Seven books by Sir Ranulph Fiennes

November 25, 2011

by Nimish Dubey

The world knows him as an intrepid adventurer, who last month became the oldest Briton to stand atop Mount Everest. But the 65-year-old Sir Ranulph Fiennes is also a fine author with a dry sense of humour and a narrative skill that matches his flair for adventure. So even as Sir Ranulph works his way down Mount Everest, here is a list of what we think are his seven best books. Of course, we are sure that the book he writes on his Everest ascent (his third attempt incidentally, after one was cut short by a heart attack), will be a bestseller too. But in the meantime, we think that every person who loves adventure would do well to invest in any or all of the following:

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Race to the Pole: The story of the historic and tragic race to the South Pole between Roald Amundsen and Captain Scott.

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know: The autobiography of the man himself, in his own words. We bet it will be updated, but while we are waiting, this one is definitely worth a read.

Hell on Ice: In 1976-77, a party attempted to reach the North Polar ice cap in freakish winter conditions. The books title says it all really.

Living Dangerously: Fiennes’ first autobiography, published in 1987, going all the way back to his childhood in South Africa. We are sure he did not know he would be writing another autobiography twenty years later!

To the Ends of the Earth: An account of the famous Transglobe expedition, all the way from Antarctica, via Africa to the Arctic. It reads almost as amazing as the expedition itself.

Mind Over Matter: The story of the longest unsupported crossing of the Antartic on foot by Fiennes and Stroud. A terrific book, not just for the journey but also about the changing relationships between the two men.

Beyond the Limits: A four to five month journey from Canada to the North Pole, alone, on foot, towing a sledge, in which Fiennes lost a third of his body weight. Insane? Determined? Ah, read all about it!

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