Koen Vergeer's turbulent, passionate relationship with motorsport is chronicled in Formula One Fanatic
. Witnessing a horrific, fatal crash is a strange starting point for a sporting obsession, but for this Dutch motorsport journalist, being in the race-day crowd when driver Roger Williamson was burnt to death in 1973, was an experience that plunged him into a love affair with the thrilling and dangerous world of Formula One.
From collecting toy replicas of the leading cars, and reconstructing whole seasons of racing on his bedroom floor--commentating to himself all the while--to covering the sport as a professional journalist, Vergeer has developed a romantic yet analytical view of F1, and weaves a series of compelling, intelligent stories out of 30 years of motorsport. Heroes and villains abound, seen through a fan's frustration and joy--and even in translation from the original Dutch, the language can be colourful and vibrant.
Vergeer's approach--part reminiscence, part philosophical analysis of the meaning and purpose of the sport--balances readability with substance, and while his viewpoint can be bizarre (could anyone else characterise Nigel "interesting" Mansell as "The Lion"?), he writes about what can sometimes seem a colourless business with a vigour and enthusiasm that is infectious.
The aficionados will revel in a fellow fan's personal reflections; newcomers will wonder why it's taken them so long to wise up to the sport's enduring qualities; and for the completely uninitiated, there's a comprehensive glossary of F1-speak, which, allied to Vergeer's passionate prose, makes this the ideal gift for the could-be F1 fan in your life. Even in today's troubled era of processional races and colourless stars, this book makes the prospect of the new F1 season something to relish. --Alex Hankin
About the Author
Koen Vergeer is the author of two novels, SAGRADA FAMILIA and DOSSIER DELVAUX. He is a reporter on the Belgian daily paper DE MORGEN and regularly covers Formula 1 and other motor-racing events. He lives in Utrecht. David Colmer is the author of the novella LEW, which will be published in Holland in 2003. His stories have appeared in Australia, Belgium and the UK. He has translated work by Annie M.G. Schmidt, Bart Moeyaert and Benno Barnard. He lives in Amsterdam.