Book Review: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know by Sir Ranulph Fiennes

00 Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Described by the Guinness Book of Records as the greatest living explorer, this book looks back upon a lifetime of incredible achievements. Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been to some of the most inhospitable environments on earth, often unsupported and solo. This book covers, polar attempts, circumnavigating the earth, mountaineering, and completing seven marathons in seven days, only months after a near fatal heart attack. The book is so called due to the declaration of Fiennes first wife’s father, that he was mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

Ranulph Fiennes is the definition of grit and determination. Despite losing finger tips and having to cut them off himself, he continues to search for adventure and to raise money for charity in the process. This story details the rise from school boy to world renown adventurer and helps people to see how such a transition can occur. Well into his 60s, his adventures continue today (including fatherhood), proving that no barrier is insurmountable.

This is a deeply personal and interesting account into the life of an extraordinary individual.

Notable Ideas Within the Book

People each chocolate because they like it. By the same accord, people go on polar expeditions because they like it.

When encountering possible death traps, there is only one way to proceed. Forward.

Life without physical challenge, would not be life at all.

How to cut your own fingers off with a handsaw after suffering frostbite.

Perception is everything. Rather than thinking, ‘I can’t,’ think, ‘Why can’t I?’

There is no use to climbing or attempting to climb the world’s highest peak. Nothing except for the simple gratification of achievement and the desire to see what lies beyond.

Without a concept of future, one becomes fearless. There is no longer anything to be scared about. When one is about to die, one does not have the luxury of fear.

Fear must be prevented, not cured.

Closing Remarks

One always wonders how remarkable people came to be. This book details that journey and shows a perfect example of a life well lived. As his journeys continue, their is still a lot more to come from this worldwide adventurer and I look forward to hearing what comes next.

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