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Mud, Sweat and Tears

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  9,751 ratings  ·  844 reviews
Bear Grylls is a man who has always loved adventure. After leaving school, he spent months hiking in the Himalayas as he considered joining the Indian Army. Upon his return to England after a change of heart, he passed SAS selection and served with 21 SAS for three years. During this time, he broke his back in several places in a free-fall parachuting accident and it was q ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 26th 2011 by Transworld Publishers Ltd (first published 2011)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  9,751 ratings  ·  844 reviews

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John Wiltshire
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was in a library yesterday and that face glared at me from a book stand. I couldn't resist. I'm already halfway through this and it's a cracking read. Bear isn't a gifted writer by any means, but his very honest, simple prose suits the story being told. I already knew a bit about Bear, as the army is a fairly tight-knit organisation. I knew he'd been to Eton, that he was in the SAS(R) and that he was a committed Christian, and of course I've watched most of his shows. But what's been fascinati ...more
Bear Grylls, the famous adventurer, will never cease to impress. My expectations, which were very high, were fulfilled and exceeded far beyond any limit.

The most humble, modest man doesn't seem at all changed from his new role as a celebrity. He tends to shun away from any kind of publicity and declined the offer to be the main star of "Man vs Wild" three times, before finally accepting to shoot a pilot, something he hasn't regretted, I'm sure. The thing with people like Bear is that you really
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
At first, it came across as being poorly written technically. But as the book wore on, I realized that he intended the book to come across as if he were speaking to an audience, not writing a book. Once I recognized his style, I appreciated the book for what it was and thoroughly liked it. Plenty of stories which add color to Bear and what made him who he is today. His values come through strongly. Amazing to think of what he accomplished. I wish he gave more details on his SAS qualification but ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspirational
Life’s journey and path isn’t always easy.
It is that inner strength shining within the most unremarkable people that never fails to amaze. Bear Grylls’ candid autobiography exposes the man behind the celebrity façade; a man of immeasurable heart and soul.
He is not perfect, flawless or fearless nor is he ‘taken in’ (like so many have been) by status and wealth. His Christian faith is what keeps him humbly grounded, alongside his perspective on life that’s ultimately broadened his horizons. I am
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. I picked it up from the library because I assumed that an autobiography of Bear would be pretty easy holiday reading. I was right, in so far as I whipped through this book in three days of reading on planes and before bed, but it's not a particularly light and fluffy book. I was amazed at the physicality of the things that Bear has done, but I was also shocked by how self-reflective and well spoken Bear Grylls is. This book is not a piece of high literary style, but it's ho ...more
Umut Rados
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Bear Grylls' TV shows, that's why I was interested in reading his biography. I listened to it on Audible actually, which was a really good performance. Definitely recommended.
I loved the book, as it sheds light to how he became who he is now. It was fun to read with a good pace, and without unnecessary details.
I would recommend it.
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
"Life continues to be an adventure, and in many ways more so than ever. I have had to learn to prioritize clearly in my life: to be safe, get home fast, and keep it fun - the rest is detail."

In Mud, Sweat and Tears: The Autobiography of Bear Grylls, I was inspired to pick this one up after reading a short article in Guideposts magazine about the life of the man we all know from his television show, Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel. Is all this staged? Where did his training come from? Why w
Jack Pringle
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I chose to read this book because I am a big fan of Bear Grylls's show Man vs Wild and I thought it would be very interesting to read this book. It fills in the 'autobiography' box on the bingo board.

My favourite quote in his book is: “I learnt another valuable lesson that night: listen to the quiet voice inside. Intuition is the noise of the mind.” This is a very wise quote coming from a man who sets himself to do stupid things. This quote teaches people that your instincts are what you can tr
Denisa Arsene
I've "met" Grylls throughout my children. They love watching Man vs. Nature and I had the pleasure to see some scenes. I am not a fan, by surely my kids are.
About the book: I must say that I admire the desire, the drive and the will. I find the style a bit cold, robotic, an army style if I may. Not a wonder since the suthor is a military... The first 200 and so pages, I think it's just a lot of unuseful, redundant information - because of the secrecy the author couldn't say much but he just kept
Mark Jones
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I rarely leave reviews, but I feel I must for one of my favorite books of all time.

