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Worst ever book on F1?


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#1 930fly

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 13:55

Could it be "John Cooper, Grand Prix Carpetbagger"?

An incredible number of caption errors.

1966 described as an epic struggle between Cooper and Ferrari!

Poor Cooper seasons of 1963 - 65 ommitted completely!

Factual errors everywhere

IT'S A DISASTER!

Don't think much of the Phil Drackett book on Brabham either.

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#2 Don Capps

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 14:48

This field is so wide open for nominations, many of which make your candidate look like a Ph.D. dissertation....

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 15:05

Originally posted by Don Capps
This field is so wide open for nominations, many of which make your candidate look like a Ph.D. dissertation....


Can I stake a claim to anything which includes the words "complete" and/or "encyclopaedia" in it's title, with the honourable exception of Georgano, of course :)

#4 Barry Lake

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 15:41

"Adrienne, My Life with Ayrton Senna" wins hands down!

Some feat, actually, when you think of some of the competition.

#5 FEV

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 15:58

Can I stake a claim to anything which includes the words "complete" and/or "encyclopaedia" in it's title, with the honourable exception of Georgano, of course


:lol: :lol: :up:

#6 LittleChris

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 17:01

Who remembers Niki Lauda & The Grand Prix Gladiators released in about 1977 covering the 1976 season. Quite the most appalling book I've ever read on motor sport and makes Adrienne's book look the work of Tolstoy.

#7 mikedeering

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 17:23

SUrely "Mansell - The People's Champion" by Nige and James Allen is worth a mention here. Certainly as worst autobiography - EVER, and not just limitred to F1 either...

#8 FredF1

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 17:26

'The Power Game' by Ivan Rendall.

Lots of typos and a huge anti Ferrari, pro Williams bias to boot.
And I say this as a Williams fan.

Now I know why I picked it up on the bargains table....

#9 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 17:48

Originally posted by mikedeering
SUrely "Mansell - The People's Champion" by Nige and James Allen is worth a mention here. Certainly as worst autobiography - EVER, and not just limitred to F1 either...


Agreed, this book is best used for wiping ones ass. 'The Peoples Champion' - sounds like a bloody communist! :lol:

CC

#10 rolando

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 18:23

'La curva de la muerte' by Sara Cardoso the widow of the late Ricardo Rodriguez, you need to be a real fan of Ricardo Rodriguez to read it, but except for some good photos of the era, the whole book is a romantic and innacurate novel of motorsport, it has many mistakes of names, just for the record it is the first and maybe last book my wife's read about motorsports :rotfl:

Well, it could be a comedy too, because at the end of the history Clark, Bandini and Juan Manuel Bordeu were trying to conquest Sarita's heart :p

#11 McSlick

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 20:44

In holland we have a writer called anjes verheij she makes yearbooks one at the start of the season and one at the end .
They are both full of mistakes time and time again she does it every year
although the books are a bargain they only usable to burn a fireplace.
The books called Formule 1 start or finish

#12 ensign14

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 21:04

Originally posted by LittleChris
Who remembers Niki Lauda & The Grand Prix Gladiators released in about 1977 covering the 1976 season. Quite the most appalling book I've ever read on motor sport and makes Adrienne's book look the work of Tolstoy.


It does have 1 redeeming feature - a colour shot on the front cover of Boy Hayje and Larry Perkins in privateer March 761s. The only place I have these.

Most cash in books have little value, viz the oodles of Senna books, Mansell books after 1992 etc. I didn't mind the Adriene book, at least it was different, and lots of pictures of babes. :blush:

#13 Barry Lake

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 00:23

Originally posted by ensign14
It does have 1 redeeming feature - a colour shot on the front cover of Boy Hayje and Larry Perkins in privateer March 761s. The only place I have these.


I have many books that are otherwise "throw away" items that have photos you don't find anywhere else.

The editors simply go through a pile of photos and pick one they think hasn't been used before, rarely having any idea who, what or where it is. Often they turn out to be gems.

Many illustration of "also rans" seem to turn up this way.

It's worth having a flick through such books when they turn up on the bargain tables. You never know what you might find buried in amongst the otherwise worthless material.

#14 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 00:36

Well said, Barry.

#15 Gary Davies

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 13:14

In common with a couple of others here, I nominate "Nigel Mansell - My Autobiography". He even managed to incorporate a certain tautological quality into the title.

