Prince Harry’s audiobook is worth listening to, even if you’re sick of it

To put it mildly, there has been a lot of hype around Prince Harry’s memoir, Back Up. (Did any book have more?) That alone might put you off reading the book. Perhaps the most palatable way to enjoy the prince’s hustle and bustle and war stories is through his audiobook told, as Harry says – with apparent pride and a touch of defiance – “By me, I am the author.”

With haters posting audio clips to social media, it might feel like you’ve already heard the book — the infamous frostbite section on the youngsters, the surreal loser’s virginity behind a bar paragraph. But what you might not catch in these and other easily-mocked-out passages is the kind of appealing humility that lies behind them, in which the Prince shows himself to be both self-denying and self-aware. Reading his own book, the Duke of Sussex comes across as an ordinary man who hasn’t always been able to live up to the extraordinary demands of his life and his family – and he knows it. He is willing to discuss his own stupidest mistakes, and does so with remorse, humor that subsides on its own, and a mitigation of patent. He had wanted to tell his truth for a long time.


From an early age, Harry has applied to him the basic rule of the monarchy, “The Family Motto”: Never Complain, Never Explain. Well, he had it. He now laments and explains in rich and righteous detail for 15 hours and 39 minutes. Finally, his side of the story.

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