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Worst ever book on F1?


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#101 KJJ

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 13:33

"Jack Ryder, world famous racing driver, lay in a hospital bed nursing his shattered leg" So begins "White Death" by mysterious author "Andrew Neilson."

A shattered leg? Hospital bed? Andrew Neilson, a near anagram of............well it couldn't be.......could it?

Bugger, now I'm going to have to buy some more books.

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#102 Vitesse2

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 13:40

Originally posted by ensign14
Mm...sounds as if it was a pseudonym of a better known writer having an experiment...

Can I throw one in that polarizes opinion?

"Mr Monaco" by Tony Rudlin...read it once, about 10 years ago, and all I can remember is that it seemed like a character assassination of someone who could not sue...

I read it when it was first published, then not again until this year. Apart from the character assassination it's also highly inaccurate in places, with several errors of fact and misidentified pictures, all of which should have been picked up before publication. But PSL were in the process of being sold at the time, so I think their editorial standards were slipping.

Could the nastiness of that book have been the reason why Bette, Damon and the rest of the family have apparently declined to co-operate with any other biographers? They are notably absent from the list of acknowledgments in the Tipler book, which was also a potboiler, but at least 95% accurate: basically a cut and paste job though.

The title of my 8W profile of Graham Hill was a deliberate two fingers to Rudlin.

#103 Twin Window

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 13:49

Originally posted by KJJ

Andrew Neilson, a near anagram of............well it couldn't be.......could it?

:confused:

#104 Option1

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 14:11

Originally posted by Twin Window
:confused:

Wot he sed ...

Some of the books mentioned so far sound so wonderfully bad that I'm really tempted to get 'em. Then again, it would probably serve me better to get a grounding in the better, accurate versions first.

I'd kinda, sorta add a maybe nomination for Peter Stevenson's "Driving Forces". The disconnected, episodic, "Boys Own" writing style, combined with the unfinished half-speculations frustrated the living *#&$ out of me. I still feel like I'm waiting for the book to finish. Felt like a cliff-hanger series that was cut mid-season. Not to mention that some of the (unfinished half-) speculations didn't even make sense in a very basic understanding of the political climate of the times.

Neil

#105 Twin Window

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 14:16

It was the anagram comment I couldn't figure out, Neil.

#106 Option1

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 14:21

Originally posted by Twin Window
It was the anagram comment I couldn't figure out, Neil.

I know, at least I think I know. My reference was to your reference that you were confused by the anagram comment. I think we're on the same page. Confused now? :D

The rest of my post referred to the thread as a whole.

Ahhhh, I really shouldn't get online at 6 a.m.

Neil

#107 bill moffat

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 16:28

OK it's a DVD and not a book and definitely not "the worst ever"..but any comments on "50 years of F1 on-bored (sorry board)".

I watched it on Christmas day afternoon and was underwhelmed. Blaming it on an O/D of turkey and red wine I tried again on Boxing Day and fell asleep (and not because of cold turkey or more wine).

OK there are some impressive bits but I found it strangely uninvolving and the commentary uninspiring. The tacked-on F1 world champions sequence, to extend a Xmas dinner metaphor, was a Brussel sprout....maybe I'm just getting old and cynical.

#108 FredF1

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 23:29

Originally posted by bill moffat
OK it's a DVD and not a book and definitely not "the worst ever"..but any comments on "50 years of F1 on-bored (sorry board)".

I watched it on Christmas day afternoon and was underwhelmed. Blaming it on an O/D of turkey and red wine I tried again on Boxing Day and fell asleep (and not because of cold turkey or more wine).

OK there are some impressive bits but I found it strangely uninvolving and the commentary uninspiring. The tacked-on F1 world champions sequence, to extend a Xmas dinner metaphor, was a Brussel sprout....maybe I'm just getting old and cynical.



Oooerr. :blush:

Is it that bad?
I thought it would be okay - especially the 'turn off the commentary and hear the engine' feature.

I bought it as a Christmas present for my brother. I didn't watch it myself, apart from giving it a quick spin to check if it worked okay. I didn't bother with getting myself a copy as I have both volumes of 'Lap Of The Gods' on video.

Anyways, I also got him the double DVD of 'Faster' about motorcycle racing and he's over the moon about that.

#109 Barry Lake

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 03:13

This one sounds like it has potential:

Cuckoo Run by Ingrid Pitt. Futura, 1980. Debut novel of the cult horror actress. “Nina was beautiful, wealthy, and knew how to live with death. In the brutal, glamorous worlds of motor racing, flying and the martial arts, it was always just around the corner."