An honourable mention, too, for "Strictly off the record" by Big Lou. I find it difficult to be too critical of a fellow who has done so much for safety in motor racing but his style remains resolutely snobbish and superior, conveying what is perhaps the least endearing characteristic of certain of my countrymen.

I found Lou's views on that essentially good man - Murray Walker - to be an appropriate summary of his book - "tiresome and irritating."

Vanwall.

#16 dmj

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 13:50

This thead enlightened me - now I want to write the worst F1 history of all times and my poor knowledge of english language should help me to achieve that goal. This book should, of course, include the following facts:
- there were no important racing series before 1950, although these guys Nuwollari and Caracholla were sort of legends...
- all the great drivers screwed each other's wives, except for majority of them that were homosexual
- no one outside USA should even remotely care about Indy 500 and other american racing
- competing at Le Mans or elsewhere was a complete waste of time for F1 drivers
- introduction of advertising was second best thing that ever happened to F1, beaten to that crown only by presence of mr. Ecclestone
- all great champions hated each other
- Senna and Schumacher were two best racing drivers ever
- overtaking is seriously dangerous and has to be banned from racing
- every driver who didn't make it in F1 is complete loser and isn't worth of mentioning...

Could you please give me more ideas, before I start to write this book?

#17 byrkus

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 15:46

I can see a bestseller in making... :lol: :lol: :lol:

#18 fines

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 16:30

Originally posted by Vanwall
In common with a couple of others here, I nominate "Nigel Mansell - My Autobiography". He even managed to incorporate a certain tautological quality into the title.

I just wonder why it isn't titled "Nigel Mansell - Our Autobiography" :rolleyes: :lol:

#19 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 16:37

Originally posted by byrkus
I can see a bestseller in making... :lol: :lol: :lol:


... as long as he calls it "The Complete Encyclopaedia of Formula 1" :rolleyes: :)

See post number 3 ^^ :)

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#20 dmj

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 17:03

Great title, Vitesse2! I must use it!

#21 Racer.Demon

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 17:07

Your post on Complete Encyclopaedias did not only make me cry with laughter but also hit a raw nerve with me, Richard.

Imagine the anguish of needing to look happy and grateful when some ignorant but generous member of the family surprises you with another Bruce - Complete Encyclopaedia is my middle name - Jones title...

I'm sure many of us have lived through this ghastly experience once or twice :lol:

#22 Rob G

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 17:11

Originally posted by Vitesse2
... as long as he calls it "The Complete Encyclopaedia of Formula 1" :rolleyes: :)

Since that title has already been taken, he'll have to come up with another one. I suggest "The Unbelievable Encyclopedia of Formula 1". :D

#23 ray b

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 17:42

:clap: F-1 POP UP BOOK :rotfl:
now in book shops in usa.
why did they do that??

#24 Don Capps

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 17:49

Originally posted by Rob G

Since that title has already been taken, he'll have to come up with another one. I suggest "The Unbelievable Encyclopedia of Formula 1". :D


Nope, it has to be:

"The Totally and Completely Authoritative Great Big Huge Encyclopedia of Formula 1 Racing 1950 to 2001"

As long as it is: about a thousand pages; filled with hundreds or thousands of pictures -- not of anything in particular or of relevanace -- in color, of course; has the 1950 to 1983 period crammed into about 20 pages; countless pages on Senna and Schumacher; lots of pages filled with data and statistics, which do not have to be necessarily accurate; race commentary by a TV announcer or "personality"-- actually someone who usually covers another sport but is ghosting for the announcer/ personality; has F O R M U L A 1 emblazoned across the cover with a Ferrari....

....Guaranteed Best Seller.....

#25 oldtimer

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 19:29

The book should also include a chapter entitled 'Why we didn't win the race", with contributions from drivers, team managers and sponsors.

#26 ensign14

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 20:31

Originally posted by dmj
Could you please give me more ideas, before I start to write this book?


:rotfl:

And it should have 2 pages about racing before 1974 and a driver section with more on Pedro Diniz than Jim Clark.

Not the worst book, but the most disappointing, was Alan Henry's 'Driver by Driver'. When announced I thought, 'wow! Now I can find out about Rudi Krause and Neville Lederle!' Instead you had biogs like 'this Italian drove in 1 grand prix but retired' with no real insights. Harry Schell's was about 4 lines. Thank God for Steve Small's book.

#27 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 00:07

Originally posted by oldtimer
The book should also include a chapter entitled 'Why we didn't win the race", with contributions from drivers, team managers and sponsors.


