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Mud sweat and tears is Bear Gryliss` autobiography (so far - as a young man of around 40 it can hardly be called his lifes work) - It is neatly broken down as you would expect, by chronology. His years as a child growing up on the Isle of Wight, his time at boarding school and then Eton, his initial years at University and then his years in the SAS reserve and his Everest expedition. It then moves onto his family life with his wife and then two children and (very shortly) his success as a television presentor, adventure brand and lead cub scout. Bear is a very good writer, although naturally the subject matter is very exciting, he seems able to hold your attention well with interesting anecdotes, good humour and dramatic events, of which for a man his age , he has had many. His Physical qualities cannot be denied, the SAS and Everest achievements alone should be enough for anyone reading them not to dare question his endurance and mental determination. He is too a man of faith, constantly through the book, as in 'Facing up' you find yourself reading about the lord or the church and this can get a bit annoying, but you have to understand that it is this faith that has gotten him through so many hard times, like when he borke his back on a parachute jump at 23. Ive done allot of things that Bear has done, im from a military background, I skydived for years, I now climb some of the highest mountains in the world and I have to say he`s descriptions are very well put, especially his description of SAS selection and the Everest climb - amongst some of the most detailed and accurate I can think of, in fact friends of mine gave me his two books and a Bear Gryliss survival kit for my birthday as they think I try to model myself on him, I dont obviously. He does come accross as a very unassuming, polite and modest man. His faith is important to him and so are his family obviously. His friendship are with all sorts of people, not just rich boys or old soldiering / etonion folk, but mostly those from an adventurous background. My one critisism is that he says very early on that he is open about his failures (there have not been many) and he doesnt shy away from them, indeed this is true of what I would style 'trivial' failures, failures at minor friendships, failures with girls, failures at certain jobs which considering his nature is not unsurprising- but his biggest failure which is massively eluded too is his academic background. He states that all young people should excell outdoors and go for the adventure, but most kids cant do that, that wont pay the bills, their families cant afford it and his family oh so obviously could along with his own meagre need of valuable posessions, with the exception of the Everest expedition where he got his own sponsorship through selling the dream to corporations. He is not an aademic person, never has been really, judging by the quality of his schooling you would have thought that he could have done allot better, but some people arent made for the classroon, he obviosuly failed in achieving very good A-levels, and gave up on his degree, but all of this is eluded to, although it is obvious because it seems strange it isnt mentioned in someones life story...at this time he had just got into the SAS reserve and you cant do that and study its as simple as that. So I thought this a contradiction. All in all thought I think those fans of Bear will like this read, it will keep you nail biting through some of it and is very adventurous.
I was extremely excited to find out Bear Grylls, one of my idols, had written his autobiography. Only to be let down ever so slightly. I found the book to be great, any fans of his will love it. The description and emotion in the book is extraordinary and you will get a real insight into the life of a young and old Bear Grylls. However, when Bear starts to talk about his days in the SAS, he really does talk about every aspect, I mean, he could of at least shortened down some of the content. It felt like I had done the journey with him. But do not let this hinder your purchase. I am sure there are many of people who would love to know what the selection process was like and the training, I was just waiting for him to talk about Everest and Born Survivor. Overall, a good book and I am sure the majority of you will love this. 4/5