Would someone like to buy and read this one and let us know if it qualifies?

:eek:

#110 ray b

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 07:13

Originally posted by dretceterini


You can't be serious.

re F-1 popup book

just reporting what I saw
the realy strange bit was it was not a little kids book
realistic drawings and hi detailed too
maybe aimed at late pre-teens??

#111 David Beard

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 11:26

Just been looking at the Atlas Bookworm...his review suggests that this has to be a contender.

MIRACLE AT MONACO:
THE LEGEND OF CHAPEAU NOIR

S. Thomas

#112 roger_valentine

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 11:36

Hilton. Conquest of Formula One. Irritating staccato sentences. Example: "Senna pole. Prost second row. Senna winning. Prost second."

In-depth race reporting.

No.

Single-word paragraphs.

Yes.

Freeze frame: It is time, high time, to ask why Hilton begins so many sentences with the words "It is time, high time..." (And why on earth are there so many "freeze frames"? Or even one?)

#113 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 12:47

Perhaps he's a Hemingway fan?

Sorry.

That sentence.

Too long.

Sorry.

(Again.)

#114 petefenelon

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 15:01

Originally posted by roger_valentine
Hilton. Conquest of Formula One. Irritating staccato sentences. Example: "Senna pole. Prost second row. Senna winning. Prost second."

In-depth race reporting.

No.

Single-word paragraphs.

Yes.

Freeze frame: It is time, high time, to ask why Hilton begins so many sentences with the words "It is time, high time..." (And why on earth are there so many "freeze frames"? Or even one?)



I have a vague suspicion that the staccato style there is meant to both "feel exciting" and to emulate Japanese prose, which can apparently be rather machine-gun if transliterated rather than properly translated.


The curious bit about tin cans at the end of that book (or was it the beginning?) was a bit odd too.

#115 Ian McKean

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 20:26

Talking of C Hilton, am I the only person who finds his habit of repetition at the end of sentences irritating irritating irritating?

Hang on, after writing that I checked the Senna book and couldn't find an example. I must be going mad, mad, mad. :eek:

#116 Barry Lake

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 09:00

Originally posted by Barry Lake
Somehow "The Worst" in this thread has become, occasionally, "The Best".

In 1983, 1984 and 1985, an author named Andrew Neilson wrote three books on motor racing, respectively, Braking Point, Dead Straight and Monza Protest which I acquired and read in paperback form and found quite enjoyable. A couple of years before reading the latter, I had been to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and (on a separate occasion) had stayed at Villa d'Este, where the grand prix drivers stayed. The descriptions in the book were spot on. When he described the road to the Villa, for example, I could picture each exact spot in my mind.

Having never heard of Neilson before or since those three novels, I did a Google search but could find no record of his having written anything else - or anything about him for that matter. I had/have never heard of him relative to motor sport. Yet he obviously either knew the subject well, or put a lot of research into those books.

Does anyone know anything about the man?



At the risk of being expelled from school - or at least made to stand in the corner for a considerable length of time - I am now adding to the crime of digression from the thread's original subject (from 'worst' to 'best') by answering my own question.

However, today I received in the mail extremely inexpensively priced hard cover copies of Neilson's books 'Dead Straight' and 'The Monza Protest' (my original versions were paperbacks) and they contain some clues to Neilson's identity.

On the cover of 'Dead Straight' is the quote, "'Andrew Neilson is the most exciting and technically accurate writer of motor racing fiction that I have ever read', Derek Bell, three times winner of the Le Mans 24 Hour Race."

Inside the back cover is, "Andrew Neilson was involved in club level motor racing for fifteen years, he has also run companies importing furniture and applying fire protection to North Sea oil platforms. He now lives and writes in Spain. His novel 'Braking Point' was published by W H Allen in 1983." (This book, Dead Straight, was published in 1984). There is a photo on the outside back cover, presumably of Neilson, looking quite slim, late-30s, with dark hair and glasses, seated in front of a portable typewriter.

On the inside back cover of "The Monza Protest" (published 1985) is, "Andrew Neilson was born in Nottinghamshire in 1946, son of a Scottish father and an Austrian mother. Whilst competing as an amateur racing driver he ran a variety of companies, one of which applied fire protection to oil platforms. He now lives and writes in Spain..."

So, assuming he began racing at about 20 years of age, his career would have spanned, say, 1966-1981, give or take a couple of years either way.

Does anyone know any more about him?

#117 Catalina Park

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 09:42

I am reading Legends of Speed Brabham to Weber, Beechey to Brock
by Bill Woods Australia's No 1 motorsport commentator (that is what it says on the cover!)

It is utter rubbish! I have been making notes of the mistakes, I have six pages of notes and I have not finished the book yet.
How about this gem, describing the Bob Jane Mercedes 220SE from the 1961 Armstrong 500.

An interesting aspect was that it was the first German car in the world to race without German tyres.



#118 RTH

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 09:51

Originally posted by Barry Lake
This one sounds like it has potential:

Cuckoo Run by Ingrid Pitt. Futura, 1980. Debut novel of the cult horror actress. “Nina was beautiful, wealthy, and knew how to live with death. In the brutal, glamorous worlds of motor racing, flying and the martial arts, it was always just around the corner."

Would someone like to buy and read this one and let us know if it qualifies?

:eek:

Ingrid's husband Tony is a former manager of Graham Hill and as such they are both steeped in motor racicg of that era. Having met them both on numerous occassions they are most charming people . I would love to read the book - anyone know if its still available ?

#119 Barry Lake

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 10:07

My apologies to the author.

There is just one example on ABEbooks (looks very expensive to me)

http://dogbert.abebo...imagefield.y=13

1. Cuckoo Run
Pitt, Ingrid

Price: US$ 39.77 (A$ 52.00) [Convert Currency]
Shipping: [Rates and Speeds]

Book Description: Futura, 1980. Fair to good copy of the debut novel of the cult horror actress.This paperback has cover wear and creasing, has a slight lean to the spine and an old price sticker on the rear cover. There is a book store stamp on the front end page and the pages are browning with age. The binding is tight and the pages are unmarked. "Nina was beautiful, wealthy, and knew how to live with death. In the brutal, glamorous worlds of motor racing, flying and the martial arts, it was always just around the corner. Bookseller Inventory #11546

Bookseller: Artemis Books (Hamilton, ., New Zealand)

[Search this Seller's Books] [Browse this Seller's Books] [Ask Bookseller a Question]

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#120 RTH

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 10:14

That does sound a bit strong for a 25yr old paperback novel - I wonder why they think it is so valuable ? , - anyway thanks for putting in the effort Barry.

#121 Mallory Dan

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 13:52

Is the Andrew Neilson quoted above the same chap who raced Mallocks here in the 80s ? If so, he wasn't bad in this category at all. IIRC he was connected with the Mallock family, esp Ray, and backed Ray in Atlantic/F2. The same bloke does anyone know ?

#122 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 16:08

The Ingrid Pitt book is probably quite rare these days. In period, it is likely to have sold very few copies (and when I say "few", I mean in the low thousands, or even just a few hundred!) - mainly to fans of the author (and how many Ingrid Pitt fans do you know?)

Returned copies would have been shredded or pulped and any remainders would probably have been shipped off to Africa or the Antipodes.

Mid-80s, you could probably have picked up a copy for 5p in a charity shop. Not now though - charities are much more clued up on book values!

#123 subh

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 17:04

I wouldn’t class it as the worst book, but I recall that I was not too impressed when I read the 1998 Haynes history/profile of Jordan, by David Tremayne. If I remember correctly, my main criticism was that the narrative seemed to jump all over the place, with some things repeated unnecessarily. (I only read it once, so if anyone can verify that my memory isn’t faulty...) Alan Henry’s edition on Benetton, in the same series, doesn’t seem to suffer the same problems.

#124 KJJ

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 08:25

Just got hold of a copy of Braking Point by Andrew Neilson, the acknowledgments thank, amongst others Ray and Sue Mallock, I guess the previous identification is spot on.

#125 Geza Sury

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 14:55

Twinny, there's another similar thread, is it possible to merge it with this one?

#126 Barry Lake

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 15:58

Originally posted by KJJ
Just got hold of a copy of Braking Point by Andrew Neilson, the acknowledgments thank, amongst others Ray and Sue Mallock, I guess the previous identification is spot on.


I will be interested to hear what you think of it when you have read it. It's quite some years since I read my copy, but I remember quite enjoying it.

#127 deangelis86

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 18:12

Who remembers the BBC 'Grand Prix' books that appeared in 1986, and 1988 respectively by Stuart Sykes and Roger Moody?

The books themselves were OK, but what got me was the uselessness of James Hunt's 'expert' inside analysis of the drivers of 1988!

