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Motorsport fiction


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#1 Dennis David

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 15:51

I want to build a section on my website covering Motorsport Fiction. I'm looking for suggestions on books I should include. I'm especially interested in older works and multiple volumes by the same author.

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#2 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 15:55

I recently read a book called "The Green Helmet" by Jon Cleary. It's about a guy winning the Mille Miglia!

Will movies be included on your website? And if so - should 'Driven' be included? :rolleyes:

#3 Don Capps

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 16:07

Burt (B.S.) Levy is perhaps the best practioner of this arcane art in recent decades. Plus -- Great News! -- he is continuing his saga in the near future!

#4 BRG

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 17:58

Maybe somewhat in the pulp fiction sector, there are Bob Judd's books such as "Monza"

#5 ry6

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 18:07

I have just read a book called "A shriek of tyres" by Douglas Rutherford. I picked it up in a second hand bookshop while on holiday. It seems to be based around the 1957 season.

#6 Roger Clark

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 18:17

Speed was my Life, by Alfred Neubauer is the best motor racing work of fiction I know.

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 19:10

Mike Hawthorn's Carlotti books are surely logical inclusions. It was 'Carlotti,' wasn't it?

#8 Barry Boor

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 19:32

Alistair McLean's 'Road to Dusty Death' was a hoot.

I began to get the idea that he wasn't totally clued in to motor racing when I read the bit about a driver lapping the Nurburgring with his headlights on at night, in order, I believe, to learn the circuit.
What's wrong with that? Well, he was supposed to be driving a FORMULA ONE car! :rotfl:

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 19:56

Dust and Glory is a fictional work so realistic that it just could be true... by Evan Green, author of many novels after he wrote the fantastic account of his experience in the London to Munich Rally of 1974, A Boot Full of Right Arms.

It's modeled on the heroic round-Australia trials (rallies) of the fifties. The characters didn't have to be fictionalised...

#10 bpratt

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 21:01

There is the Erich Maria Remarque novel Heaven Has No Favorites which was retitled Bobby Deerfield for the movie starring Al Pacino. The book was published in 1961. It's not great (no All Quiet on the Western Front) but prompted me to pick up another Remarque novel (which I haven't read yet) called Three Comrades (1937). From the back cover blurb: "Bob met Patricia during one of his auto-racing escapades. She was voluptuous and alone, that was enough." It's hard to want to start a book with hype like that. All quiet on the General Hospital front?
Brian

#11 twymanj

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Posted 11 January 2002 - 21:06

It was 'Carlotti,' wasn't it?



Yes I have found two books, "Carlotti" takes the wheel and "Carlotti" joins the team.

I also remember reading a fiction book called "Speed six" i am not sure who the author was but i remember that as being a good read! :)

#12 Dennis David

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 01:18

Thanks, the reason I asked was the fact that Bruce recently contacted me about the book that he's working on. No movies though just books. Speed was My Life is a good example of the fine line between truth and fiction where if it wasn't true it "should have been".

#13 Don Capps

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 04:07

Originally posted by Roger Clark
Speed was my Life, by Alfred Neubauer is the best motor racing work of fiction I know.


Roger, :up: :up: :lol:

#14 Buford

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 04:12

I used to race with Burt Levy in the early 70's. Really great guy. I haven't read any of his books though but have read his articles in various vintage racing magazines.

#15 Gerr

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 04:40

There is only one book of fiction re:Motor Racing "Stand On It" by Stroker Ace......Or is it fiction?
NOT to be confused with a movie with the same title!

#16 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 09:12

I posted this list of my fiction books on an earlier thread.