... and everyone ever associated with Arrows :rolleyes:

#28 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 00:11

Originally posted by ensign14
Not the worst book, but the most disappointing, was Alan Henry's 'Driver by Driver'. When announced I thought, 'wow! Now I can find out about Rudi Krause and Neville Lederle!' Instead you had biogs like 'this Italian drove in 1 grand prix but retired' with no real insights. Harry Schell's was about 4 lines. Thank God for Steve Small's book.


Don't knock it e14 - if it wasn't for that book, Richie Jenkins would have nothing to do with his spare time!!! :lol:

#29 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 00:16

Originally posted by ray b
:clap: F-1 POP UP BOOK :rotfl:
now in book shops in usa.
why did they do that??


[O/T]
I always wanted to do the "Scratch and sniff pop-up sex book" but I could never get a publisher interested ... maybe Buford could help here?[/OT]

#30 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 13 January 2002 - 14:07

Originally posted by Vitesse2


Don't knock it e14 - if it wasn't for that book, Richie Jenkins would have nothing to do with his spare time!!! :lol:


:rotfl:

It wasn't that book to blame initially... Griffith's Grand Prix Stats sent me down the murky road of interest I now find myself in!

#31 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 January 2002 - 14:39

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins


:rotfl:

It wasn't that book to blame initially... Griffith's Grand Prix Stats sent me down the murky road of interest I now find myself in!


I'm not sure which was more fun with the Griffiths book - finding and correcting the mistakes or actually discovering something that wasn't wrong :rolleyes:

#32 Muzza

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 02:41

I have read quite a few terrible books about Formula 1, but nothing as bad as Heinz PrĂ¼ller's biography of Jochen Rindt.

It is so bad, but so bad, that I thought "ok, it is not possible someone would write so poorly - especially a professional journalist. It must have been the translator." Thus I had the cojones of finding an edition in German (what took me more than half a year) and try to read it - with a dictionary on my lap, as I basically don't speak German. And, to my surprise, the original was as bad as the English translation...

:down:

#33 dretceterini

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 02:55

Originally posted by ray b
:clap: F-1 POP UP BOOK :rotfl:
now in book shops in usa.
why did they do that??


You can't be serious.

#34 petefenelon

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 10:21

Originally posted by FredF1
'The Power Game' by Ivan Rendall.

Lots of typos and a huge anti Ferrari, pro Williams bias to boot.
And I say this as a Williams fan.

Now I know why I picked it up on the bargains table....


The description of the 1966 F1 season in Rendall's The Chequered Flag is laughably ropy too, from what I recall. The rest of the book is sort of OK, and has nice pictures in. Can't quite forgive Rendall for making a TV series and book with a title that's potentially confusable with William Court's masterpieces. ("The Power And The Glory" vs Court's much more euphonious "Power And Glory").


#35 petefenelon

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 10:25

Originally posted by Vitesse2


Don't knock it e14 - if it wasn't for that book, Richie Jenkins would have nothing to do with his spare time!!! :lol:


Driver By Driver did have a nice pic of Peter Gethin and his dog, of course. And referred to Mike Beuttler as a "confirmed bachelor" (as the euphemism current in certain circles of society used to be) but managed to spell it wrong. Real old piece of potboilery.

#36 Twin Window

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 10:28

Originally posted by McSlick

In holland we have a writer called Anjes Verheij...

Could one of my cloggie mates here please explain to me why this lady's name seems so very familiar to me?

#37 petefenelon

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 11:18

My own personal "bottom 10":

- Tom Rubython's Senna biography. There's always been something about Rubython's writing that.... makes my flesh creep really. There's actually no need for his book - Richard Williams' The Death Of Ayrton Senna says a hundred times more in a third the space, and even Christopher Hilton's first Senna book The Hard Edge of Genius is better than this - although that was before Hilton got onto the treadmill of producing crap content-free biographies. The Rubython book is expensive bloatware - possibly worth a fiver in paperback if you've a flight or train journey.

- The Alan Henry illustrated Williams thing - OK if you believe that Frank and Patrick started off with "Our Noige" and stepped up a gear with Jacques and Damon. Ok, ok, it's "25 years of WGPE", but the first 8 or so are barely covered, and the years before WGPE are even more sketchy.

- Nigel Mansell's autobiography. Interesting as a piece of psychopathology and as a harbinger of just how awful James Allen was going to be.

