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worst motor sport books.


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#1 bill moffat

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 14:12

those of us with a bit of passion and knowledge of motor sport ( ie probably the vast majority of visitors to this site) have our favourite reads. No doubt Mon ami mate/ Archie + the Listers / Dick + George weigh down many of our bookshelves. But what of the other end of the spectrum. Nominations please for the very worst in motor sport publications. I have a couple of "favourites" but will let you tee off..s

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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 14:35

'Niki Lauda and the Grand prix Gladiators' by Ronnie Much holds the title absolutely in perpetuity...
:cat:
DCN

#3 TODave2

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 16:16

(can we also have the reasons why please ? :) )

#4 LittleChris

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 18:02

If you had to list them, the list would be as long as the book :D

#5 Mac Lark

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 20:03

Bernard Cowdrey's 'F5000 A to Z' is appalling.

I reckon there's close to a mistake per page.

#6 VAR1016

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 20:18

In a charity shop, I once found "Grand Prix" - the book of the film.

it was the most unbelievable pile of crap.

I can recall a description of a race where "a Vanwall drove past" - amazing for the 1966 season.

Obviously very well researched and written by an expert

PdeRL

#7 damamaho

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 20:25

I'm reading one at the moment : JANET GUTHRIE : CHAMPION RACER. It keeps repeating that most men in Motorsport didn't want a woman in the race and that she couldn't find a sponsor.
There are also some German Bios about Lauda, Fittipaldi, Stewart and Rindt that are bad. A lot of Italian books are bad. The English bios are mostly well researched and well written, can't say one at the moment that I stopped reading and put aside. Even Niki Lauda and the GP Gladiators was entertaining. Boring are most books about current F1 drivers, always the same dull routine.
But I think most American bios are great, see Mark Donohue, Phill Hill, Johnny Rutherford, AJ Foyt, Peter Revson, Mario Andretti, .... are fantastic to read!!!
I have too many books to read them all, but the bios I try find some time to read. That's why I can't give titles beside bios.
DAMAMAHO.
www.asag.sk/danny.htm

#8 Bladrian

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 20:25

'A dusty way to death' - Alistair MacLean.

The poor old chump had headlights and speedos on F1 cars, f'chrissake ......

#9 uechtel

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 21:43

Boring are most books about current F1 drivers, always the same dull routine.



Some years ago I saw one of those in a bookshop: "Grand Prix drivers face by face" or something like that. I remember that the author was a well-known TV commentator at that time. When I opened the book I saw a picture of "Jeff Lees". Didn´t buy it...

If it would not contain some excellent race stats Prüller´s "Grand Prix Story" yearbooks would perhaps qualify. In the late eighties I bought two of them. Not that those books are absolutely bad, but soon after I read in an article, that some of his fellow authors made Prüller a very special birthday present: A typewriter with only the letters "B" "E" "R" and "G" on it... :lol:

#10 LittleChris

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 22:49

Originally posted by Bladrian
'A dusty way to death' - Alistair MacLean.

The poor old chump had headlights and speedos on F1 cars, f'chrissake ......


I think it was actually ' The Dusty Way To Death ' , but I remember reading the first page and there was a Grand Prix at Clermont Ferrand involved as well as brake lights on the cars!! Given the recent discussions about putting brake lights on F1 cars, possibly Alistair McLean was a visionary 30 years before Max Moseley !!

#11 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 22:53

Anything penned by Tom Rubython, Bruce Jones & James Allen is hardly worth a second look - now wasn't there an earlier thread on this?

#12 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 22:57

http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=34092

This thread had a few more delights! :)

#13 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 00:50

Originally posted by LittleChris


I think it was actually ' The Dusty Way To Death ' , but I remember reading the first page and there was a Grand Prix at Clermont Ferrand involved as well as brake lights on the cars!! Given the recent discussions about putting brake lights on F1 cars, possibly Alistair McLean was a visionary 30 years before Max Moseley !!



We've had two variations of the title but it is actually The Way to Dusty Death.

#14 Ralliart

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 03:20

The Encyclopedia of Grand Prix, The History of Grand Prix - whatever it was called - that, I believe, Bruce Jones, wrote would have to near or at the top of my list. Got it as a gift (I hope that was the intention), read it in about five minutes and then went back through it in search for some good photos. There were a few, but only a few, and then I dumped it in the trash. A big book - and a bigger bore.

#15 Leif Snellman

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 05:42

Originally posted by Ralliart
The Encyclopedia of Grand Prix, The History of Grand Prix - whatever it was called - A big book - and a bigger bore.

The Complete Encyclopedia of Formula One by Bruce Jones. I agree. Skip chapter one (the year by year account)

#16 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 07:08

My nomination is Racers by Sally Armstrong - The scorching bestseller of Formula 1 racing, on and off the track.

Despite acknowledging receiving assistance from, among others, Creighton Brown, John Blunsden, Gerald Donaldson, Nigel Roebuck, Charlie Creighton Stuart, Frank Williams. The Silverstone press office and Nigel from Brabham she still comes up with this.


The tension on the grid where the cars were lined up before the start was unbearable…The mechanics were now making the final adjustments to the cars. The blue and yellow outer shell, or monocoque, of Max’s car was lowered ceremoniously over him, like some mystical ritual. It was then screwed into position, Max sat strapped in his seat, staring straight ahead while people busied themselves around him.

#17 Rob29

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 07:18

Originally posted by Milan Fistonic



We've had two variations of the title but it is actually The Way to Dusty Death.

Never read the book,which was of course fiction,but the movie version featured sports cars (Pro Sports)

#18 stuartbrs

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 07:22

The tension on the grid where the cars were lined up before the start was unbearable…The mechanics were now making the final adjustments to the cars. The blue and yellow outer shell, or monocoque, of Max’s car was lowered ceremoniously over him, like some mystical ritual. It was then screwed into position, Max sat strapped in his seat, staring straight ahead while people busied themselves around him.




OMG :eek: that is awful!

#19 ian senior

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 09:30

Grand Prix Carpetbagger, allegedly by John Cooper but in fact by John Bentley. There's a good story to be told about the rise and fall of Cooper, but this isn't it. Probably the most badly written book I have ever encountered (and I include Jeffery Archer novels in the list). The "reported" speech in particular is so bad it's hilarious.

Ian Senior

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#20 scheivlak

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 10:33

Originally posted by LittleChris


I think it was actually ' The Dusty Way To Death ' , but I remember reading the first page and there was a Grand Prix at Clermont Ferrand involved as well as brake lights on the cars!!


What's so strange about a Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand in a novel written 30 years ago? :confused:

#21 petefenelon

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 11:13

Another vote for the James Allen/Nigel Mansell piece of drivel as one of the worst "factual" books - James really hasn't improved with the passing of the years, has he?

Most disappointing book by a major, established writer has to be Alan Henry's "Formula One - Driver By Driver" - while it's nice to see a photo of Peter Gethin and his labrador (bigger than Peter by the look of it!) the text is diabolically uninformative and the proofreading left a lot to be desired.

Bruce Grant-Braham's "Lotus: A Formula One Team History" was a major disappointment for me. Normally I'm a sucker for almost any book on Lotus, but this was a very dull "and then they went to Monza" with uninspired text and pictures. His Williams book was OK at least up to the beginning of WGPE and became dull afterwards.

I'll just add a placeholder for almost anything by Christopher Hilton here, with the exception of "The Hard Edge of Genius". Admittedly he's hampered by writing about dull drivers but does he have to do it in such a dull way?

I know a lot of people would put the Menard "Great Encyclopedia" into this list but I won't - there's a lot wrong with it but there's enough right to make it a fun read as long as you've got something else as a definitive reference!

I tend to resist buying books on anyone currently competing but it looks like an awful lot of cash-in rubbish has been published about Schumacher...

pete

#22 VAR1016

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 11:46

As I write this, I have in front of me, a book of postcards. The title is "Thrill-Mad Pussycats - high-voltage temptresses from the pulp classics.

