Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know
By Ranulph Fiennes
The extraordinary life story of the man described as 'the world's greatest living explorer' by the Guinness Book of Records
Ranulph Fiennes has travelled to the most dangerous and inaccessible places on earth, almost died countless times, lost nearly half his fingers to frostbite, raised millions of pounds for charity and been awarded a polar medal and an OBE. He has been an elite soldier, an athlete, a mountaineer, an explorer, a bestselling author and nearly replaced Sean Connery as James Bond.
In his autobiography he describes how he led expeditions all over the world and became the first person to travel to both poles on land. He tells of how he discovered the lost city of Ubar in Oman and attempted to walk solo and unsupported to the North Pole - the expedition that cost him several fingers, and very nearly his life.
His most recent challenge was scaling the north face of the Eiger, one of the most awesome mountaineering challenges in the world. Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes OBE, 3rd Baronet, looks back on a life lived at the very limits of human endeavour.
'Even readers with a broadly low tolerance for macho heroism will find themselves gripped . . . compelling' - Time Out
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 Her Majesty the Queen awarded Fiennes the Order of the British Empire (OBE) because, on the way to breaking records, he has raised over £10 million for charity.
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- Publication date:
01 May 2008
- Page count:
Rip-roaringly readable — Guardian
Even readers with a broadly low tolerance for macho heroism will find themselves gripped . . . compelling — Time Out
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
enthralling — Independent