- "The Formula One Young Guns" - a piece of terrible hackwork attempting to make a bunch of contemporary identikit personality-free Formula Pushy Dad clones who've been karting since they were in nappies into "personalities". Possibly the Grand Prix Gladiators of the 21st century?

- Any of the Hilton/Henry line of el-cheapo biographies with zero insight into or involvement from the subject. I believe the series is called "Heroes on Wheels" - you know the ones, with a PR pic of the driver on the front and his name written sideways down the cover; they're known in some circles as "...and then they went to Monza...." books. I reviewed the Montoya one on Amazon saying that it was the best Montoya biography out there purely on the basis that there were no others yet...;)

- an honourable mention for James Allen's turgid "Michael Schumacher: The Quest For Redemption". The author can't write, the subject's boring, and it's essentially Schufauxsi revisionist hagiography of the worst order.

- (sadly) Sid Watkins' "Beyond The Limit". I won't hear a bad word said against the Prof and I loved "Life At The Limit" -- have indeed re-read it many times but this looked like someone had had a trawl through the temporary folder on the Prof's computer and pasted all his random jottings down into a book. I'd love to see Sid doing a proper autobiography in the Tony Rudd style, covering his whole life, not just his career in F1. It'd be fantastic reading, and he's clearly capable of doing it if he writes as well as he did in "Life At The Limit".

- Murray Walker's autobiography. Rather too "sanitised" for my taste, and again doesn't say an awful lot about Murray the man - would've liked to hear more about his Army, motorcycling and advertising days and less about the wonderful camaraderie in the paddock. Worth the four quid I paid for it in paperback, and anyway I have one of the rare unsigned copies ;)

- Alan Henry, "March: the Grand Prix and Indy Cars". Tells essentially the same story as (parts of) Mike Lawrence's "Four Guys And A Telephone". The difference in title will give you some idea of the difference in style. Manages to make a bunch of the most interesting characters in racing sound like a dull crowd of faceless technocrats. No "story" to it at all, which for me is the essence of history. Yes, there's a bit more technical info than there is in Dr L's book but you may nod off getting to it. A major disappointment.

- another sad disappointment - "Fangio: My Racing Life". Confused, bitty, repetitive, poorly-edited and translated, and badly-organised. A book that seems to have suffered badly at the hands of too many cooks (particularly sad to see Jenks' name associated with this) - Donaldson's bio is much better than this and is a much more fitting memorial to the Maestro.

#38 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 11:18

In this festive season, I'm sure some well-meaning relative will burden someone here with a copy of the execrable "Motor Racing's Strangest Races" by Geoff Tibballs. Mr Tibballs' previous masterpieces include a number of behind the scenes looks at soap operas, "The Mammoth Book of Jokes: Over 6, 000 Shaggy Dog Stories, Limericks, Puns and Put-downs for All Occasions", "Wallace & Gromit: Cheese Lover's Yearbook", "No Way Out: Battered Women Who Killed" and "First Jobs of the Famous", so he's obviously well-qualified to write about motor racing. Or do I mean "do a cut and paste job"? Yeah, that was it ....

#39 ensign14

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 11:21

Originally posted by Vitesse2
"No Way Out: Battered Women Who Killed" ...

Well, that could be a qualification...

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#40 petefenelon

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 11:25

Oooh - and while I'm thinking - Christopher Hilton's very odd late-eighties Honda hagiography "Conquest of Formula One" - a book that misunderstands Japanese culture, contains little technical or personal insight into what Honda achieved, and is written with a strange kind of turgid portentousness. Even by Hilton's standards it's no classic. Seems like an odd chap, because some of his books about "history" are actually very good - he's capable of producing decent stuff!

#41 petefenelon

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 11:29

Originally posted by 930fly


Poor Cooper seasons of 1963 - 65 ommitted completely!


(re "Grand Prix Carpet-Bagger")

John Cooper suffered a bad road accident in a twin-engined Mini in 1963 and was "out of action" for a long time - other hands (Ken Tyrrell briefly and later Salvadori, I think) looked after the F1 team in John's absence, and John's involvement in the F1 team was somewhat scaled-down even after he'd recovered. Charlie also died during this period so John had to take on a lot of his responsibilities - and then along came the Chipstead group. Hence you wouldn't find much about John in a discussion of Cooper through the last few years of the 1.5l formula.

#42 Twin Window

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 11:34

Originally posted by petefenelon

There's always been something about Rubython's writing that.... makes my flesh creep really.

