Mud, Sweat and Tears

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 June, 2012, 12:00am


Mud, Sweat and Tears
by Bear Grylls
4 Books (e-book)

Bear Grylls has enough stories to make up many autobiographies. That's the problem. In Mud, Sweat and Tears, the adventurer appears to be holding back for a future book, or even a series, that will give more details about his intrepid lifestyle as star of the television programme Man vs Wild. In this volume, Grylls gives background about his forebears, from his conservative MP father to his grandmother, who assumed her father Sir Walter Smiles' parliamentary seat after he was 'lost to the sea', to Walter's grandfather Samuel Smiles, author of the original motivational book: Self-Help. Then it's on to Eton and later the SAS. As though we're in a race, the book moves swiftly into romance and marriage, and, of course, recounts several of Grylls' near-fatal experiences: on Mount Everest, in the Canadian Rockies and in Africa, where a parachuting accident resulted in a broken back. So much happens, yet readers will feel short-changed by the dearth of details. Some will also baulk at the writing: single-sentence paragraphs proliferate, as do staccato notes such as this: 'Life still in progress'.