on 11 December 2002
Eddie Jordan is one of those guys who everyone interested in Formula One and sport in general wants to meet -- he is noisy, funny, loud, colourful and accident-prone. He is also very successful. And in his latest book, a follow-up to last year's successful The Piranha Club, Timothy Collings has managed to get under the skin of the charismatic Dubliner and produce a well-written, intriguing, amusing and enlightening account of Jordan the man and the businessman. His book -- Eddie Jordan - The Biography is sure to sell well again, like the Piranha Club did, especially to people interested in the human side of motor racing and what makes these team owners and other big guys in the sport tick. I found it fascinating and good fun. If I was an F1 fan or especially an Irish F1 fan, I'd love to get one for Christmas!
on 2 January 2012
I have read a few motor racing books in my time but this has to be the worst of them all. Collings obviously did not work with an editor, or if he did, not a good one because the whole thing is a jumble, a complete mess. It appears that after doing some tape-recorded interviews the author just transcribed what was said with no attempt to check for accuracy of recall, confer with other sources, gather as much material as widely as possible and then sort it into order. He then filled the gaps, sitting at the word processor or typewriter, spilling words and facts from memory.
Collings has obviously popped over both to Blarney Castle to kiss the stone, in writing terms, and to Dublin to sample all it offers as I 'hear' him lapsing into rhapsodic Irishness, over literacy, music and more, with the accent to suit!
There are large gaps in the book - Eddie Jordan's years (to 2002) are recalled very patchily with the chronology jumping backwards and forwards. At least for his later childhood there are some contributions from 'outsiders' although strangely there is very little from close family. Much editorial is repetitive; some information or descriptive narrative appears several times in different parts of the book. His banking years have little or no input from colleagues and of his time spent in tertiary education, there is even less by way of contribution from those who there at the time.
As far as time is concerned, most of the final years of the Jordan F1 team are crushed into one chapter yet right at the beginning of the book one short incident, occurring chronologically as the book closes has, strangely, a whole chapter devoted to it.
There is no record of races, cars, results - either of Eddie Jordan or his teams - nromally considered essential for a motor sports biography. The photographs, included in a single section, do not cover Jordan's life-span, just the decade or so up to date of publication. These are amazing omissions and clearly demonstrate inadequate research on the part of the author.
It is most peculiar as a biography and I guess it was hastily put together while Timothy Collings was writing 'The Piranha Club' at the same time. This may explain the disaster of the book 'Eddie Jordan: The Biography'. As to the success (and failure) of Eddie Jordan, the person, I am a little wiser but not much. As I close the back cover, I was left completely in the dark as to what finally happened to Jordan and his Formula One team and had to resort to some personal research. It might have been better if the writer had waited a few more years and taken a lot more time to do a thorough job for this biography. Unless, of course, he wants to leave us in the dark and is hoping for customers for an updated version in future!
on 23 October 2011
Eddie is some incredible bloke. Right mischevious rogue. His family seem to have adapted well to his unusual characteristics and his wife is absolutely wonderful. If all us had a partner who lives and works in such unison as she does, married life would be as good as one could possible dream. The old saying, behind every successful man lies a....... must have been inspired by Mrs Jordan. The only irritating thing with the book is (and I'm a patriotic Englishman) that I do think that Eddies show of patriotism is grossly overdone, far too much, it does get a bit sickly after a while. To a certain extent, sadly, I lost my attachment to him cause I wasn't Irish, I also felt that it was a little hypocritical because his main home is in England and he loves living here etc etc etc. Overall, great book, well worth a read!