Having two little girls and being in general a house filled with pink: barbies, glitter, you name it, anything girly and we have it; every now and then we have to give in to my husband and allow him to do overly boy things so he still feels masculine! Over the last few years however, he seems to have developed a slight arm chair 'man-crush' on Bear Grylls, and we have to watch every programme he does, and I will quite regularly spot him on the Bear Grylls store online! Bless! So, it appears that over the last few years, I myself have also developed a 'girl- crush' on Bear Grylls, I mean who doesn't find a man eating insects, snakes, bats, zebra's, sharks, lobsters...... sexy?! You name it, he eats it! So when browsing the kindle store recently for books, I had to buy his autobiography and find out a little about this man. With a natural ability to do anything that the human body should probably not do, he has managed to get a name for himself as an ultimate survivor or adventurer. He is in my opinion quite simply amazing! The things he seems to do (on his now axed Discovery programme!) never cease to amaze me and nothing ever seems out of bounds. I had known from the odd passing comment on his show that he was ex SAS but this is all expanded upon in his book as he explains the things he had to endure during the notoriously gruelling selection course for the Special Forces. It explains where his love came from and leads the reader from the karate training camp in the foot of the Himalayas to his free fall parachuting accident in Africa (he actually broke his back!) to being the youngest ever climber to scale Everest at just 23 (just 18 months after breaking said back!), to many more actual packed adventures. I know that Bear has many many fans, but there are also the ones that just don't get him, especially after the controversy he found himself in a few years ago when he was found to have slept in a motel rather than being 'stranded' in whatever climate he found himself at the time. I understand all this, but I would urge people to watch his shows or read this book and see just how much he pushes himself both mentally and physically. Mud, Sweat and Tears is perfect for fans of his and adrenalin junkies. His knowledge is fascinating and he writes in a non-egotistical way. Everything is played down and I like that about him. He has moments when he seems to wander slightly from what he is telling you, for example when he talks about spirituality or his lack of being a hit with the ladies during his time at Eton, but I find this quite endearing. He explains openly about his private life and his passion for the great outdoors, but also he explains where this passion came from and what drives him. It is exciting to read, filled with humour but also honesty. He admits to living a privileged life, but explains how it had made him the inspiration that he is today to so many around the world. I have read a couple of reviews online about how this book is rubbish and you should read Ranulph Fiennes book - my husband has read both and enjoyed them equally. I would definitely recommend this book.
Mud, Sweat and Tears is the story of Bear Grylls - family man, Chief Scout, former SAS soldier and all-round adventurer - as told by the man himself. Bear (birth name Edward!) has sought adventure from an early age and this book takes us not only from his childhood to becoming famous, but also tells us of his family history. In other words, we get the background information on not just what Bear has got up to in his varied and adventurous life so far, but also how and why he has become the man he is today. As I sat reading this adventurous autobiography, I began to feel quite lazy! Bear has done so many things, pushing himself to his very limits, not just physically, but mentally too - climbing, sailing and parachuting, not forgetting training for the SAS and climbing Everest. But these adventures have also lead to Bear nearly losing his life on more than one occasion. His faith and, most likely, his luck has saved him more than once! A parachute jump gone-wrong nearly paralysed Bear, while a fall on Everest nearly finished him off all together. However, Bear has never let these things get to him and, if anything, they've taught him a lesson as well as strengthened him. This autobiography is inspiring and quite thrilling at times, but it's also honest. Bear admits when he's made mistakes or pushed his luck. The man truly has packed a lot into his life and he's got a lot to be proud of. While I really enjoyed reading Mud, Sweat and Tears, I have to be honest and say that I was slightly disappointed that more wasn't covered in the book. Apart from his growing up, a lot of the book was focused on his SAS training and climbing Everest, and while they are big things (which not many people complete), I feel his other expeditions could have been covered with more than a line or two. But, then, maybe they have been left for another book. I know his TV shows have related books, so I can understand why they weren't covered so much. Something I have to note: Bear has been criticised in the past for faking or cheating in his TV shows. He does defend himself near the end of the book and admits that he made a mistake while filming one show which lead to the criticism. It was all because he missed his family. Bear Grylls is a normal man (though definitely more adventurous than your average person!) and is a family man at heart. His love for them is very evident throughout the book. So, would I recommend this autobiography? Definitely! I especially enjoyed reading about his trip up Everest and would love to read more about his other expeditions. I'd certainly read another Bear Grylls book. I'm an armchair adventurer! (Please note: This review also features on my blog).