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Rebel with a Cause

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The inspiring story of a true NZ hero who overcame childhood neglect to become a successful scientist and businessman, and who has saved millions of lives in the third world.
Paperback, 268 pages
Published August 6th 2010 by Random House (first published 2010)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  143 ratings  ·  21 reviews


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Denyse Taylor
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was very interesting. I had not heard of Ray Avery before but he is a larger than life man who has achieved amazing things.
Great to see he calls himself a New Zealander. Well worth a read.
Mike
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read biographies and I didn't really have much idea of who Ray Avery was but my brother recommended this book to me. Turns out he was onto a good thing. The book is incredibly inspiring as well as being a humorous, engaging read that was difficult to put down.

It is a pretty grim read in places, particularly in its descriptions of his early life experiences which include abuse, poverty, life in various institutions and 8 months living under a bridge at the age of 13. He overcomes
...more
Jill
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I’d never heard of Ray Avery until I’d seen his book reviewed in the Listener. Avery is a successful scientist and businessman who invented low-cost lenses for cataract sufferers, incubators for babies, as well as other scientific solutions for factories in Third World countries. He spent some time helping to set up the infrastructure to manufacture interocular lenses in North Africa for the Fred Hollows Foundation

Rebel with a Cause describes Avery’s childhood growing up in England, neglected, a
...more
Malvin
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An inspiring autobiography of a highly successful scientist and entrepreneur with achievements targeted at helping developing countries. From a neglected English boy housed in a humble council estate to a recipient of Kiwibank's New Zealander of Year Award 2010, Ray is fearless, intelligent and somewhat promiscuous but it is his sheer determination, absolute appreciation for quality and appetide to deliver world class solutions that sets him apart from the rest. An engaging read, funny at times ...more
Graeme
Sep 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The true story of an outstanding man.
Nevyn
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ray Avery is problematic.

While the book is an inspiring tale from his perspective, more details have emerged in NZ media about the scale of Ray Avery's contributions to the devices he's helped create and amazingly problematic behavior around the building of the "lifepods" including misrepresenting where they are with it (testing and deployments), how far away they are from deploying them, and using (and abusing) volunteer expertise.

It's a worthwhile read but everything you read has to be taken w
...more
Norm
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ping Mak
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ray Avery had a rough childhood spending time in orphanages and foster homes and living under a bridge when he was a teenager. An inspiring read about his life journey. His can-do attitude has helped him to achieve excellence. He was the New Zealander of the year in 2010.
Ben Nicholls
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Good read. Interesting story. Fast, easy reading. Shows the importance of education, and the power it can create.
Claudia Jeffs
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting life, varied and from a difficult start in life he certainly made the most of opportunities and succeeded in changing his life and that of people less fortunate.
Kiwiflora
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it


Every now and again amazing people of unbelievable vision, talent and self-belief come along and change things about the world we live in. Or other people's worlds. Ray Avery is one such person. Currently the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year, and the recent recipient of this year's Peter Blake Award for Leadership, Ray Avery is essentially a humanitarian. He has harnessed his scientific skills, his business experience, his inventor's brain, and his brilliant entrepreneurship together to change
...more
Michael Ryan
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved the story about the guy who was incarcerated in an Ostrich quarantine for six months, to look after them. His wife used to come and wave through the glass. Unfortunately the air had to be recirculated so as not to introduce contaminants into the Auckland environment. Nobody had realized that ostriches produce quite a lot of ammonia. He got red eyes, the birds got red eyes, then the birds started dying. He dragged their carcasses into the cool room until it was full, after that he had to ...more
Richard
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A stunning, readable and inspiring autobiography. A man from humble beginnings - living under a bridge in Finsbury Park, no less - Avery's thirst for knowledge and invention transformed his life and many thousands of others.

With a mix of entrepreneurial spirit, damn-the-torpedoes attitude and desire to help those in most dire need, Avery's journey has never been boring. Highly recommended.

Linda
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Inspirational, I read book this after listening to Sir Ray speak at a New Zealand Coastguard AGM at Taupo.
The last chapters are worth reading, which everybody who donates to any sort of charity needs to keep in mind while trying to help.
Ray is a "doer", not a "going to do" person, we need more like him.
Sue Webber
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great read, an amazing guy who is making a real difference. He's certainly made me think again about some of these so called 'aid' agencies. Many laugh out loud moments which are a relief from some of the harsh realities of life that some have to endure.
Elizabeth
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing


One of the best autobiographies I have ever read. The life story of Ray Avery is uplifting and inspirational. He married late in life and now has 2 wonderful children.
Elizabeth
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Such a good read. I am planning on buying a copy for my Dad and my husband. This was amazing. Loved it! read in two days
Roger
Mar 31, 2012 added it
Brilliant read...v inspiring!
A man who chose not to be a victim to his circumstances and saw the best in everything!
Well written!
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