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Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Narrated by: Ranulph Fiennes
Length: 2 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 South 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.

©2007 Ranulph Fiennes (P)2007 Hodder and Stoughton Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Rip-roaringly readable." ( Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • Hong KongHong Kong
  • 03-12-10

Excellent but...

Excellent book covering the career of an amazing British adventurer. My only problem was when purchasing I did not release quite how abridged it was. Felt very short or perhaps I was simply enjoying the narrative.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very abridged

Is this the right book for you? It will depend largely on how much detail you want or need.

This audiobook is two and a half hours of Sir Ranulph Fiennes providing an overview or summary of the key events of his life. His other books are between 12 and 16 hours long.

To give you some idea of just how this compares with his other works, I'm including the following example of the level of abridgement you can expect to see.

From "Fear":

"Older boys still fancied me, therefor I developed a permanent scowl and in the streets only looked down at the pavement. Then one day a boy named David Hart, who had joined my house at the same time I had and was also alienated from his peers that he so hated one particular bully that he was going to take up boxing, which was then an alternative to fencing or gymnastics so that he could be up his tormentor. He never did take up boxing, but he did give me the idea to do so. And from then on my constant feeling of shame, humiliation and derision began to diminish".

That same experience in "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know":

"Instead [of suicide], I decided to cultivate a perpetual scowl and joined the school boxing team."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hero!

Great book, brilliamtly narrated. Ran Fiennes is the world's top adventurer and definitely my hero!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Wright
  • United States
  • 07-24-12

Far far far too Abridged

Any additional comments?

There are gigantic plot points skipped, you can't even call this a book. It's more like a sample of the book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathon
  • 01-06-17

Too short

brilliant book, well read etc just too short. Would love to have heard the full version

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 09-01-08

This could have been 5 books

To compress such an awesome life into a few hours of audiobook seems such a shame. I wanted to know more about every chapter,about the reckless capers and the insane expeditions.

This should have been a 5 book series but you get a feeling that the author is simply too modest to write them.

The spirit of the empire and a real boys own adventure story leaps from every page in an age when health and safety rule and squash our daily lives.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Adam
  • Adam
  • 01-27-08

Definitely Mad but not Bad

What a truly inspirational story Sir ranulph tellss of his endeavours. This man is a legend and yet he tells it as if it were his destiny. Trekking across both poles, removing the ends of his own frostbitten fingers in his garden shed, has a heart attack on a plane and within 16 weeks runs 7 marathons in seven days on seven continents all toraise millions for Charity. Then he gets to within 300 meters of the summit of Everest, considers this a failure and so learns to climb and tackles one of the most dangerous peaks in the world; the North Face of the Eiger; passing the corpses of several legendary but dead climbers on the way, declaring at the end of the climb that his attention to climbing rather than running has resulted in a loss of fitness. Okay so you can see why he is slightly mad.
Not bad at all. Respect Sir, Total!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-27-19

Not the complete autobiography...

This short book was like an abridged version or something. Glossed over his life and no depth of character or motivation for his incredible feats of exploration. Disappointed really as I wanted to know what made him tick.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Iain Angus
  • Iain Angus
  • 06-24-19

brilliant book

very good and easy listen. the man achieved so much in his life. would recommend it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D.A
  • 04-18-19

What a bloke

Inspiring and moving. I don't have the patience of a reader so this was a great way to hear this story. A must listen

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gordon
  • Gordon
  • 11-08-18

Brilliant

Brilliant book thanks Ran.
Was great hearing your story directly from yourself. Made it much special.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Millie
  • 01-16-18

not as good as thought<br />

book was OK but not what I was expecting an interesting insight of his life highs and lows

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 06-01-15

Leaves you wanting more

It's like a taster session. I'm pretty sure that Ranulph Fiennes has more detail in his life to write about than the three or so hours contained in this book. Having had the taster, if he did ever write a more complete story of his life, I would buy it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for wulfgar
  • wulfgar
  • 05-07-15

Love it!

an absolute inspiration. ran makes you realize you have done and are doing nothing with your life. so now with this new out look on life , I am going to grab life and live it properly. thank you Mr Finnes.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sandra harvey
  • 03-29-15

Interesting adventures abridged too short

While ranulph sits a little too close to the microphone his narration is lovely and well paced.
The adventures were too short and lost too much detail in this abridged version with whole trips and life events dismissed in a paragraph.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful