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Worst ever book on F1?


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#151 Graham Gauld

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 17:49

Vis-a-Vis nothing. James Allan's dad is Bill Allan the ex Team Elite Lotus Elite driver of the 1960's and a very nice guy, actually.

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#152 alansart

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 18:48

Originally posted by Geza Sury

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.


Having read the Hilton version of Ayrton Senna some years before (which I liked), I was given Rubython's book as a present. I started to read it, but my wife made me throw it away as I was complaining so much about how much utter rubbish it was. Inacurate and sleazy.

I've stopped buying mainstream Motor Racing books as they all seem very dissapointing, with the exception of the first Prof Syd Watkins book and Perry McCarthys Flat Out Out, Flat Broke.

My Favourite: Frank Gardners Castrol Drivers' Manual - A Masterpiece :)

#153 stevewf1

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 23:00

Originally posted by Vitesse2


[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]


Perhaps if you put a plain brown wrapper on the cover... ;)

#154 john aston

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 16:25

I have read dozens of motor sport books and with only a couple of exceptions they are badly written and boring .Surprised to note that someone rated Perry McCarthy's 5th form effort- it was toe curlingly dire.So who could write ? Setright; Roebuck on a good day; Jenks- yes but not quite as wonderfully as his supporters would have you believe.Richard Williams book on the death of Senna was outstanding but the rest? Yawn a page. Guess it depends what else you read - if you just read sports stuff then you won't realise how crap most sports writing is.Shame that Nick Hornby went to Highbury and not Crystal Palace or Brands

#155 Barry Boor

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 20:52

Shame that Nick Hornby went to Highbury and not Crystal Palace or Brands



YES!

Shame is, given that it's a book based around football, very few around here will ever read it. Their loss!

#156 john aston

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 09:23

Absolutely- I have zero interest in football but a friend who is both a football fan and a motor racing one insisted I read it.It is quite superb and its enthusiasm shines off every page.Most motorsport books are awash with cliches and usually comprise such gems as'then I went to Monaco where I was lucky enough to be on the front row'.Spare me.I just wish Damon Hill would write- he has the brains and sensitivity to offer a real insight.

#157 ensign14

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 09:41

I've said before so I'll say it again...there is almost zero motor racing literature, along the lines even of a Hornby let alone the myriad of cricket writers. A book to be read for the sheer pleasure of the writer's style even if no new information is imparted. Dr Mike goes some way with this, plus Antony Blight, and the paradigm of this is of course William Court. The one autobiography that seems to me literary (not counting the entertaining/informative/amusing) is that of Beltoise, but that just might be my unfamiliarity with French historiography.

#158 FLB

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 10:29

Ensign, if you liked Beltoise's bio, you should get your hands on Servoz-Gavin's :D

#159 KJJ

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 00:18

Originally posted by john aston
I just wish Damon Hill would write- he has the brains and sensitivity to offer a real insight.

Damon Hill discusses writing an autobiography in today's Sunday Times:

http://www.timesonli...icle1782099.ece

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#160 kayemod

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 09:55

Originally posted by KJJ

Damon Hill discusses writing an autobiography in today's Sunday Times:

http://www.timesonli...icle1782099.ece


After reading that interview, the best piece of journalism on Damon that I've ever read, I feel slightly emotional. Following on from the current Mansell thread, I certainly wouldn't complain about being stuck in a lift with him. When Damon feels that he's ready to write, I'll be ready to read.

#161 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 10:15

Originally posted by kayemod


After reading that interview, the best piece of journalism on Damon that I've ever read, I feel slightly emotional. Following on from the current Mansell thread, I certainly wouldn't complain about being stuck in a lift with him. When Damon feels that he's ready to write, I'll be ready to read.

Seconded.

All of it :up:

#162 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 10:42

What an interesting interview with Damon Hill. I'll almost forgive him for returning after a year an unsigned photo, and for that documentary when he pulls up outside his former Irish home and ratcheted the car's hand brake. :)

#163 ensign14

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 10:44

Originally posted by FLB
Ensign, if you liked Beltoise's bio, you should get your hands on Servoz-Gavin's :D

Never knew there was one.

BTW, am I the only one thinking Damon on Graham would be one heck of a read? We've had Bette's on Graham the man, Damon could compare on Graham the racer.

#164 Hank the Deuce

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 03:38

Originally posted by Catalina Park
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.

I found it more a victim of poor editing than anything else... although your quote suggests that Woods may have been hunting a little too hard for an angle, rather than letting the book stand on the strength of its candid and entertaining anecdotes from the horses' mouth(s). Over all, I enjoyed it, but did force myself to read through some of the editing clangers...

As for the

Australia's No 1 motorsport commentator

... well, he did get to collect the Logies, didn't he? ;)

#165 Marcel Visbeen

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 18:13

I don't think that "The Man with Two Shadows" by Kevin Desmond has been mentioned in this thread, but IMO that was really the worse book ever to have been published about motorsports, maybe even about sports and it may even be the worse book to have ever been published, period.

If I remember well it's an attempt to prove that the death of Alberto Ascari was in fact an inevitable date with fate, related with the death of his father. All kinds of mathematical number fidlings and tricks are explained as proof of the fullfilment of Ascari's own superstision. I think it's a book that has more numbers than words in it. And if occasionally, by cheer luck, a sentence makes any sense gramatically, it tells you nothing about Ascari.

I genuinly wonder how it ever got published.

#166 ensign14

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 08:09

It was for a long time literally the only book about Alberto and still is about Antonio. The paranormal mumbo-jumbo didn't bother me as it took up such a tiny proportion and was not overblown. Carried a massive amount of info so it gets a pass from me.

#167 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 19:32

I quite like 'Two Shadows' as well.

#168 Mal9444

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 13:40

Originally posted by Vitesse2 (in 2004!)
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.


post 70 et seq also refer...

Not so much a prophet, Vitesse – more a purveyor of the eternal verities. It appeared under our Christmas tree this year.

Among the Strangest of the stories, my favourites include the story of the 1953 Le Mans, where Jaguar ‘entered three works C-types to be driven by Walker and Stirling Moss, Whitehead and Jimmy Stewart and, as reserves, Rolt and Hamilton. The last named pair would be only be able to race if one of the 60 accepted starters dropped out beforehand…’ ... no one dropped out, and ... ‘they were duly informed there services would not be required’ so they ‘did what any sportsman would have done’ (Hamilton, btw, is described as ‘a former fighter pilot’) and 'got drunk - very drunk.' ‘It was then that ‘Lofty England caught up with them and informed them that a team had made a late withdrawal’ so they had to race. ‘Neither relished the prospect of taking the wheel so they tossed a coin… Rolt lost.’ However, and happily, ‘the fresh air soon cleared their hangovers...'.

The rest, of course, is history.

Or the 1955 Argentine Grand Prix, where it was very hot and ‘Moss retired on lap 30, too exhausted to continue, and abandoned his Mercedes at the side of the track.’ And where ‘Neubauer signalled to Fangio to come into the pits to handover the car to Moss, who was now suitably refreshed by a shower, but Fangio pretended not to understand and pressed on…’

Or the 1958 Race of Two Worlds at Monza where ‘Stirling Moss drove a Maserati sponsored by the Eldorado ice cream company but could only finish a distant seventh. Maybe he shouldn’t have stopped at every corner…’

It is, indeed, a truly wonderful book, and I shall cherish it not only because it was given to me by my much-loved daughter who each year looks forward to accompanying her daddy to the Goodwood Revival but because, surely, no motor racing library can be complete without it.

I can't be the only person to get a turkey for Christmas, surely?

#169 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 16:34

You're not, Mal. One of my well-meaning staff gave me something called "Formula One Race Circuits: the changing architecture of race tracks" by one Mirco Di Cet, who's apparently Italian. Reference to the index seems to indicate he can't spell Italian names, let alone anything in other languages: Michele Alboretto, Petro Bordino, Meo Constantini, Jarno Truli, Rubens Barricello, Thiery Boutsen, Mark Donahue, John Hugenholz and Wolfgang von Tripps all feature and Edgard von Morowitz is transformed into Edgard de Morowitz. Quite a few of these are also perpetrated in the text, while umlauts seem to appear and disappear at the author's and captioner's whim on the names of Messrs Hakkinen and Raikkonen.

A brief browse through revealed the surprising facts that the 1962, 1963 and 1965 South African GPs were held on the Prince George Circuit, the April 21st 1963 race at Imola was "unofficial" (as was the 1967 Spanish GP), there's a corner at Monaco called Anthony Nogues, a Delage 155B won the 1926 British GP, Paddock Hill Bend at Brands Hatch is "fearful" (of what?), Hangar Straight becomes Hanger Straight, the ban on German drivers competing abroad lasted until 1951 .....

Inevitably, much of the book seems like a hymn of praise to the sainted Hermann Tilke, featuring as it does several of his masterpieces of design :rolleyes: :yawn:

Nice piccies though, mostly from LAT.

#170 Mal9444

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 17:02

Vitesse: never forget. It's the thought that counts :wave:

#171 Barry Boor

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 18:09

But Vit, the final corner at Monaco IS called the Virage Antony Noghes.... ah, I see what you mean...

#172 Mark A

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 18:23

Originally posted by Mal9444


post 70 et seq also refer...

