him), death-defying adventures (yes, the balloons are all there), to the rise and rise of the Virgin empire. His interviews for Student magazine and the early days of Virgin Music read like a chronicle of popular music and culture in the late 20th century. Famous names bounce off every page. Prepare to be enthralled by the life and times of a walking publicity machine. --Carey Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Grabs you on page one and never lets go... a rollercoaster ride...read what makes this brilliant and hardworking man tick." (Spectator)

"Candid and humerous." (The Times)

"An incredible man, and this is an incredible autobiography... a great read - sex, balloons, intrigue and money." (Sunday Business)

"Branson bares his soul - and everything else - in a non-fiction blockbuster... a must read." (Business Age)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
The way Branson invented Virgin and then re-invented the products and the image is an inspiration to us all, entrepreneurs or not. If you're not in business, you'll want to be after reading these 500 pages which whistle by as fast as a Virgin Atlantic jumbo. He's honest to a fault and that makes the book all the more readable - I never want to fly BA again! The tales of adventure on sea and by balloon are fascinating insights into how close Branson came to death - in fact you could say he's had a charmed life which inspired me to make my next 40 years as worthwhile and fulfilling as his first 40. Sorry to gush, but it's a top read whatever age.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
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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By A Customer on 25 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
Who hasn't at sometime thought about going into business for oneself, being a great success and having the satisfaction of manning the helm of your own future? Who hasn't then come back to 'reality' and continued to get on with it? Read "Loosing my Virginity" by Richard Branson, and you will find yourself burning with enthusiasm once again and racking your brain to think of some venture into which you can fling your energy. That is the great attraction of this book, it is about business from the point of view that you spend most of your life working, so why not make it enjoyable. Richard Branson points out that he has "never gone into any business purely to make money" and although most people would probably cringe at such a comment out of context, read the book and you will surely believe him! Mr Branson explains how he hopped from editing a student magazine to each of his subsequent ventures because it appeared the most interesting thing to do at the time. Fortunately, he knew the right people at the right time and had quite a bit of luck along the way, but the underlying theme is that if you have the urge to go your own way, then do it (and you may even make a fortune!).
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Format: Paperback
The book was, to my delight, a very interesting read. "Losing My Virginty" reads like a novel and I would say that it was as interesting as both "Memoirs of a Geisha" and the "Harry Potter" series. Yet the book was full of lessons in a variety of business fields; entrepreneurship and risk-taking being at the forefront of those fields. In its value as a business book, I would compare it to "Lessons from the Top" and "The Millionnaire Next Door", both of which were a much less gripping read. However, "Losing my Virginity" is different from those two books in that it is primarily about "World Class Entrepreneurship". Branson takes the reader on a trip back to the 60's and 70's when Virgin took off and gradually leads you into the "jetstream" of his turbulant life. You will enjoy the ride.
This is definitely a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and earnestly recommend to anyone, not necessarily to businessmen, just to anyone who wants to make the most of his/her life.
Richard Branson used the book well on many occasions to tell his side of the story and to clarify to the public certain events that may have not been fully disclosed in that way during the time of their occurance.
He also talks freely about matters, which a conventionial bussinessman would find out of place, beyong the point or even downright embarrassing. Those "personal" moments are actually the essence of what this book is all about. The book is about Branson's life and Virgin Group is just that, a very large chunk of Branson's life.
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