William Morrow Publishing
Copyright: May 2012
The amazon.com product description:
Bear Grylls has always sought the ultimate in adventure. Growing up on a remote island off of Britain's windswept coast, he was taught by his father to sail and climb at an early age. Inevitably, it wasn't long before the young explorer was sneaking out to lead all-night climbing expeditions.This is the first of Bear Gryll's books that I've not enjoyed absolutely. Parts were really good - the parts about his youth and his family especially, but also the section on his testing, training and time in the SAS, but most of the book was focused on Bear's Everest expedition. O.K., now you've got to be saying that I'm nuts. I'm complaining about most of the book being about such an unusual and life-changing event. Why?
As a teenager at Eton College, Bear found his identity and purpose through both mountaineering and martial arts. These passions led him into the foothills of the mighty Himalayas and to a karate grandmaster's remote training camp in Japan, an experience that soon helped him earn a second-degree black belt. Returning home, he embarked upon the notoriously grueling selection course for the British Special Forces to join the elite Special Air Service unit 21 SAS—a journey that would push him to the very limits of physical and mental endurance.
Then, disaster. Bear broke his back in three places in a horrific free-fall parachuting accident in Africa. It was touch and go whether he would walk again, according to doctors. However, only eighteen months later, a twenty three-year-old Bear became one of the youngest climbers to scale Mount Everest, the world's highest summit. But these were just the beginning of his many extraordinary adventures. . . .
Known and admired by millions as the star of Man vs. Wild, Bear Grylls has survived where few would dare to go. Now, for the first time, Bear tells the story of his action-packed life. Gripping, moving, and wildly exhilarating, Mud, Sweat, and Tears is a must-read for adrenaline junkies and armchair explorers alike.
For the rest of the book, as I said, parts were great, but I guess I was just expecting something different. I wanted to know more about Man Vs. Wild, the T.V. show, as well as some of Bear's other adventures - some of which were shown in the photographic inserts. But those were barely mentioned in the text.
Still, it was well-written and engaging. As I said, I enjoyed learning more about Bear's family - both as a kid and now his family and children. I guess Mud, Sweat, and Tears just had a set of expectations around it that it didn't meet for me. Not my favourite, but still, I'm glad I read it.