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The Death of Ayrton Senna Paperback – 2 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (2 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241950120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241950128
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 260,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Richard Williams leaves no stone unturned as he examines the life and the untimely death of Formula One legend Ayrton Senna.; he gets deep into the psyche of this complex Brazilian as he analyses his character and attempts to discover the reasons behind the driver's burning desire to win. It was, Williams believes, a desire which a precious few drivers have--an inherent belief within Senna that he had the divine right to victory.

Senna's faults are covered as equally as the good side to his persona, and the author manages to accurately define the Brazilian hero's character like no other has.

The events leading up to and in the months and years following Senna's fatal crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix are examined in detail. The views of various experts and Formula One drivers are revealed in the book and many of their thoughts about the remarkable driver make a fascinating read.

Williams gets closer than anyone else to producing the ultimate story of a racing driver whose thirst for success and unparalleled ability led him to the heights of his chosen discipline--and ultimately his death.

This all-encompassing examination of the death of a superstar and a legend in his own right is an intimate yet pragmatic volume that will satisfy the reader's desire to discover the explanations of what really led to the death of the most thrilling driver of modern times. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

'This book does full and elegant justice to Formula One's greatest driver and wiliest tactician. "Few people really know me", Senna once said. Williams comes very, very close' Mail on Sunday 'Not just an insightful and pragmatic assessment of Senna as driver and complex human being, but a thorough examination of that grim weekend for F1' Financial Times 'A masterly portrait--literate, poignant and truth-seeking' Scotland on Sunday --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Jones on 11 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
There are many books about the dangers of F1 and this particular tragedy, but none that I've read have come close to this. Not only is it an eloquent analysis of the accident, the trials and the subsequent changes made in Formula One, but it is also a poignant reminder of what Senna meant to the F1 world and to the people of his native Brazil. Williams covers every angle - he does not try to deify Senna, yet he still manages to write a fitting testimony to one of the greatest drivers in F1 history.
For the F1 fan, an excellent read, one which I highly recommend, but for the Senna fan, an absolutely essential book - you will never read anything that paints a truer picture of your hero.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
Having started my obsession in F1 in '95, I had only known of Senna from his reputation and acomplishments. I wanted to know more about the man who's name is still used as the benchmark for modern F1 champions. I finished this book in 1 day, I couldn't stop reading it.
This book is a traditional biography but at the same time goes into lap by lap motorsport journalism for the most significant grand prix encounters.
There are some very funny episodes in the book, mostly concerning Senna's rivalry with Prost but the overall tone is that of sadness, of a man who fully realises his own kismet but is helpless in avoiding the inevitable. The account of his funeral is very moving.
The book explores his personal motivations and beliefs, his upbringing and purpose. The last third of the book concentrates on the 9 minutes leading upto his death, the ensuing trial and repercussions.
I would recomend this book to anyone, racing fan or not, it a beautifuly written testiment to a gifted genius.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandro on 23 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading all of these good reviews I was expecting to be blown away, but after reading the book I ended up with a “is that it feeling” by the end. I think the reason for all the good reviews is that this book was originally published way back in 1995, barely a year after Senna had died and at the time the material in here was ground breaking. Now almost twenty years on there is absolutely nothing in this book that is not common knowledge among Grand Prix fans. It’s actually the first half of the book that is its strongest asset; the second half reveals nothing that you can’t read on Wikipedia. I was also disappointed with the quality of this book, as it has a rather flimsy and cheap feel to it

There are over 100 Ayrton Senna books out there but the number that focus on those final three days in Imola can be counted on one hand, it is a niche within a niche. Unfortunately despite the title this book fails to shed any new light on Senna’s final 72 hours, “the life of Senna” actually provides a more detailed (at times a little bit too detailed) look at Senna’s final weekend. I have also been hearing great things about a controversial new title called “memoirs of Imola” which apparently takes it to a whole new level.

Nonetheless this book is very well written, in fact its almost like “Motorsport poetry” if you will, but for the reasons mentioned above it also leaves a lot to be desired, and there are other Senna books that do the same thing much better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stacker on 14 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Although this is by no means the most extensive tome written about Ayrton, it is certainly one of the best. Richard Williams has an easy, highly readable style. So much so in fact, that I finished reading this book, in two days.

The book covers the intense rivalry with Alain Prost, the importance of Ayrtons family to him, and his career, his faith, and the fallout from his death. The book is far superior to anything Christopher Hilton ever wrote, and has consistently good reviews, from motor racing journalists.

A must!!
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This book is well written and covers most of Senna's feud with Prost as well as the events that led up to Ayrton's death.

However, it really is told from mainly Prost's perspective and certain paragraphs in the book were quite frustrating as a Senna fan, myself, I would prefer it to have more about Senna's talent and the man himself. Therefore, I am only giving it three stars for this reason as it goes over the top in it's dislike of all things Senna, particularly over the situation when Senna veteod Derek Warwick moving to Lotus, this book basically portrays him very badly in this.

Read Memories of Senna by Christopher Hilton, in which Warwick himself, said 'he was proud to race in an era in which Senna was in it' and also, that he understood why Senna veteod him because Lotus could only have one Number One driver at the time and that despite "Senna destroying his career he was still a fan of him as a driver and a person."

So, The death of Ayrton Senna is a well written but slightly disappointing book in overall opinion.
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By vmht on 28 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book about Senna. It brilliantly analyses Senna's tantalisingly fascinating character, with the emphasis very strongly on his driving, and achievements as a sportsman. There are many wise and perceptive comments on the world of Formula One, with insights into many of the other characters that people the paddock, including engineers and fixers; and the cars too.

I immediately bought and devoured Williams' "Racers": equally good, and in some ways even cleverer. It sheds so much light on so many aspects of Formula One through the prism of a single year.

I knew very little about Formula One, but bought the Senna book after catching up this Christmas with the excellent 2011 movie, recommended on the strength of its qualities as a movie as much as its subject matter. Williams' knowledge and passion, as well as his beautiful writing style may have turned me into a devotee of the sport as a whole. I shall see as the new season unfolds
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