I think the ultimate measuring stick for me on a book is whether after listening to it I want to purchase the book version for myself or others and this book really hits it on the head and I will be ordering the written version.
I found this book to be inspiring, honest, and overall very entertaining. Sometimes on Man vs Wild, Bear would take risks or do things I doubt he would do in a real similar situation for the purpose of entertaining the audience and he talks about that in the book.
It paints a beautiful picture of this man who loves the outdoors, challenges, and adventure but is also driven to be a good husband and father to his kids. The description of what he went through to get into the SAS is inspiring and made me feel like any challenges I have could be pretty trivial and doable in comparison.
Only complaint as other reviewers have said is I wish Bear had done the narrative himself. He has a very humorous and entertaining way of talking, I'm sure honed by years of motivational speaking talks he has given.
I found the book to be pretty disappointing overall and would not classify it as a masterpiece. My criteria for a good reader is for them to be able to read in such a way that fools your mind into thinking they are the actual authors; in that regard, Richard Johnson does a stellar performance.
My problem with the book is the same problem I have with modern pornography. It is very degrading and disregarding of women. Every sexual encounter in the book starts with him either forcing kisses and touch on the house servants or relatives or with him paying for sex. Yes, at least as the author portrays it, all of the ladies come around to wanting it from him after he has forced himself upon and/or into them, but in all aspects of it, every initial encounter meets our modern definition of rape, attempted rape, or prostitution.
Read it if you want as a historical piece of erotica but please keep in mind the parallels between this work and modern pornography of men forcing themselves, whether painful or not, into women. And also please do not use this as an educational or inspirational piece of literature to model your life after or envy the young man in the book.
Finally, I'd highly recommend reading: Jackson Katz's "The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help" and then decide how you feel about this book and many other written and film works of erotica.
I was very much impressed with this book and think it should be part of a library that includes "Why We Get Fat", "The End of Overeating", and perhaps "Good Calories, Bad Calories" if you want a longer version of Why We Get Fat. And if you want to know more what to do with what you are left w/ to eat, try The Perfect Health Diet or The Primal Blueprint (the author pretty much advocates this sort of eating, but uses a more scientific approach than eating that way because ancestors did)
As far as a review of the audio, it's in the upper half of good to me. Didn't put me to sleep, didn't overemphasize or dramatize things, and was read about how I would read it.
As far as the content: It seems impossible at first to consider that wheat could be bad since it's been used since bible times, but you'll find in the first few chapters how much our current version has been genetically (not just hybrid) modified to create a grain that produces a much more powerful blood sugar spike, has a much higher gluten content, and is problematic for most people. Reading this book, it is hard to not want to give up wheat. The problem lies in whether or not the individual is willing to make those changes.
The only cons I see is that he is less aggressive on complete avoidance of vegetable oils and is less strict on sugar, tho he does say to avoid and limit both. As to the previous reviewer, I have a medical background and have spent considerable time reading all the above mentioned books and following the current research. The more I read, the more I'm convinced that wheat is very much toxic and can be at least partially to blame for many of the diseases affecting our society. Type II Diabetes is related to diet, excess fat accumulation, etc and is very much preventable even if one does have a genetic predisposition to it (read "Why We Get Fat" and you'll see how our overweight mothers are partially responsible for this). There is a reason that the numbers are rising rapidly along with our waistline sizes. DM type II is a problem that can be prevented by diet and sent into remission if, like the author mentions, the beta cells that produce the insulin have not been so destroyed that they can not recover. I have helped and seen multiple diabetics get completely off insulin and have normal blood sugars and A1C after losing the weight and avoiding the carbohydrates that cause blood sugar elevation and also prediabetics who have had those numbers return to normal ranges after changes in diet and this book can help you get started in that direction or avoid it altogether.
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