BACK STRAIGHT Frank O'Hara 1963
BOONDOCKS – The Desmond Lowden 1977
BRAKING POINT Andrew Neilson 1983
BURN (Originally Phoenix) Bob Judd 1993
CANNONBALL RUN – The Michael Avallone 1981
CAR TALES - Classic Stories About Dream Machines Jane Gottlieb 1991
CARLOTTI JOINS THE TEAM Mike Hawthorn 1959
CARLOTTI TAKES THE WHEEL Mike Hawthorn 1959
CHALLENGE THE WIND John Tomerlin 1967
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG John Burke 1969
DANGER CIRCUIT David Bower 1963
DEAD STRAIGHT Andrew Neilson 1985
DEAR CHEVVY Pat Booth 1965
DESTRUCTION DERBY Anabel Dean 1972
FAST CIRCUIT Bruce Carter 1962
FAST LIFE – The Cynthia Wilkerson 1979
FASTER THEY GO - THE John Bentley 1958
FORMULA ONE Bob Judd 1990
FOUR WHEEL DRIFT Bruce Carter 1976
GILT-EDGED COCKPIT - The Douglas Rutherford 1971
GRAND PRIX Manning Lee Stokes 1967
GRAND PRIX MURDER Douglas Rutherford 1957
GREASED LIGHTNING Ken Vose 1977
GREEN HELMET - The Jon Cleary 1957
GUNSHOT GRAND PRIX - The Douglas Rutherford 1972
HIGH GEAR Evan Jones - Ed 1963
HOST OF EXTRAS James Leasor 1983
HOT ROD INFERNO Robert Sidney Bowen 1968
INDY Bob Judd 1990
JUMP Richard Wheelwright 1972
KILLER ON THE TRACK Douglas Rutherford 1973
KING OF THE MOUNTAIN David Barry 1981
KNIGHTS OF THE WHEEL Alfred Edgar 1932
LE MANS 24 HOURS Michael Gibson 1962
MASK OF DUST Jon Manchip White 1955
MISSING SPEED ACE - The Leonard Gribble N/D
MONTE CARLO - OR BUST! Jack Davies 1969
MONZA, Bob Judd 1991
MONZA PROTEST - The, Andrew Neilson 1985
MOTOR RALLY MYSTERY - The, John Rhode 1934
ON THE BEACH, Nevil Shute 1966
POLE POSITION, Tess Stimson 1997
RACE CAR WOMAN, Laurie Lee Simmons 1977
RACER - The, Hans Ruesch 1957
RACING MECHANIC, Patrick J. Williams N/D
RALLY TO THE DEATH, Douglas Rutherford 1974
RED CAR - The, Don Stanford 1962
ROAD RACE, Philip Harkins 1970
ROAD RACER, W.E. Butterworth 1967
SHRIEK OF TYRES - A, Douglas Rutherford 1960
SILVER DREAM RACER, John Lydecker 1980
SPECTATOR SPORT, James Alexander Thom 1978
SPEED SIX, Bruce Carter 1972
SPIN OUT!, Frank O'Hara 1962
STAND ON IT, Stroker Ace 1979
THEY DON'T MAKE THEM LIKE THAT ANYMORE, James Leasor 1982
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AT LE MANS, J.A. Gregoire 1957
VIPER - The, Larry Pryor 1979
WAY TO DUSTY DEATH - The, Alistair MacLean 1973
WHEELS, Arthur Hailey 1971
WHITE DEATH, Andrew Neilson 1989

#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 10:16

Milan: I think you have a wrong date for Speed Six - like twymanj, I read it as a child, and that was WAY before 1972! 1962 is more likely I think ... :)

#18 dmj

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 13:37

But complete collection of Michel Vaillant comics must be included, isn't it???

#19 Frank de Jong

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 14:25

Originally posted by dmj
But complete collection of Michel Vaillant comics must be included, isn't it???

I most certainly agree on that!

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#20 Don Capps

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 16:06

Originally posted by Buford
I used to race with Burt Levy in the early 70's. Really great guy. I haven't read any of his books though but have read his articles in various vintage racing magazines.


Buford, You really should read them. They are great books by a great guy. He gets the details right.....

#21 Dennis David

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 16:11

Milan, Great List. If you were to pick your top 10 which would they be?