And you say this without having met him? You are clearly a very intuative chap, Pete...  ;)

The Alan Henry illustrated Williams thing

'Thing' being the operative word. I worked on their previous racing publication Formula 1 the Autobiography or somesuch ludicrous title. They forgot to send me my copy of that, but inexplicably they did send me the Williams book. Without doubt it has the worst photographic content of any racing book I've seen this side of 1974...

#43 Doug Nye

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 17:01

Originally posted by LittleChris
Who remembers Niki Lauda & The Grand Prix Gladiators released in about 1977 covering the 1976 season. Quite the most appalling book I've ever read on motor sport and makes Adrienne's book look the work of Tolstoy.


Yes Chris, ABSOLUTELY the title winner IN PERPETUITY so far as I am concerned. Written - if that is the correct word - by one Ronnie Mutch.

Any challenger for the title really would have to be going some to exceed the standards set by that particular turkey... :rolleyes:

DCN

#44 JtP

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 18:35

At the risk of being sued, I don't know if he is still alive because Bill Boddy of Motorsport refused him an aubituary. But Ken Purdey (Purdy)"s book on Stirling Moss "All but my Life" must hold a special place in anyone's litter bin.

#45 Kpy

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 19:09

Originally posted by JtP
At the risk of being sued, I don't know if he is still alive because Bill Boddy of Motorsport refused him an aubituary. But Ken Purdey (Purdy)"s book on Stirling Moss "All but my Life" must hold a special place in anyone's litter bin.

I've no idea whether Ken W Purdy, who wrote 'All But My Life" with Stirling Moss (the copyright belongs to Moss, not Purdy), is alive or not. The book was published in the same year that Moss announced his retirement after a test at Goodwood in 1st May 1963.
It's based very largely on taped interviews and is, admittedly, fairly lightweight, but it is fairly typical of the type of book which was being writted about contemporary racing at that time.
It's a long time since WB had a veto on obituaries in Motor Sport. I rather think you are mixing Purdy up with another American author whom WB openly detested.
Clearly you haven't had the misfortune to read many of the other books previously mentioned on this thread.
Oh, you can't be sued for expressing your honest opinion of a book. Have no fear.
Seasons greetings :)

#46 JB Miltonian

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 20:38

Ken Purdy died in 1972.

#47 BorderReiver

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 20:40

The Way To Dusty Death . . .

;)

#48 Geza Sury

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 20:43

Originally posted by JtP
Ken Purdey (Purdy)"s book on Stirling Moss "All but my Life" must hold a special place in anyone's litter bin.

This is an interesting comment, since many list this title as one of their favourites. Not me, though... (I read it once than sold it rather quickly :blush: )

#49 JtP

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 21:58

Originally posted by Kpy

I've no idea whether Ken W Purdy, who wrote 'All But My Life" with Stirling Moss (the copyright belongs to Moss, not Purdy), is alive or not. The book was published in the same year that Moss announced his retirement after a test at Goodwood in 1st May 1963.
It's based very largely on taped interviews and is, admittedly, fairly lightweight, but it is fairly typical of the type of book which was being writted about contemporary racing at that time.
It's a long time since WB had a veto on obituaries in Motor Sport. I rather think you are mixing Purdy up with another American author whom WB openly detested.
Clearly you haven't had the misfortune to read many of the other books previously mentioned on this thread.
Oh, you can't be sued for expressing your honest opinion of a book. Have no fear.
Seasons greetings :)


Boddy reviewed the book for MotorSport and was slightly uncomplementary. Purdy took great exception to Boddy's remarks and I percieve that a certain amount of letterspassed between them. Boddy to settle the matter published a form of retraction and stated that Purdy's name would not be printed in Motorsport again, not even an obituary. Btw thanks for pointing out how to spell it.

Now writing a boring book on Nigel Mansell must be fairly easy, but Moss! Now I might not hold him in as much esteem as himself, but how do you write a boring dreadful book on Moss?

As for the road to dusty death, I never finished to first chapter and if memory serves me right it may well have been laid down before page 5. I didn't buy it btw, my mother was the alaister maclean fan. For the rest I have happily been spared most of them, I now know not to buy any book "written" by Chris Hilton.

#50 petefenelon

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 22:29

I think it was the point at which the headlights of one of the Grand Prix cars (as far as I can tell the book was set in the 60s....;)) were mentioned that made me wonder if Maclean knew what he was writing about ;)