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Mud, Sweat, and Tears Hardcover – May 1, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 330 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Mud, Sweat, and Tears is required reading for fans of Man vs. Wild but also for anyone who revels in first-person stories of high adventure.” (BOOKLIST)

“I cannont think of anyone who has faced challenges and overcome them like Bear Grylls.” (GENERAL CHARLES GUTHRIE, Colonel Commandant of the SAS)

Mud, Sweat, and Tears flows with the verve of an engaging novel and forms a satisfying life story brimming with excitement and adventuresome risk-taking. An inside look at the makings of an intrepid, insatiable explorer. ” (KIRKUS REVIEWS)

“World-famous ‘extreme adventurer’ Bear Grylls had so far avoided telling his life story--until now. Well told, personable, fast-paced, and undoubtedly a fascinating read.” (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

From the Back Cover

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.

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.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr; First Edition edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062124196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062124197
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (330 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't expect to read a celebrity autobiography and come out hating the guy, but what struck me about this book is how Bear Grylls seems to be a regular guy, not in the sense that we could all join the SAS and climb Everest, but in his utter devotion to his family and his faith, coupled with a drive to live a good life as a husband, father and adventurer. It almost seems as though he was born a couple hundred years too late, given his British colonial sense of exploration (but not exploitation).

This book is fast-paced and well-written, with short chapters that keep reeling you in through his story. When I downloaded it last night, I couldn't put it down. Bear is a good example of what can be accomplished with hard work and focus. He doesn't try to gloss over his shortcomings, he seems to embrace them as a springboard to make himself a better man. I could never accomplish what he has from a physical standpoint, but this book does a great job of transmitting this sense of wonder and adventure to the reader. In the end, it's almost as if you have shared his adventures. It is a terrific book.
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Format: Paperback
Most of us know him as the ex-special forces guy who is highly skilled, tough, strong, definitely crazy (after all he did drink his own piss on TV) and the presenter of one of the world's highest rated reality shows but I've always been curious about the "real" Bear Grylls and his journey right up to this point, because just watching him on TV tells me it's an interesting one, and boy is it! Packed with adventures, many near-death experiences and what I consider miracles as well, what will strike you about this book is that it is also packed with a whole lot of heart and soul as Grylls tells of his struggles through life and how he overcame countless obstacles through faith, perseverance and sheer will. From his training in special forces, to how he broke his back in 3 places during a parachuting accident only to climb Mt Everest 18 months later, this book will make you cry and laugh (out loud) all at the same time. It's a real easy read so young adults can enjoy it too, speaking of which I'm really glad my 15 year old just borrowed the book off me because I know that his story will inspire her to live life to the max, like an adventure that it is, and be anchored by faith not fear in every situation (and much much more which I'm too lazy to elaborate, so just read it!) because it surely has inspired me. I also can't think of a cooler role model for the youth of today than this guy. Can you?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I have not been a big fan of Bear Grylls' tv shows(for mostly superficial reasons), his name is so big in survival and outdoor education circles that I figured that I owed it to myself to check out this autobiography.

I am so glad that I did!

From the very beginning, the storytelling drew me in. The portrayal of the lives and often heroic actions of his ancestors warmed my heart in a way that few authors manage. Even better than the storytelling was Bear's insight into the attitudes and principles of these people and the explanations of how this history and these stories affected him and helped to shape him into the person that he is now.

The book continues with numerous personal stories of adventure in it's many forms.

This book and it's stories contain fantastic life lessons about:
-Dealing with difficulty and fear
-Learning from difficulty and mistakes
-Knowing your limitations
-Pushing yourself to your limits
-Value of family

This book was written in the first person and has a very conversational and warm style. When the author reveals personal information about his thoughts, fears, etc during a particular story, it feels like he is letting you in on a little secret. It was obvious that the book was professionally edited. Unfortunately, the kindle formatting left a little to be desired. The TOC is properly linked, but you cannot access the TOC direct from the "Go To..." menu. This would be inexcusable in a reference book, but for this autobiography, I doubt many people will be trying to repeatedly reference the TOC.
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Format: Hardcover
Bear Grylls reminds us that there is a beautiful wildness to life, that adventure is where you find it, and that being prepared is essential for survival on the edge. The book reads more like an adventure story than your usual biography and is a fast-paced romp from one crazy scenario to another. Bear takes us through his childhood antics, with a humorous glimpse of his family life and time at Eton. It is not really laugh-out-loud funny, but it definitely makes you smile as you read about his escapades. His enthusiasm and zest for life are contagious. Bear always comes across as humbly grateful for his experiences, rather than being boastful of his natural abilities. In fact, he has a habit of downplaying his talents, giving thanks to God for getting him through sticky situations.

It's clear how his early life influenced his love for the outdoors and adventure and how his father, in particular, was instrumental in encouraging him to follow this love. It's inspiring to read his story, both as a parent and as a traveler through your own life. There is never a sense of being lectured to at all, but his story is so filled with anecdotes about success through hard work, balanced with risk-taking, that you get swept along and yearn to jump into your own life with both feet and instil that quality in others.

The chapters that dealt with his SAS training were pretty intense. I had no idea that the training was as rigorous as it is! You must have to be incredibly driven and fit to succeed in that environment. And then he went to climb Everest! Bear talks about his successes and failures and doesn't hold back from how he felt at the time, often barely scraping by on the skin of his teeth.
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