#22 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 20:53

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Milan: I think you have a wrong date for Speed Six - like twymanj, I read it as a child, and that was WAY before 1972! 1962 is more likely I think ... :)


The book was first published in 1953 then rewritten and released in 1966 as a paperback by Puffin Books. I have the 1966 edition and also a reissued 1972 copy.

Dennis
It's been a long time since I read them. I'll have to give it some thought.

#23 Buford

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 21:08

Originally posted by Don Capps


Buford, You really should read them. They are great books by a great guy. He gets the details right.....


The last time I saw him was early or mid-90's. A friend of mine and I went over to the Motorsport Collectors place because Vic Elford was there signing a copy of his book. I was totally broke but went over to talk to Vic who I had slightly known from the Can Am days. Burt was there too signing his own book. My friend bought Burt's book and I bought Vics. Maybe I can bum it off him he he. OK, well I'm not broke now so maybe I should buy one.

My best Burt Levy story was he was racing a very low buck TR3. Was generally near the back even though he was racing with other low buck efforts. But he always got out of my way which I appreciated and didn't get out of my competitors way as readily and we often pitted next to each other. Probably because though my parents never suppied any money, I did have all the tools borrowed from the construction company and Burt didn't have squat. Well one day, I don't know what happened but I wasn't in the same race grouping with him that day, he was particularly inspired, or had bought some parts or something but he was up front the whole race, battling with a bathtup Porsche. It was a great battle and we were cheering him on. He ended up winning and was so excited he managed to flip the car on the cool off lap!!!

Now we thought that was really funny. Who could be so lame as to flip their car on the cool off lap!!! I continued to think it was very funny right up until the day a few years later when I did the same thing myself in an Outlaw Sprint Car.

#24 Marcor

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Posted 13 January 2002 - 02:26

I've got a fiction book written by Swiss driver Hans Ruesch, called "Le Circle infernal". The hero, Lester, has a.o. a crash at Chimay.

The original version is THE RACERS (included in the Milan's list) . It has inspired a movie featuring Kirk Douglas.

#25 Prostfan

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Posted 13 January 2002 - 21:12

There is a wonderful thriller written by a young Austrian writer: Ausgebremst.

It includes murders among F1-souvenir-salesman and wonderful conspiracy theories. AFAIK it has not been translated into any other languages but if you can read German - it's marvellous.

#26 Garagiste

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 14:32

Milan:

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG John Burke 1969


Shome mishtake shurely? Could have sworn this was Ian Fleming, Mr Bond.

#27 dmj

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 15:27

No, but Fleming's Moonraker includes one of greatest descriptions of a road race ever, and contestants were also great: Bentley vs Mercedes vs Alfa. Sadly, Alfa is one that crashes and whose driver is killed... I have read it long time ago, but I think it was a Monza. :cry:
And some other Fleming's books have good car chases, too...

#28 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 16:29

Fleming wrote the original story of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: John Burke's book is a novel based on the film script which was adapted from Fleming's story.

And working from memory, one of Val Biro's Gumdrop picture books is called something like "Gumdrop on the Rally".

#29 Don Capps

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Posted 14 January 2002 - 16:42

Has anyone here seriously considered trying their hand at this? After reading the Burt Levy books and knowing what was involved in his writing them, it is quite a challenge. Naturally, it helps to have a wonderful gift of gab like Burt or some of the rest of you have.

Note the dates of the books in Milan's post and the others mentioned elsewhere: not much lately is there?


I was -- and am still -- hoping Burt would do for motor sports what Tom Clancy did for military technology (and technogeeks...).

#30 Dave Ware

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Posted 15 January 2002 - 17:30

I recently re-read Dan Gerber's "Out of Control." Gerber was an up-and-coming sports car driver in the '60s. I believe he raced Cobras with Ken Miles, among other things. He retired after a bad accident.

The book is about an up-and-coming Can-Am driver who has to deal with success, a failing marriage, and the ins-and-outs of being a racing driver. It's short on action and long on introspection. Very readable; much more intelligent than a lot of racing books. It's worth a read.