Gabriele Tarquni - Hunt: 'I don't know much about him. He did nothing special in F3000...'.

Eddie Cheever - Hunt: 'He's been around an awfully long time to have done nothing in F1...'.

Alex Caffi - Hunt: 'Not competant, but then again he's not been driving a very good car...'

Adrian Campos - Hunt: 'Out of his depth in an F1 car, and shouldn't be in one...'.

Nicola Larini - Hunt: 'I know nothing about him...'.

Stefano Modena - Hunt: 'Has outstanding talent...the next Italian driver for Ferrari...'.

Riccardo Patrese - Hunt: 'He's been around a long time now...probably too long!'.

Satoru Nakajima - Hunt: 'The best thing they could do would be to park him quietly in a siding, or send him back to Japan to do domestic racing...'.

You could always rely on Hunt for insightful comment :lol:

#128 dmj

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 21:08

Originally posted by deangelis86
Riccardo Patrese - Hunt: 'He's been around a long time now...probably too long!'.


This a bit surprised me - I'd expect a much harsher comment here. Did Hunt softened his views on Patrese with time passing???

#129 JohnS

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 21:15

Originally posted by dmj


This a bit surprised me - I'd expect a much harsher comment here. Did Hunt softened his views on Patrese with time passing???


I would imagine the editors of the BBC book had quite a bit of editing/censoring to do! I bet Hunt was rather more blunt in person!

John

#130 MCS

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 21:17

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Not sure I should say what I'm about to - but here goes anyway. When someone the racing press like, or respect, or admire, writes a turkey of a book it's usually considered kindest by his confreres NOT to review it.

Unless I'm very much mistaken, consider the number of reviews you have read from good people on...

DCN


...so anything (? :confused: ) by Alan Henry then ???

#131 dolomite

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 23:02

Stefano Modena - Hunt: 'Has outstanding talent...the next Italian driver for Ferrari...'.



IIRC, at that time Hunt had some kind of managerial involvement with Mr Modena.....

#132 Zawed

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 23:58

Originally posted by dolomite


IIRC, at that time Hunt had some kind of managerial involvement with Mr Modena.....


Not that it helped Modena much! He spent 1988 at Eurobrun didn't he?

#133 Geza Sury

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 12:04

Originally posted by petefenelon
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.

I've just finished Williams' Senna biography after reading Rubython's book last year. My opinion is that the Rubython bio is the better of the two. It is much more thorough, whereas Williams forgets to tell very important facts and as a result the reader can draw the wrong conclusion. I found virtually nothing in the Williams book that I haven't known earlier. It's not too bad, but if you want to know Senna better, you have to go for the Rubython book. The only fault of the book is that the author devotes far too many pages for the Senna trial rather than writing more about the World Champion's early years.

#134 scotsmankev

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 16:00

I'm looking for some info on a book I have in my collection. It's called, "Risk Life, Risk Limb," by Michael Cooper-Evans. I think it may be a proof copy because there is an ink stamp on the plain brown front cover which reads, "Publication Date 11 Nov 1968." It concerns motorsport safety in the '60s and is actually quite good. Any additional info on the author would be appreciated.

#135 petefenelon

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 17:54

Originally posted by scotsmankev
I'm looking for some info on a book I have in my collection. It's called, "Risk Life, Risk Limb," by Michael Cooper-Evans. I think it may be a proof copy because there is an ink stamp on the plain brown front cover which reads, "Publication Date 11 Nov 1968." It concerns motorsport safety in the '60s and is actually quite good. Any additional info on the author would be appreciated.



I'm only aware of three other books by MC-E -- Private Entrant, which is a potted biography of Rob Walker, a history of his team and an analysis of what it took to go F1 racing as a privateer; Rob Walker, a rare and rather nicely illustrated biography that appeared about 10-15 years ago (I don't have a copy, and it's selling for well above its cover price), and Six Days In August co-written with John Surtees, which I've never seen!

#136 MCS

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 17:59

Originally posted by petefenelon



I'm only aware of three other books by MC-E -- Private Entrant, which is a potted biography of Rob Walker, a history of his team and an analysis of what it took to go F1 racing as a privateer; Rob Walker, a rare and rather nicely illustrated biography that appeared about 10-15 years ago (I don't have a copy, and it's selling for well above its cover price), and Six Days In August co-written with John Surtees, which I've never seen!


Wasn't "Six Days in August" also a film?

#137 petefenelon

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 18:14

Originally posted by MCS


Wasn't "Six Days in August" also a film?