It is splendid, including 31 cover illustrations from the bottom end of the publishing world.

In between "Make me an offer" and "Sin on wheels" (the uncensored confessions of a trailer tramp) we have "Pit-Stop Nympho" (Adults only) The blurb reads: "Into the high-tension world of Gran Prix (sic) racing, roars (sic) jealous passsions, red-hot lust and the ugly demon called homicide. (Another Concorde meeting perhaps?)

The illustration shows a girl wearing very little, sitting in what appears to be an Austin-Healey.

Oh those innocent days!

PdeRL

#23 petefenelon

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 11:49

Originally posted by VAR1016
As I write this, I have in front of me, a book of postcards. The title is "Thrill-Mad Pussycats - high-voltage temptresses from the pulp classics.

It is splendid, including 31 cover illustrations from the bottom end of the publishing world.

In between "Make me an offer" and "Sin on wheels" (the uncensored confessions of a trailer tramp) we have "Pit-Stop Nympho" (Adults only) The blurb reads: "Into the high-tension world of Gran Prix (sic) racing, roars (sic) jealous passsions, red-hot lust and the ugly demon called homicide. (Another Concorde meeting perhaps?)

The illustration shows a girl wearing very little, sitting in what appears to be an Austin-Healey.

Oh those innocent days!

PdeRL


I've got a book of "Boring Postcards" - is that more appropriate for modern F1? :evil:

#24 Geza Sury

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 14:19

You can't imagine how bad the Hungarian Formula One books are. A couple of examples:

"Jim Clark was killed at the Nürburgring"
"Mika Hakkinen had a long, successful stint in Japan before he came into F1"
"Farina, Fangio and Fagioli drove Maseratis in the first ever World Championship race in Silverstone"
"Ayrton Senna was only a marginally slower on the wet track than on the dry"
"Jo Siffert won his first race in a Lotus equipped with a rear wing, which was formerly driven by Stirling Moss"

And they are printed on low quality paper with big letters of course, to fill as much space as possible... It's simply disgusting!

#25 2F-001

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 14:41

Originally posted by petefenelon


I've got a book of "Boring Postcards" -

Is that the collection that includes lots of dull sixties' housing estates and motorway sevices?
I thought was an inspired piece of publishing! There is an American edition too, with pics of equivalently undistinguished mundania - but, of course, to British eyes they are quite engaging!

At the risk of steering this toward something interesting - last week I saw a set of postcards of pics from Jesse Alexander's ''Driven'' in a little screen-printed metal box. (inc the fine portrait of Jim Clark). Nice Christmas present for someone...

#26 LittleChris

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 16:05

Originally posted by scheivlak


What's so strange about a Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand in a novel written 30 years ago? :confused:



I was just dragging stuff out of my memory about the first page of the book and wasn't trying to say that holding the GP at Clermont was strange ( given the book was written in 1972, it is entirely appropriate !) just that it was how the book opened and the point I was trying to make was about the brake lights. The main problem was that I'd just got back from the pub and was having some slight problems arranging my thoughts into words :drunk:

#27 2F-001

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 16:05

When I said.. . ''steering this toward something interesting'' I didn't mean to sound disparaging or insulting - it's just that thread was supposed to be about ''the worst...'' and I was praising something!

#28 Joe Fan

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 17:07

One of the most disappointing books I have ever purchased was GT40 Photo Archive. A photo album book (paperback) with absolutely no color photos--not even one. Yet this book retails at $30. What a complete ripoff! :down: :down:

#29 Uwe

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 19:41

Originally posted by uechtel
If it would not contain some excellent race stats Prüller´s "Grand Prix Story" yearbooks would perhaps qualify. In the late eighties I bought two of them. Not that those books are absolutely bad, but soon after I read in an article, that some of his fellow authors made Prüller a very special birthday present: A typewriter with only the letters "B" "E" "R" and "G" on it... :lol:

I made the error of buying his yearbook on 2000. His tabloid writer's style is simply annoying. And full of errors BTW.