Dave

#31 Rick Baumhauer

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Posted 16 January 2002 - 05:47

Originally posted by Don Capps
Has anyone here seriously considered trying their hand at this? After reading the Burt Levy books and knowing what was involved in his writing them, it is quite a challenge. Naturally, it helps to have a wonderful gift of gab like Burt or some of the rest of you have.

Note the dates of the books in Milan's post and the others mentioned elsewhere: not much lately is there?


I was -- and am still -- hoping Burt would do for motor sports what Tom Clancy did for military technology (and technogeeks...).


Well, the thought has certainly crossed my mind. My interest lies more in film, which has probably gone longer without a really good example (1970?), but it's still just a germ of an idea, in any case. I hope to put more thought and work into it over the next year or so.

#32 bpratt

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Posted 18 January 2002 - 20:57

Some additional titles that I haven't seen yet:

Black Tiger At Indianapolis, Patrick O'Connor (1962)
Dead Pedal, Ken Vose (1992)
Oversteer, Ken Vose
Dogwood Afternoons, Kim Chapin (1985)
Road Race of Champions, Eric Speed (1975)
The Mexicali 1000, Eric Speed
Fast Green Car, W.E. Butterworth (1965)
Crazy To Race, Butterworth
Return To Racing, Butterworth
Return To Daytona, Butterworth
Wild Wheels, edited by Don McKay
the Rolling Thunder series:
White Lightning, Kent Wright and Don Keith, (1999)
Road To Daytona, Wright and Keith (1999)
Race To Glory, Wright and Keith
On To Talledega, Wright and Keith
Roger Zelazny's Alien Speedway series:
book 1: Clypsis, Jeffrey A. Carver
book 2: Pitfall, Thomas Wylde (1988)

I seem to remember that Crocky Wright had a novel out about midget racing as well. And then there's the short fiction like a story by Frank Leon Smith in the Saturday Evening Post (1946) that was illustrated by Peter Helck.

Racing fiction is almost right up there with baseball fiction.
Brian

#33 stevew

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Posted 19 January 2002 - 07:40

Not really fiction, I suppose, but how about "Sunday Driver" by Brock Yates. It's a fun book to read...

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-27183-6

#34 dmj

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Posted 19 January 2002 - 10:47

Easily the best motorsport short story I had read is Alex Garland's "Monaco". It is about a photographer who takes pictures of Friday practice. He spots a girl across the track who poses for him, doing certain things with her fingers :blush: He tries to capture a magic moment but needs a car in frame to get picture like he wants. When just one picture is left a Ferrari appears - and crashes! So he gets the picture.
Written by a racing enthusiast, story is great and unusual even if there is some artistic license... Nobody, not even Coulthard, crashes on first practice lap, whilst warming up the tires. And in a sentence he says that he doesn't know what happened to Wimille :rolleyes: But story is full of details, what happened, where, what year... Nothing we didn't know but nice reading anyway. It is published in this book:http://www.amazon.co...4171148-1079034 .
By the way, Wimille is mentioned along with "recently" passed Grover Williams, because of their activities in Resistance...

#35 Paolo

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 21:59

Many years a go I read an Italian book called "Formula Uomo" (Man Formula) by Fabrizio Trecca.

The author had not the slightest idea of how cars work, but the novel had some good points. It was a sci-fi novel about a future championship involving Williams, Brabham, Ligier and so on; cars have become incredibly sophisticated, Ligier is an hovercraft, Brabham is computerized and can "automatically calculate the best racing line" (wow, the same as any amateur driver), and Our Hero accepts mutilations to be linked to the car and drive it to the absolute limit.
Limit depending, quite interestingly, from the bend, not from the cars: several times the Author states that "the bend could be taken at xxx speed as a maximum, without violating physical laws" .

Boring book, but somehow worth remembering.


Staying in Italy, Giorgio Faletti's extremely good Thriller "Io Uccido" (I kill) has an opening chapter with a very credible and very German multiple World Champion.