Not so much a prophet, Vitesse – more a purveyor of the eternal verities. It appeared under our Christmas tree this year.


I can't be the only person to get a turkey for Christmas, surely?



Not this year but I did get it about 5 years ago,

#173 Rob

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 18:31

Originally posted by Mark A
Not this year but I did get it about 5 years ago,


Me too :)

#174 Barry Boor

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 18:39

Er..... :blush:

#175 Paul Jeffrey

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 18:55

The Formula One Miscellany 'written' by John White. Utter garbage. I gave it one star on the Amazon review because you are not allowed to go lower. Nice idea but riddled with errors and poor research.

#176 Jerome

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 18:59

Originally posted by Twin Window
Thanks Enkei.

Any idea where I can find out more about her and her books? I think I must have met her in the dim & distant past...


Perhaps a bit late, Twinny... but if it was you who inspired Anjes into writing her F1 yearbooks, you will be regarded as an accomplice in crime and thus eglible for persecution...

#177 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 22:00

Originally posted by Mal9444
Vitesse: never forget. It's the thought that counts :wave:

Oh, indeed. And to be fair, it's not all bad. Even just browsing it, I picked up a few snippets I didn't know (assuming they're correct of course), so it may repay closer reading. But I just find errors like "Alboretto" very frustrating - and as annoying as "Sterling Moss" or "Mike Hawthorne" ....

#178 COUGAR508

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 22:42

Originally posted by Paul Jeffrey
The Formula One Miscellany 'written' by John White. Utter garbage. I gave it one star on the Amazon review because you are not allowed to go lower. Nice idea but riddled with errors and poor research.


I couldn't agree more. I have similar books on other sports (cricket and football) which contain a wealth of amusing facts and anecdotes. As you said, this one is full of inaccuracies.

#179 Rob

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 23:14

Originally posted by Paul Jeffrey
The Formula One Miscellany 'written' by John White. Utter garbage. I gave it one star on the Amazon review because you are not allowed to go lower. Nice idea but riddled with errors and poor research.


That was this Christmas' present. Have only glimpsed at it so far. Looks like it could have done with a proper peer review before publishing. Some contentious statements in there definitely.

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#180 Twin Window

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 23:24

Originally posted by Jerome.Inen

Perhaps a bit late, Twinny... but if it was you who inspired Anjes into writing her F1 yearbooks, you will be regarded as an accomplice in crime and thus eglible for persecution...

Eh?! All I said was that her name seemed familiar!

#181 flat-16

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 23:34

Originally posted by Twin Window
Eh?! All I said was that her name seemed familiar!


Too late! You have been convicted and will be sentenced in due course.

I bet it was you who vandalised the Blue Peter garden!

BTW – Where were you when the Cutty Sark got set on fire?


:rotfl:


Justin

#182 fines

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 00:15

Originally posted by flat-16
Too late! You have been convicted and will be sentenced in due course.

Provisional death sentence? ;)

#183 Thundersports

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 01:19

Does anyone else suffer like me at Christmas; being bought Motor racing books by well meaning aunts etc usually the dreaded inacurate "encyclopedias" of F1 I have to copies of some of these on my book shelf.......... one of my favourites is to hell and back by Niki Lauda. As you guys have been saying anything by Alan Henry or the hateful James Allen should be advoided.
Ps like some of Dougs books also Mr Arron should do a few more.........

#184 Simon Arron

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 09:04

Originally posted by Thundersport
Ps like some of Doug's books also Mr Arron should do a few more.........

Very nice of you to suggest as much, but Mr Arron would like to point out that he has a wife and two children to support, a mortgage to pay, a cat to feed and a Skoda Octavia 1.8t 4x4 estate that is terrific to drive but has a tediously expensive fuel habit (hence frequent visits to Fiat's website in search of a Panda diesel).

Much as I have enjoyed compiling the few books that bear my name, experience tells me that they are labours of love rather than significant profit. The same time, sadly, can be spent far more fruitfully on other projects and one has to be pragmatic.

If circumstances permit, however, I'd love to tackle more books in future... if I can find any topics that haven't already been covered adequately. It wouldn't take me long to assemble The History of the FIA Formula 3000 Championship 1985-2004, The A-Z of Cycling to Oulton Park or Longridge - The Glory Years, but I fear the market might be slightly limited.

All good wishes,
SA

#185 jtremlett

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 18:49

Originally posted by Thundersport
...As you guys have been saying anything by Alan Henry or the hateful James Allen should be avoided...

To be fair to Alan Henry there was a time when he put in the effort. Flat-12 (on the Ferrari Boxer engine) is one of my favourite reads. With regard to James Allen, he is at least a better writer than commentator! Not that that necessarily amounts to praise.

