• Fight or Flight: My Life

  • By: Keith Earls
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Keith Earls started out in senior rugby as a teenage star and during the course of his long career has become one of the most admired and respected players of his generation.

A British & Irish Lion at the age of 21, he is now closing in on his 34th birthday and still playing at the top of his game. A native of Limerick city, Earls grew up in one of its most socially disadvantaged housing estates. His natural sporting talent brought him into the privileged bastion of elite rugby union.

His frank and fearless autobiography tells the story of his long struggle to reconcile the world whence he came with the world opened up by his brilliance with an oval ball. Earls has maintained a low profile throughout his career. For the first time he will talk in depth and at length about the inner turmoil that went unseen by team-mates, friends and fans. It is a confessional, intimate and courageous story of the pain that was a constant companion to the glory.

©2021 Keith Earls (P)2021 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A top class player, a brilliant team mate, Keith has an incredible story to tell." (Johnny Sexton)

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  • B. Quinn
  • 03-20-22

Narrator is useless, really disappointing

Great story, brave man for being so honest especially while still playing.
Unfortunately the narrator is completely useless, it was really disappointing, he ruined a great book. He seems to have a large portfolio so I’m sure he can do a good job but it sounded like he didn’t give a damn.
I had to buy the hard copy to give the book a proper chance. Dodgy attempt at accents, huge number of mispronounced words, peoples names, place and club names etc. Did this guy do any research or even read the book before his first take? He didn’t even get his partner Edel’s name right!
I understand why Keith may have felt he couldn’t do the reading himself but after hearing him interviewed on The Late Late Show and Off The Ball he would have done a great job. Why didn’t the narrator listen to these?
He sounds like an American putting on a general Irish accent. Keith and everyone who bought the audiobook deserves this to be re-recorded by someone who prepares for the task properly.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • EarlyBhoy
  • 01-06-22

revealing

I thought I was gonna struggle with the narration when the narrator put on a Ronan O Gara accent but thankfully it didn't last long. Very honest book by Earls, brilliant honestly detailing his mental health. I just wish he went into more detail about the rugby battles he had or witnessed. surely some teammates had right good blowouts. Overall I liked this book, an easy listen and like he wanted would be an easy read. Fair play to the man hopefully Munster win the EC again and he gets his 100th cap

1 person found this helpful

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  • stephen ward
  • 06-06-22

Great insight

Very much enjoyed the book. The Narrator however mispronounced names and place names but overall a great read

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  • JohnD
  • 05-30-22

brilliant story of a great humble man

Brilliant story from a great humble genuine man and what a talented winger. I really enjoyed it.

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  • Wayne Cork
  • 05-15-22

An honest look into an elite athletes life

There have been many books written by the generation of players Keith earls is part of, most of them are desperately boring.
This book is different, it is a first hand view not just into the games he played but his life as he played them. It considers his background, so different from most Irish rugby players, the impact of family and community, his exclusion from the socio demographic of his rugby peers. Most importantly it delves deep into the demons that live in Earls' mind, this element of the book reads like a genuine introspection of his own journey and how he became against the odds the player and man he is.
The style of the book is simple and straightforward, comparable to a conversation over a coffee. He states he has purposely tried to keep the language simple, used his own words to make is accessable to as many young people as possible. This alone tells you a lot about the man.
The only drawback is the narration. The reader sounds like they are trying to be authentically Irish; and failing miserably. The small errors grate after a while, the largest being the mispronunciation of Earls' wife's name throughout the whole book. How difficult was that to check?
Thankfully the story rises above the narration to give an all round view of the costs and rewards of dedicating ones life to elite sports.

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  • Des Bluett
  • 03-30-22

What a Book

Over the past 50 years I have read many sports books mostly about rugby. This book has to be up there with the best, if nothing fact the best.
Keith Earls has written a fascinating account of his personal/family/community/ professional
Life, in an open narrative, where he confronts, and manages his mental health issues. I congratulate him on the fearless way he bares his soul. His bravery on the pitch is well known, and is matched by the honesty and courage displayed in his writing.
Rarely do you see a famous sports personality lay it all so bare.
This is a super book
The reading is disappointing, in that he has several mispronunciations, many of them repeated. This is annoying but I still give it a 5 star rating, as it is a book to be read or listened to by everybody.
I wish that more sport books were as candid andcenthralling

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  • John O'Brien
  • 03-16-22

Brilliant

A great insight into the mind of Keith Earls/Hank. You just never know of the turmoil that can go on in the mind of elite sports people at the top of their game despite how they are publically protrayed.

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  • Olivia
  • 03-08-22

The narration lets this book down

The errors in the narration and many mispronounced words makes this great story a difficult listen. Please re-record it.

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  • darragh cox
  • 02-24-22

Awful narrator

Great book but the narrator is painful, mispronouncing names and places and putting on some weird Disney Irish accent. Needs to be re-recorded.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-30-22

Great book, wrong narrator.

The audio version should have had someone who knows the sport and who’s intonation is a world away from the man whose words he is reading. Basic mispronunciation of teams and names is
Not good enough.

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  • jack
  • 02-22-22

Humble man, simple message.

The Irish accent from the narrator was a bit off putting at the start. But once I stopped listening I missed it. The chapters can sort of jump back and forth which affects the linearity of the story but it’s still 5 from me because I enjoyed it so much.