I'm aware of 'Nine Days In Summer", complete with Keith Duckworth 'acting'....;) (and for that matter Seven Days In May in which Burt Lancaster and friends tried to hold the USA to ransom!)

#138 MCS

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 18:23

:lol: Oh, dear...

Yep, you're right Pete.

(I really must pay more attention and STOP trying to do too many things at once!)

#139 Cirrus

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 19:49

I went to school in Egham, Surrey, where the llibrary was well-stocked with motor racing books.. I can remember borrowing "Go Formula Ford!* at least half a dozen times, together with "The Men", "Racing and Sportscar Chassis Design", and "Six Days in August".

The last book, I found very enlightening. It covered a period when John Surtees was driving for Honda, but covered - with some acrimony - the time at Ferrari when Dragoni engineered his exit from the Scuderia.

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#140 Cirrus

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 20:11

The title of this thread caused me to seek out my copy of "Niki Lauda And The Grand Prix Gladiators". Despite being unopened since 1977, it fell open at the page depicting a picture of a Durex-sponsored Surtees, and another picture of a Penthouse/Rizla Hesketh. The accompanying caption reads "Wouldn't it be fun if this car banged that one?"

Err..... Why exactly?........

#141 ensign14

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 20:14

I'm a bit worried about it falling open at that page, Cirrus...did you study it a lot in your younger days?

#142 Cirrus

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 20:42

Not enough for the pages to be stuck together!

- All correspondance on this subject is now closed (as they used to say in Autosport)

#143 lil'chris

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 21:52

Originally posted by Doug Nye


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


I think I have a challenger !!! A tome by the name of The Formula One Miscellany by John White. Full of all sorts of errors including:

On 1 November 1962 Ricardo ( Rodriguez ) died following a horrific accident in their Ferrari Testa Rossa during practice for the Le Mans 24 hours race.

Has a foreword by Sir Stirling !!!!

#144 D-Type

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 00:06

How about The Little Book of Grand Prix Legends by Philip Raby? The book is riddled with sloppy miistakes such as Jack Brabham making his GP debut at Aintree in 1955 driving his own Maserati 250F or Jim Clarke [sic] being killed at Hockenheim during testing plus the inevitable confusion of "Formula 1", "Grand Prix" and "World Championship" - e.g. "In those days Indianapolis was part of the Formula 1 circuit and in 1952 Ferrari sent Ascari across the Atlantic to be the only European to race there in the circuit's 11 years as a Formula One host ~ it was the only Grand Prix that he didn't win that season."

The book was packaged together with a half decent DVD as an instant Christmas present idea. The sad thing is that a number of young enthusiasts have been fed misinformation.

#145 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 00:36

Didn't most of the machines at the International Sweepstakes at the IMS in 1952 comply to the current International Racing Formula One? Sorry, couldn't resist....

However, it seems that are so many that are worthy of competing for this title that one expects that the list could be so much longer than it is.....

#146 D-Type

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 08:26

Don,

The operative word is 'most'.

We can excuse a lightweight book like this missing the exceptions, but the author should get the basics right.

With no loss of clarity and little change in style, he could have written his sentence as:
"In those days Indianapolis counted towards the drivers' championship and in 1952 Ferrari sent Ascari across the Atlantic to be the only European to race there in the 11 years the circuit hosted a World Championship qualifier ~ it was the only Championship race that he didn't win that season."
and those who don't know about these things would not be misinformed.

On a more general note, what can we do about those who unquestioningly accept the current party line that "Formula 1" = "World Championship" = "Grande Epreuve" = "The only form of top class racing" = etc. I think the only action is to write to the author and pubisher informing them they are misleading their readers.

#147 F1Fanatic.co.uk

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 08:31

Originally posted by petefenelon
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.

Gets my vote too. It was late re-titled "Driven to extremes" which tells you everything you need to know about its tone.

#148 ensign14

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 08:39

Originally posted by D-Type
and in 1952 Ferrari sent Ascari across the Atlantic to be the only European to race there in the 11 years the circuit hosted a World Championship qualifier

*cough*henrybanks*cough* :p

At least he mentioned Indy, it so often gets airbrushed out...

#149 Twin Window

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 13:12

Originally posted by petefenelon

James Allen's turgid

:up:

#150 David M. Kane

David M. Kane
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  • 5,400 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 09 May 2007 - 15:37

Has anyone here ever had a conversation with James Allen? Does he have naughty photos of his boss or what? We use to see him in the States on some coverage, but absolutely nothing here in years.