My first time reading a book by Bear Grylls was his Survival Guide For Life, which lays out a variety of rules Bear gives to try and follow in your day to day life. Each one would be followed by some story from his own life, and these tales of wild adventures climbing mountains and piloting boats through storms were all reflections of what I'd always imagined a life well lived to look like. What was more, each sto
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Wow. I learned so much through reading this book. Edward (Bear) Grylls is one of my new heros.

This book is basically about the man before "Man vs. Wild." He talks about his time at boarding school. His very intense SAS training, breaking his back after parachuting. His expedition to climb mount Everest. Meeting his wife and ultimately becoming the global scout master. What I loved about this book was his continuing steadfast faith that he used to help himself through some of the toughest of time
Valentina Markasović
2015 reading challenge - a memoir

While no one would mistake Bear Grylls for a professional author, his writing is honest and down-to-Earth, just what this book needs.

When picking this book up in the library, I had a vague idea it would be like reading one of this shows, if that makes any sense. I expected to read about his adventures in Arctic or Sahara, but instead, it was an autobiography that spoke of so much more. We got to know his family and early years and then began the part that truly
Danny Tyran
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I stopped reading this book (at 64%) for days because I had enough of Bear’s bragging and his “tough guy nonsense”, as he called it himself. Oh, he doesn’t boast about all his own great qualities, not directly. He doesn’t say: "I am strong, enduring and tenacious". No, but he says by speaking about those who make what he is doing: "It takes strong, tough and resilient men to go through it". But since he is one of them and he went through it all, doesn’t it mean that he believes that he has the s ...more
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
In this memoir Bear tells the story of his life and death-defying adventures. It turns out that not only he a tough guy in mind and body, but he also has a sensitive side and a heart. A fun read if you are a Man vs Wild fan. My only criticism is that he spends a little too much time on the details of his SAS training and Everest adventure--don't get me wrong, they are both riveting and amazing stories but it got a little repetitive after a while.

He also confesses his real first name and mentions
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is my second book by Bear Grylls. When I listened to the first one, I went and bought 5 copies of it for my children. This is perfect for them all. He is an all around great guy. Clean. Faithful. Honest. Great example. Hard worker. Inspirational. Positive. Dedicated. Driven. Family Man.

He quotes others a lot and uses cliches, but he does it to inspire and to drive his point home. So 4 stars. Maybe I should up this to 5.
I Contain
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a thrill to read! Loved this adventure story from a man who earned the right to join an elite military squad and climbed Everest. Hard to put down and very inspiring.
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book.

It starts with Bear's childhood and goes all the way up to I guess current time.
It's full of adventure and endurance, self-discipline, extremely hard training and the willingness to go against fear and take (somewhat crazy, but lessons learned) risks. He really has done a lot of living and traveling in his life! Not to mention climb a lot of rooftops and trees while at Eaton - I was really surprised about that.

A fighting spirit and faith seem to sum Bear up nicely, b
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable memoir. At the beginning, Grylls describes his family and that part comes the closest to sounding egotistical, like a typical star memoir, although I think his objective was to give credit to those who made him what he is, rather than to say, "Here's how I turned out so awesome."

From his early history, the book goes into great detail about his time in the SAS. He glosses over his broken back and recovery (although that was clearly one of the most emotionally difficult experiences o
Marija S.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once you get over the informal writing style, this book will be a pageturner.

It is impossible to rate somebody's life story, no matter how remarkable, so I am just revising the storytelling here - I didn't get used to the style but the book was quite gripping nevertheless. Most of the narrative was vague (I am not talking about confidential SAS material here) and repetitive (it was hard to move forward, always hard.. to... move... forward... Yeah, ok, that is what you'd expect from a military tr
Ken Hammond
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mud, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls Who dares wins, being scared shitless frequently, way to go Bear, actually learnt his name is Edward, bear is what his older sister called him, wow here I thought he had cool parents, but they were cool. His Dad's mantra love people in your life with your whole heart.