#36 RShaw

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 03:10

On a somewhat more contemporary, and maudlin, note ... how about Garth Stein's "The Art of Racing in the Rain"?

#37 fbarrett

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:54

On a somewhat more contemporary, and maudlin, note ... how about Garth Stein's "The Art of Racing in the Rain"?


Yes, probably the best racing-oriented fiction I've ever read, and it seemed to sell very well to a non-racing audience.

Burt Levy has the basics right on, but he desperately needs an editor.

Frank (an editor)


#38 RShaw

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 13:12

Yes, probably the best racing-oriented fiction I've ever read, and it seemed to sell very well to a non-racing audience.

Burt Levy has the basics right on, but he desperately needs an editor.

Frank (an editor)


By the third book, Levy's success had led him to the misapprehension that he was an actual novelist.

#39 Spitfire

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 13:54

I'm glad someone mentioned The Black Tiger series.

Of course, these are firmly in the 'juvenile' class of writing, but I remember reading it while very young, and it pulled me towards the world of racing.

A funny side note is this is the same author who wrote The Mouse That Roared.

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#40 RS2000

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 15:20

"Metro Girl" and "Motor Mouth" by Janet Evanovich are set in a NASCAR background and are relatively recent (and strangely seem to have made it into a lot of UK public libraries). Lightweight but quite funny in places. You probably need to have been to a few NASCAR events to understand some of it is nearly credible...
You don't really expect to find anything of depth under "motorsport fiction" do you?

#41 T54

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 15:23

Let not forget Jean-Pierre Sarti... :lol:

#42 rallen

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 16:08

Let not forget Jean-Pierre Sarti... :lol:


Wasn't there a book called 'Racers' by one of the f1 journalists. (Richard Williams?) I remember it being heavily publicised about 10 years ago.

It isn't motor racing as such, but I used to read all the Biggles books when I was younger, there was a great bit in one of them when he sets off to chase one of the bad guys but before he does so he screws down the windscreen of his old Bentley before giving chase. Class!

#43 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 16:21

Wasn't there a book called 'Racers' by one of the f1 journalists. (Richard Williams?) I remember it being heavily publicised about 10 years ago.

Yes, but this wasn't a novel. It covers the 1996 F1 World Championship, focusing particularly on Hill, Villeneuve and Schumacher.

#44 rallen

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 16:31

Yes, but this wasn't a novel. It covers the 1996 F1 World Championship, focusing particularly on Hill, Villeneuve and Schumacher.


Oh my mistake, I thougth it was marketed as a novel!

#45 rallen

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 16:44

Yes, but this wasn't a novel. It covers the 1996 F1 World Championship, focusing particularly on Hill, Villeneuve and Schumacher.


Just looked it up on Amazon, eek it did get some. Have you read it? Anyway I appear to be going OT so I will keep it down!

#46 RTH

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 16:54

The worldwide GP viewing figures published ?

#47 SWB

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 17:03

I only have one motor racing novel in my collection, and 'written' by a World Champion!

So why has nobody mentioned 'The Torella Tigers' by Graham Hill, "a novel about motor racing as told to Robert Martin"? It really is dreadful, and not recommended unless you are a true collector of this stuff.

Steve


#48 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 17:14

Have you read it?

I've not read it myself but I'd like to - I've got two other books by him and they're both excellent. Other TNFers gave it good reviews - see here and here.

#49 Sharman

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 11:47

Nobody has mentioned the fiction which is put out by all those involved in the administration and promotion of high level motor "sport" in this day and age. Maybe a thread on what was said hand on heart by you know who, and what was actually intended, would be appropriate.

#50 Luca Pacchiarini

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 14:22

An italian Autosprint journalist, Mario Donnini, wrote a short story in 2000 about a journalist who is taken to a parallel world where deceased drivers continue to race between themselves.... it's also about the excessive modernisation of F1 and it has a thrilling end.... a great story.