Sir Ranulph Fiennes was the first man to reach both poles (by surface travel) and the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported. In the 1960s he was removed from the SAS Regiment for misuse of explosives but, joining the army of the Sultan of Oman, received that country's Bravery Medal. He is the only person yet to have been awarded two clasps to the Polar medal for both Antarctic and the Arctic regions. Fiennes has led over 30 expeditions including the first polar circumnavigation of the Earth. In 1993 Her Majesty the Queen awarded Fiennes the Order of the British Empire (OBE) because, on the way to breaking records, he has raised over 10 million for charity.
'If you ever struggle to drag yourself out of bed on a winter's morning, pick up a copy of Ranulph Fiennes' autobiography. It's an inspiration.' -- Mail on Sunday 'Rip-roaringly readable' -- Guardian 'Even readers with a broadly low tolerance for macho heroism will find themselves gripped ... compelling' -- Time Out 'This is the memoir of a supreme sportsman, an uber-earthling who could show the Martians a thing or two about what the best of us can achieve' -- Financial Times Magazine '"Ran' epitomises British phlegm, and he puts all other glory-seekers to shame. His dry wit, self deprecation and steely determination never to feel a scrap of self-pity are in the very best tradition of British travel writing. Long may he continue tomake us glad that we are not him, while we stand in awe.' -- Country Life 'Rip-roaringly readable' -- Guardian 'Even readers with a broadly low tolerance for macho heroism will find themselves gripped ... compelling' -- Time Out 'It's exhausting just reading about his exploits, so it is a perfect bedtime book. It's delightful to plump up one's duck-down pillows while vicariously enduring Fiennes's successive plunges into the deadly waters of the Artcic, and his festering crotch-rot.' -- Helena Drysdale, New Statesman Books of the Year 'It is lively and vivid, and often exciting as we anticipate each plunge into deadly Arctic waters. There are some wonderful throwaway lines ... So, not an alien species after all but - as they say - a national treasure.' -- Spectator