Newest Review: ... months before the climb, Grylls badly damaged his back in a parachute fall in Africa. Grylls has been a controversial figure at times, ... more
Page turning book from Bear Grylls
Facing Up - Bear Grylls
Member Name: julwhite
Facing Up - Bear Grylls
Advantages: Good read, inspirational story
Disadvantages: Not for those who want technical mountaineering information!
This review is for the paperback book "Facing Up" by Bear Grylls. Bear Grylls is certainly an amazing individual, son of a Conservative Member of Parliament, he had climbed Mount Everest by the age of 23 and is best known by many as the presenter of Born Survivor.
Although still in print, this book was written in 2001, so is from the early part of Grylls's career, and mostly focuses on his climb of Mount Everest. So, be warned, don't buy this book in the hope of reading about his more recent adventures and challenges!
Climbing Mount Everest at the age of 23 is an incredibly feat however you look at it, especially as I don't like heights, so the thought of climbing a ladder is terrifying enough! However, this challenge is even more impressive given that just eighteen months before the climb, Grylls badly damaged his back in a parachute fall in Africa.
Grylls has been a controversial figure at times, including with his recent television series Born Survivor, where allegations were made that elements of the show were staged. There was also controversy about whether Grylls had actually been in the special forces when he was alleged to have broken his back in Africa, or whether the story was a fabrication.
Either way, it is clear that Grylls had damaged his back in some form, and reading this book shows his determination in wanting to climb Mount Everest, which had been his dream since he was younger and had seen a photo of the mountain. The book isn't a self help book at all, but it is really inspirational to see the determination of an individual to want to achieve something amazing despite that challenge looking almost impossible.
The book details some of Gryll's more terrifying moments on the climb, such as when he was left swinging on the end of a rope, as well as the elation of finishing the climb. He also focuses on the practical sides of climbing the mountain, so the ablutions and practicalities are covered, which to me made the book much more interesting.
The book is written in a way which is accessible to readers, and so the book doesn't become too mired in the climbing details, which might disappoint those who wanted to use the book to learn more about the technical side of climbing. Instead, the book is presented as a personal adventure with the details of the most exciting points of that adventure.
The book does seem to have been rushed a little however, there are elements of grammar and presentation which reflect more on a lack of sub-editing of the book and reading through proofs than a problem with the author's original script. These are noticeable errors, but don't take away from the adventure in the book itself.
The book is still in print and retails for 7.99 pounds. However, the book is available new on Amazon at the much better price of 4.76 pounds including free postage. If you're happy with a second hand copy, you can find these on sites such as eBay and Amazon for around three pounds including postage.
Overall, this book is a great page turner, and is likely to be of interest to anyone who is interesting in an adventure, not just those interested in mountaineering. It's written in an accessible and open way, as well as being quite inspirational in the story which it tells .So in my view, this book is definitely worth a look, especially as it can be picked up quite cheaply!
Summary: Could you climb Everest at 23? Fascinating book!
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