In his autobiography, Pat Falvey – one of Ireland’s most prolific adventurers – tells the story of his epic life. His book chronicles one man’s determination to push beyond the limits of an ordinary man to achieve his extraordinary and challenging dreams and survive in one of the world’s riskiest sports, where thirty of his colleagues have died.
Fast-paced, reflective, humorous and emotionally honest, Accidental Rebel charts the life of a man who has both paid the price and reaped the rewards for refusing to accept the restrictions society put on him in the pursuit of his dreams and a life of adventure.
Dreaming big is something Cork city native Pat Falvey has done since his earliest days in the working-class northside where he was born. This is where he cut his business teeth, knocking on doors and collecting cast-off clothes that his grandmother sold at country markets.
At fifteen, he declared that he was going to become a millionaire. By the age of twenty– three, that dream had come true. However, the 1980s’ recession all but destroyed his business and brought him to the brink of the abyss. When he emerged from the darkness, he was ready to dream big again.
When he stood on the top of Carrauntoohil – Ireland’s highest mountain – for the first time, at the age of twenty-nine, Pat announced that he was going to climb Mount Everest. It was his second ever mountain climb, and the only person who took him seriously was himself. Nine years later, he was standing on the top of the world’s highest mountain.
Following his move into the world of adventure, he clocked up several national and world firsts before returning to the world of business. In his work as an inspirational speaker and motivator, he shines a light for all who want to explore the limits of who they can be. Now in his early sixties, he’s still dreaming big and chasing new adventures.
In Accidental Rebel, Pat details the successes, failures, triumphs and tragedies of his life, chronicling one man’s determination to push beyond the limits to achieve his dreams – and survive.
It’s a great read, and you kept the suspense going as the reader wondered if you and your team would achieve their goals.
You highlight the enormous commitment required in terms of planning, training, time and money to succeed at the highest level of mountaineering.
The deaths and accidents remind us that some adventurers pay the ultimate price.
I’m reminded of a phrase ‘you can have anything you want in life if you are willing to pay the price’. And there is a price, a great price for some.
You tell us what it cost you in terms of family and relationships.
‘Leaving Beachwood, day of reckoning…there’s a price to pay for following your dream.’
Your achievements are considerable. I would describe you as one of Ireland’s finest modern adventurers. I don’t think you get the recognition you deserve in terms of the general public, but I guess your triumphs are known to your peers and fellow adventurers.
I like the way you describe your ‘failures,’ e.g. two unsuccessful attempts to summit Everest, and Ama Dablam requiring a second attempt. Also, you made several efforts to trek to the North Pole.
Finished the book last night and I have to say was totally impressed. A great story of a life lived at the edge in many ways. Loved the style always on the cusp of the next thing, loved the pain and the glory and how each of them was given equal footing in the book. I thought the relationships you chose to focus on both good and bad told me a lot about what has made you who you are. The joy and success and heartbreak for some but most importantly the sense of fraternity and brotherhood shone through to the climbing fraternity you mention with their rules and regulations and spirit of denial that somehow the mountains could still in some way be ruled by the free were excellently married.
I thought the accounts were brilliant. Close to the bone action to make me want to keep reading, but with lovely moments of deep and personal thoughts of inadequacy and fears of societal and family reproach. That we all suffer from some time to make it very possible to feel like as you say its ordinary man with ordinary emotions who take these enormous risks, not superheroes and that very much came through.
Most importantly it inspired me.
I found it very interesting and a fantastic read. I had no idea of the enormous risk, dogged determination and will power required to see each climb/expedition through to the end. The Irish South Pole, Antarctica / Educational Expedition, K2 and The North Pole I was gripped by and could not put it down.
It was good to get the very personal (raw truth) side to your life, the highs and lows, your family and the effects on them and the fact that you have with their help turned that around for the better.
I really enjoyed the book. It was interesting, funny, sad and shocking in places, but it was all held together by the sheer excitement and thrill of the mountain climbs. The description of what was going on around you all and the ‘what’s going to happen next’ anticipation any reader has when they have a good book in their hands.