Mount Everest last count has killed 295 mountaineers since 1924, what's amazing he climbed it to get over retiring from the SAS 3 years in, after surviving a broken back from skydiving. He then f
Sam Lissaman
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book because it has been siting on my book shelf for a while but I have never got around to reading it. I heard it was a good read so I decided to give it a go. I really enjoyed this book. Bear Grylls wrote about each part of his life and explained all about his childhood, his SAS training and also how he is bringing up his own children to love the wilderness. From reading this book I learnt how amazing some places around the world are and how dangerous, beautiful and div ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an impressive book written by an impressive man. The book is easy to read and written in a very cool style that holds your attention throughout. Bear Grylls tells his story of his journey before he was famous and everything he overcame from boarding school days, SAS(R) training, breaking his back and climbing Mt. Everest. He is a true inspiration and a great example of how to overcome the odds through believe in yourself and your faith. He gives credit where it is due and also shares his ...more
philip taua
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
i decided to read this book because i watched a lot of man vs wild on T.V.i wanted to learn why he chose this as a career working on a television show. i liked it a lot because it kept on the edge off my seat and made me want to read more and more.I learned that nothing is hard unless you make it hard for yourself.The story is based on bear gryls and why he chose this and how he grew up.Alps the in interesting thing is that he worked from a young age.
Apr 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Very interesting memoir that focuses on Bear's grueling selection process for Special Armed Services, his Everest expedition, and the beginnings of Man vs Wild. Two stars off for the little tiny words formed into little tiny sentences in little tiny chapters (well over 100 of them). On the other hand, I think my 8 year old could probably read this on his own, so it's not all bad. ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jungmin  Park
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I will be reviewing Mud, Sweat, and Tears (2011) by Bear Grylls. The general focus of my book is building confidence. The author constantly tells about his identity and adds some lessons he got from each event at the end of every chapters. I found out that what the author genuinely wants to do through this book is emphasizing that no matter how we were messed up and rebellious against the world, we can finally achieve what you want and success as long as we have our confidence. Thanks to his tru ...more
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On my tbr list For. Ever. Started it years ago and got half way through before putting it down. Finished it yesterday. It earns 3-stars because I like Bear Grylls -- but the writing is only so-so. The Bear Grylls part is probably why the writing is also so-so. At one point in the book, he shares how he'd been asked to start speaking publicly and tried so hard to sound more academic or posh. He recognized that it became boring and those who listened to him wanted HIM -- not some put-upon accent o ...more
Mark Maguire
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
This is an inspirational book.

I have read a number of Autobiographies over the years, but this particular book has to be one of the most sincere, and heartfelt, that I have ever encountered. I haven't been a fan of Bear Grylls for particularly long. The book was bought as a gift by my Wife who saw the chance to buy a copy for an aggressively low price as a part of a High Street promotion.

Immediately prior to the purchase; I had watched a few episodes of "Born Survivor" on Discovery and I was p
Silpa Kohler
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring. Positively inspiring.

Bear is a great storyteller – his autobiography is detailed, fast-paced and in parts really rather amusing. His passion, dedication and enthusiasm for the challenges he seeks out and conquers ooze out of this book – I almost want to give SAS selection a go myself!

The scene is set well from the start with Bear’s account of his family’s (tragic in places) past and then continues to tell the tale of his experience of being bullied at school and taking up karate as a
Rebecca Berto
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bear's autobiography is punchy, addictive and a wild ride in the reading experience itself.

I've been a fan of his Man vs. Wild show for years and his fierce determination and passion. But it took me about a year or two to finally get onto this book. I have to say I never read non-fiction unless it has to do with writing or publishing. And the last non-fiction, and non-writing/publishing-related book I've read was Portia de Rossi's autobiography more than a year and a half ago.

Boy I feel inspired
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Bear Grylls has become known around the world as one of the most recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure. His journey to this acclaim started in the UK on the Isle of Wight, where his late father taught him to climb and sail. Trained from a young age in martial arts, Bear went on to spend three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, serving with 21 SAS. It was here that he pe ...more

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