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The Hard Way

Adapt, Survive and Win
Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

Non-member price: $21.86

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Publisher's Summary

Billy Billingham grew up tough - a grim future ahead of him offering little respite from the hostile streets he walked. Leaving school at 11 years of age, the threat of borstal hanging over his head, running with gangs in Birmingham, and almost being killed in a knife fight eventually led to Billy discovering the British armed forces at 16 years of age. It would be the making of him. 

Billingham would graduate from the Royal Marine cadets to enlist with the Parachute Regiment in 1983, where he would serve with distinction as a Patrol Commander and expert sniper. In 1991 he took on an even bigger challenge - taking the SAS course - the fearsome and secretive elite special forces unit with a well-won reputation for excellence in operating in extreme and hazardous conditions. He excelled in this life, rising to the rank of sergeant major for the regiment, and undertaking dozens of classified and extremely dangerous missions. He would ultimately serve 17 years with the SAS, serving in countless war zones, winning a commendation for bravery and being awarded the MBE. After leaving the army he would embrace the life of a bodyguard to Hollywood stars such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Sir Michael Caine, Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe before being recruited as one of the lead instructors on SAS - Who Dares Wins for television. 

Billy is a highly decorated veteran, with a reputation for excellence, honesty and integrity not only supporting his comrades Ant Middleton, Jason Fox and Ollie Ollerton but equally intimidating and inspiring the contestants who take on the gruelling challenges each week. The Hard Way details Billy’s story thus far but will also educate and enthral those wishing to seek a challenge and conquer it - the SAS way.

©2019 Mark Billingham (P)2019 Simon & Schuster UK

What listeners say about The Hard Way

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Inspirational and engaging

Having watched the C4 series ‘Who Dares Wins’, and read all of the other directing staff’s stories, there was something different in all of them. What I liked about this one from ‘Billy’ was his empathy, coaching of others, grit and determination. ‘Always a little further’ is something I have been utilising in my fitness/work/family life. Read this or better still, audiobook it. There’s great stories, life lessons and moments of adventure, joy and surprises. Every young teenage Male growing up in today’s society should read this book. It’s got direction and purpose . Well done.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ali
  • 28-08-2020

listen/read this book

great listen for those interested in people who overcome backgrounds to achieve a great rewarding life

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Fantastic Audiobook

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Billy's story, it was inspiring, gripping, exciting and entertaining. I couldn't stop listening to it and finished it an a day. Much respect and admiration for what he came from, how he turned his life around, what he achieved in his military career and subsequent life, also much gratitude for him serving our country.

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Great book

Really enjoyed listening to this book, no bull , just easy to listen to. Could easily have been a different life if he had not found his weapon in the river during selection. Nice one Billy

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did not want it to end

narrator was spot on, bloody brilliant book. have never seen the tv show so I had no idea who this bloke is but great story and good messages

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Very good story, great man

Absolutely loved it. He’s really an inspiration to do better. Push for more. I really recommend this book because he’s someone you can really respect. The one disappointment was the lack of SAS specific story. But, I respect his position and reasons for avoiding the topic.

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  • SerieLis
  • 20-06-2020

Strong Story, lessons learned, now take action

Inspiring, audio bit blank, but behind it all great lessons that can come from experience

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  • Ingemar Roos
  • 28-04-2020

Great!

Really liked it. Great story and very inspiring! A real insight to his life and career.

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  • Dave
  • 12-04-2020

Superb

One of the most interesting people out there, 100% give it a listen. Great story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-12-2019

misleading

the story was great but mark billingham only reads the prologue and epilogue which I was very disappointed about as I dont like listening to stories not read by the writer

25 people found this helpful

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  • mr s k hargreaves
  • 31-10-2019

A truly inspirational book!!

A no frills and tell it as it is book. The only way is the hard way!! And the message this book tells you is a no nonsense, honest and tough reality check we all can learn from. Well done Mark, you should be proud!!! Shaun Hargreaves

7 people found this helpful

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  • jonny
  • 10-11-2019

Superb

Absolutely brilliant book. What a total legend. Listen this book, You won't be dissapointed!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-11-2019

shame Billy never narrated the book

good story however dissapointing to find that Billy doesn't narrate , i find it easier to visualise the story when the written narrates thier own story ,

9 people found this helpful

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  • Owain Thomas
  • 07-11-2019

Brilliant stories, humble, great listen.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommend. Great sense of humour but at the same time very gripping.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ujay
  • 05-11-2019

Good one

Wish he had more stories about selection but good compact writing. He certainly had a great career with SAS and exciting life that. Really enjoyed listening to it.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • andy baker
  • 05-11-2019

Billy

The only issue I had with the book was the guy reading it doesn't get the anounciation of swear words and the way the sentences string together like a working class lad from Walsall but what an amazing story and life to hear about

2 people found this helpful

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  • martin
  • 19-05-2020

Enjoyable but felt like a lot was missing.

Mark Billingham comes over as a really nice guy who wants to help others but I felt let down by the lack of content and substance in the book. I understand due to the official secrets act there was a lot of stuff he could not repeat but it just seemed to jump from his early days to joining the army to SAS selection and then his private bodyguard and tv work outside of the military. I was a bit disappointed really.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dave Blundell
  • 04-11-2019

An inspiring story.

Although Billy for whatever reason only narrated the forward and epilogue. This book was an inspiring story from start to finish, about a poor young lad from the West Midlands. A right little fighter who everyone thought would fail! But a few souls gave him a life line in the form of guidance and he took it big time. Billy show's you that anyone from any background can succeed if you apply yourself, adapt and overcome. Thanks Billy 10/10

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clare Marmont
  • 04-11-2019

The hard way

Absolutely inspirational man, true gentleman and a true hero in every aspect of the word.

1 person found this helpful