A book I particularly detest is the aptly named "The Pits" by Beverley Turner, which claims to be a "Revelatory but intelligent behind-the-scenes account of life in the pits by ITV’s F1 presenter" but provides nothing of the sort and is largely a whinge about sexism amongst F1 people (and there's a shock in a testorone-fuelled, male-dominated sport!) by someone who patently obviously fails to see the irony of what got her a job as "ITV’s F1 presenter" in the first place.

Jonathan

#186 COUGAR508

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 21:20

Originally posted by Thundersport
Does anyone else suffer like me at Christmas; being bought Motor racing books by well meaning aunts etc usually the dreaded inacurate "encyclopedias" of F1 I have to copies of some of these on my book shelf.......... one of my favourites is to hell and back by Niki Lauda. As you guys have been saying anything by Alan Henry or the hateful James Allen should be advoided.
Ps like some of Dougs books also Mr Arron should do a few more.........



Alan Henry has written some good books in his time, including his work on the Brabham GP cars, and his history of March.

#187 ensign14

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 21:26

Dr Mike's March book knocked it into a cocked hat, though. Henry's been phoning it in with his books for some time.

#188 Twin Window

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 01:12

Originally posted by ensign14

Dr Mike's March book knocked it into a cocked hat, though.

It certainly did.

#189 Barry Boor

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 08:40

....and one of these days, Peter Connew is going to unearth my copy and return it to me!

#190 Catalina Park

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 10:35

I thought that there were two differnet blokes called Alan Henry. There was one that wrote well researched, well written books and then there was the other bloke. :p

I have just been lent a copy of Racing Cars by John Tippler. What a fantastic work of fiction it is. Take a bow John you have almost reached the standard of Australias own Bill Woods.

#191 Geza Sury

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 07:12

I'm afraid I found another candidate for the 'Worst book on F1 title'. Browsing through Amazon's new titles, I bumped into 'History of Formula One' by an unknown author called Ben Hunt. As Amazon made possible to search inside the book in question, I've taken a quick look. Here is what I found written inside the dust jacket: 'From Emilio Giuseppe (who?) and the rest of the sport's early pioneers to the awe-inspiring skills of today's Louis(!) Hamilton (...)' Enough said.

#192 Barry Boor

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 09:18

Oh dear! :( Whatever makes these people sit down to write in the first place?????

#193 Allan Lupton

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 09:28

Originally posted by Geza Sury
I'm afraid I found another candidate for the 'Worst book on F1 title'. Browsing through Amazon's new titles, I bumped into 'History of Formula One' by an unknown author called Ben Hunt. As Amazon made possible to search inside the book in question, I've taken a quick look. Here is what I found written inside the dust jacket: 'From Emilio Giuseppe (who?) and the rest of the sport's early pioneers to the awe-inspiring skills of today's Louis(!) Hamilton (...)' Enough said.


Yes, have a look further in at (e.g.) the text on Vanwall :o
Also for a real understanding of F1, I'm sure we all needed to know that the Ferrari 625 was succeeded by the 2.9l 735.


#194 Barry Boor

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 09:28

Tell us, please. I really need a good laugh.....

#195 Allan Lupton

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 09:40

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Tell us, please. I really need a good laugh.....

I can't be bothered to retrype it and I can't cut and paste it, so
Try this

#196 ensign14

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 09:47

Great Formula 1 teams includes George Salih, Leader Cards Inc and Howard Keck...

There's a reference to Guiseppe Farina...

I'm hoping the references to Vanwall go a bit beyond "they did not do too well at reaping the points"...

...and I'm not sure what sort of Formula 1 car the Ferrari 500 Mondial was...

#197 Allan Lupton

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 09:53

I tried to review it and, as has been found before, one star is the minimum.
It will be interesting to see if they actually allow my review to be posted.

Edited to say: they have, but how long will it stay there?!

#198 Rockford

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 09:58

I notice the publisher, "Flame Tree Publishing" have a series of books called "The Funny Book of Cricket", "The Funny Book of Fathers" and the "Funny Book of Motoring". Perhaps this effort should have been called "The Funny Book of Formula One" !!

#199 Allan Lupton

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 10:39

Originally posted by Rockford
I notice the publisher, "Flame Tree Publishing" have a series of books called "The Funny Book of Cricket", "The Funny Book of Fathers" and the "Funny Book of Motoring". Perhaps this effort should have been called "The Funny Book of Formula One" !!


And that's Funny=peculiar, not funny=humerous :o

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#200 Paul Taylor

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 15:58

Originally posted by Allan Lupton

I can't be bothered to retrype it and I can't cut and paste it, so
Try this


Written by someone who has probably seen barely a handful of F1 races on TV, let alone knows his Grand Prix history :rolleyes: