Bear Grylls Facing Up – Review

Bear Grylls Facing Up

Bear Grylls Facing Up & Succeeding

The name Bear Grylls is synonymous with adventure, danger, survival, and eating & drinking things you wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole! Would you drink your own urine from a gutted snakeskin? I suppose the only thing worse would be drinking someone elses, lol. Like about 1.2 billion other people who watch Bear Grylls Born Survivor (aka Man vs Wild), I wanted to know more about this seeming daredevil adventurer. Was he too good to be true? I hoped not, but I have a healthy scepticism…

So in an attempt to get to know the man Bear Grylls a bit better I bought his book “Facing Up” which tells the story of his attempt to climb Mount Everest; which I discuss below. I also bought his autobiography “Mud Sweat And Tears” which I’ll discuss in my next blog post. You can follow Bear on twitter @BearGrylls

Rating: 90% (that’s pretty dang good!)

I’m happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading Facing Up, and for me it was a real page turner. I wanted to know what happened next, did he make the next bit or was it a disaster? I kept on reading. I like Bears writing style, he puts you on the mountain and in his head with his inner thoughts, he shares the personal struggle. Of course, it’s impossible to physically transmit the actual cold, tiredness, hunger, lack of oxygen, and pain he endured (thankfully for that you have to actually be on Everest); but he does effectively communicate the mental impact of it all.

And, although we live in a physical world, our only experience of it is mental. Ask any person involved in any endurance activity and they’ll tell you the real struggle is mental, not physical. The beauty of this fact is that Bear can and does communicate that mental experience very effectively. I have to say it was nice to step off the mountain (put the book down) and have a nice hot cuppa, that’s a luxury life on Everest does not afford.

In my attempt to get to know Bear Grylls the man a bit better I’ll say I’m well impressed having read Facing Up. Against the odds, Bears Everest attempt was successful, he was the youngest ever Briton to reach the peak at age 23. But was this a once off, an aberration, or does he really have the right stuff? Next up I’ll post my review of his #1 selling book Mud Sweat And Tears, then I’ll know for sure.

Should you read Facing Up? Yes. Well, I think it’s a fine book anyway. If you’ve any interest in adventure, Bear Grylls, the human condition, psychology, sociology, or Everest then it’s an obvious yes. For me it’s a 9 out of 10 rating.

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3 Responses to Bear Grylls Facing Up – Review

  1. Pingback: Bear Grylls Mud Sweat And Tears - Review - althinking blogalthinking blog

  2. BOB says:

    He is good and for as young as he is he did a lot.
    Some things he shows will save lives.
    He also helped out many poor people in 3rd world Countries.
    I have been around and I spent 2 nights Norh West of Fairbanks Alaska but it was just me and my friend and we did survive 2 nights at -62 below.
    No,Everyone will not agree with him but then they may also die.
    He is one of a kind

    • Sawand says:

      you can’t drink your on urine because it is full of tnxios- Bunk!! Only if you are sick, on drugs, etc. Do a little basic research. Many a man has survived from drinking his urine. Read Sufferings in Africa for one good example.I frankly do not understand how sleeping in a Hotel makes someone fake? And yes there are plenty of things that Bear does that would get the average Joe in deep trouble if they tried the same. However he has climbed Everest and sailed the South Seas. And if he was SAS TA and not regular SAS that is by no means a cub scout organization. Why he always seems to want to eat stuff alive and kicking vs building a fire and cooking it is beyond me. Les on the other hand sometimes gives the impression that he could go hungry in a supermarket. Oh yeah and lets not forgot the African plains one where he thinks it is a good idea to poke a stick in a hole it was full of some pretty nasty wasps! Les has studied under some great survivalists including John McPherson (Prairie Wolf).As another article pointed out here there are two different philosphies in the two shows. Les is more about surviving where you are whereas Bear is all about getting back to civilization.I have attended some survival schools included Air Force SERE & Tom Brown’s and I can see useful information in both shows. I enjoy watching both though I do get more chuckles from Bear. I particularly laughed hard when he drank the liquid from the camels stomach and then regurgitated all of it almost immediately.If you are into survival then watch both. There is something to be learned. Bear’s technique for determining N,S,E,W will work whether he stayed in the Hilton or on a rock outcropping the night before. And Les’ techniques for building a fire from a variety of sources work even if he can’t figure out that you should not sleep on the ground in the jungle or freezes his butt off because he can’t remember that thing called a debris hut .I like em both, and would love to go on an outing with Les don’t think I could keep up with Bear- and I sure as hell am not crawling into some dank small cave thank you very much!

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