Love him or loathe him, you've got to admit it, Richard Branson has drive. And guts. And enough ambition to sink a battleship--or perhaps that should be a jumbo jet--or even a whole company of jumbos if the Virgin Atlantic/British Airways debacle (which takes up a huge chunk of this already huge tome) is anything to go by.
Branson's autobiography makes immensely fascinating reading. Whatever you think of Britain's most famous entrepreneur, the odds are that you will enjoy reading his autobiography. You may snort at descriptions of his "poor" childhood--spent eating bread and dripping while living in a house the majority of us visit on Bank Holidays and attending a "minor" public school. You may groan at memories of early initiative tests: how about being ejected from the family car and told by his mother to find his way home--at the age of four? You may flinch at accounts of his early business days as an unwashed, unshod, hippy magazine publisher living en famille with his staff in the crypt of a West London church. But, all in all, you'll get to understand where the guy's coming from--man.
And, like the man himself, there's no holds barred here. Richard bares his soul, from childhood, school days (cheating at exams), loves and losses (lost one wife when a spot of wife-swapping went drastically wrong--for him), death-defying adventures (yes, the balloons are all there), to the rise and rise of the Virgin empire. His interviews for Student magazine and the early days of Virgin Music read like a chronicle of popular music and culture in the late 20th century. Famous names bounce off every page. Prepare to be enthralled by the life and times of a walking publicity machine. --Carey Green
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"Branson has a list of achievements unmatched by any other UK businessman. For anyone burning with entrepreneurial zeal, his reminiscences are akin to a sacred text" (Mail on Sunday)
"Grabs you on page one and never lets go ... a rollercoaster ride ... read what makes this brilliant and hardworking man tick" (Spectator)
"Candid and humorous" (Times)
"An incredible man, and this is an incredible autobiography... a great read - sex, balloons, intrigue and money" (Sunday Business)
A remarkable story of business success against the financial odds - having created one of the world's most admired brand names, Branson
is entitled to tell it all.
" (Evening Standard