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Born to be Riled: The Collected Writings of Jeremy Clarkson Hardcover – 7 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (7 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563551461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563551461
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeremy Clarkson began his writing career on the Rotherham Advertiser. Since then he has written for the Sun, the Sunday Times, the Rochdale Observer, the Wolverhampton Express & Star, all of the Associated Kent Newspapers and Lincolnshire Life. Today he is the tallest person working in British television.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Jeremy Clarkson, the opinionated motoring journalist, has something to say on just about everything, not just cars, in this collection of his columns from both Top Gear Magazine and The Sunday Times.

Whether you love or loathe him, Born to be Riled makes for an entertaining and lively read as Clarkson vents his anger and frustration at, among other things, Sunday drivers, caravans and politicians. Even places are not safe from his poisonous tongue, with Surrey, Birmingham and Norfolk being on the receiving end of some particularly venomous rants.

Clarkson's views on cars and motoring make for interesting reading but do tend to speak to the more initiated enthusiast than the casual driver and analogies and comparisons are often lost on all but the most technically minded car fanatic.

However, Clarkson writes with joyous wit and even when his arguments seem a little shaky, you can't help but find yourself nodding in agreement or realising that he is riled by all the things in life that you are--being stuck behind a caravan on a country back road or the drink-driving laws in this country. In much the same way as Bill Bryson chronicles life's daily woes and pitfalls with a scathing sense of humour, so Clarkson speaks for a silent majority who are secretly incensed by a million and one things everyday of their lives, but are just a little too British to say anything.

In this book, Clarkson has become the common man's champion and when he is fighting for the cause with this much humour and wit, long may he remain in that position. --Jonathan Weir

From the Publisher

Tall, Dark and Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson gets a stack of letters from young people asking how they can nick his job, and his reply is always the same: forget about the driving, think about your writing. Television may have brought the fame, but the key to Britain’s most celebrated motoring journalist lies within the written word, and this book is the best of Clarkson on his home ground – bringing together the cream of his columns form Top Gear Magazine and the Sunday Times. Naturally we get his verdict on a whole spectrum of cars – from Ferraris to FSOs – with some leaving him drooling at their drop - dead presence, whilst others leave him wishing they would just drop dead.

Cars aside, these columns are also a record of his thoughts on motoring in general, thoughts which managed to enrage the whole of Norfolk, the housewives of Surrey, all caravan owners, Nissan Sunny drivers and both the chefs in Birmingham. Throughout you’ll find lashings of opinion, from his appalling predictions for the F1 season through to his full-bore attacks on politicians who blame the car enthusiast for every evil in society. Sometimes his arguments are strong and incisive, sometimes they’re as thin as an after dinner mint, but Born to be Riled remains throughout a joyful, mischievous and beautifully written record of one man’s extraordinary life on wheels.


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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Scully Bloke VINE VOICE on 20 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
I must say i was a bit surprised that after buying this book and taking it home that I discovered that most of it was written in the 90's. The book is made up of a large number of short Clarkson views on anything and everything, mainly to do with cars, but not always. So he talks about new car realease, but unfortunately they are now old.

The saving grace for the book is that Clarkson does have a way of writting that makes you either mad (particularly if you live in Norfolk, Birmingham and many other places), laugh, or in agreement with his views on political views, old people, the law etc.

Its a good read, shame it relates to topics and issues that all happened pre 1999.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Yorkshire Pudding on 24 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ah Jeremy Clarkson, both hated and loved up and down the country, and proabably abroad too! one thing you have to admire about Jeremy is his brutal honesty and lack of fear about saying whay he thinks, coupled to his amazing ability to create metaphors that would make Frasier Crane weep you have one very funny book!
but dont think this book is mostly about cars, its about all facets of life, from living in london, moving to the countryside and why kids are just so uncontrolable, i doubt you could read it without finding one thing to disagree with, but you will probably find a lot to agree with as well!
A damn fine entertaining read thats not to heavy on content but very big on laughs and style!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Darren Simons TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jeremy Clarkson... everyone has an opinion about him. He is to tact what creosote is to interior design, heck, he may even be proud of such a comparison. However, he's driven more cars than most of us and once you get past his striving for controversy his writing is pretty damn good in my view.
Born To Be Riled contains the articles Clarkson has written for The Sunday Times and Top Gear magazine, writing about new cars and topical issues of the time. No-one escapes, especially Americans and inhabitants of Norfolk! Needless to say the central theme is cars and whilst some of them are genuine reviews there's a fair view of what I would call observational humour, spotting the different type of drivers and car owners.
I found this to be an entertaining read, although not something I'd necessarily read in a continous setting; each article is only a couple of pages long so you can easily read a few, not read the book for a few weeks and pick up where you left off without any problem at all. I'm a big fan of Clarkson so as expected found each article amusing and entertaining.
If you regularly read Top Gear and the Sunday Times then you really won't gain anything from reading this book, unless you're such a fan you want to read it all over again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By theCapt on 9 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
From the recent success of new Top Gear and recent book The World According to Jeremy Clarkson's work has been republished and this book is one of the republished editions. It is in the same vain as "The World According To....", as in it is a collection of articles Clarkson has write for various publications. This book pre-dates "The World According To...." book and was released originally in 1999. It contains a lot of articles for the same period of time which have made some of the information and Clarkson's views a little old or politically incorrect but considering that some of the articles could be a decade old it is granted that his opinion and public view will change over time.

If you liked "The World According To...." by Clarkson then you'll love this re-release, it is far larger as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. SCARROTT on 22 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge fan of Top Gear and think its one of most entertaining programmes on television and Jeremy Clarkson is a complete legend. However, when I read this book, I was really disppointed as many of entries are pretty much the same! Half the book is a long rant about Vauxhall Vectras, drink driving laws and 'slow' drivers. Frankly, I just got really bored and really struggled to finish it. Also much of the content is now so old and irrelevant, its pointless. If it were half the size it would be brilliant but unfortunately it's not.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Hywel Thomas on 19 April 2007
Format: Paperback
If like me you read Clarkson to be amused by his ranting then you won't be disappointed. Sadly as articles are often put in contex of current issues the book hasn't aged well. Often articles are irrelivent and his remarks on the cars often dated due to the release of new novels.

For a first Clarkson book I would recomend one of the newer ones, but for seasoned Clarkson fans the book will make you laugh and all to often nod along with Clarksons rants.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
Clarkson invites us to see the world from through his eyes, having read the book i can confirm that driving is the main talking point as you would expect, however Clarkson shares his comical views and opinions on almost everything you can think of, and often you can find yourself agreeing with him.
Buy it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Deb on 1 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband for Christmas and, despite him liking Clarkson, this book is an irritation because its once-topical content is completely out of date. When contemplating buying it I checked the publication date to make sure it was recent - so it would feel current, and so it was less likely he'd already read it. The date of publication was listed as Jan 2007 - seemed pretty safe. I assumed the hardback would have been about a year earlier. It's currently number 26 in the Amazon 'Humour' chart, but when I bought it in mid December I think it was higher in the chart, again giving the impression of something current. I only read the most recent Amazon reviews, which were written in 2007 - if I'd read ALL the reviews and checked the dates they were written I would have seen that some of them were written several years ago, but usually you're looking for people's impressions and not proof of the book's age!
When my husband received the book and started to read it he was a little peeved to discover that the book refers to lots of events which took place during the 90s, such as discussing car launches for cars which aren't even made any more, having been discontinued and replaced! He checked the inside front cover and found that the book was FIRST published in 1999, but seems to have been compiled from newspaper articles which went back much further than that, to the early 90s.
To reprint it now in paperback as if it's a new book is cynical, greedy, misleading and wrong. People will obviously buy it thinking the material is new or at least reasonably in date! No doubt it's been bought widely by people who like Clarkson and people buying Xmas presents for people who like Clarkson, thinking they know what they're getting. Soooo.... lots of disappointed and irritated buyers, and more cash to line Clarkson's pockets and those of his publishers. I'll think twice before buying another book by him.
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