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on 9 September 2014
It’s the first autobiography of a sportsman I can remember reading in years – the last was probably Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not About The Bike (possibly subtitled "It’s About The Drugs, Actually" after the last few years’ revelations). Similar to Armstrong, Martin isn’t painted to appear like a very likeable person, but there’s a lot more to laugh about here.

Like the great Brewer’s Rogues, Villains & Eccentrics, the index is itself a joy to read, with "paper round, 43" following straight after "orgy, invitation to, 79-80". The ‘orgy’, such as it was, turns out not to be some Roman affair was mass nudity and orgiastic revels, but consists of ‘Dave’ and his girlfriend enjoying themselves while Guy Martin is "sat in the buff, except my socks, on the wheel arch in the back of a Transit van eating a Mars Bar", contentedly watching. The sheer prosaic absurdity (along with the overcapitalisation of Guy’s snack) means it’s not even tawdry, although between Guy Martin and the ever-repeated rumour about Marianne Faithfull, I can’t ever eat a Mars bar again within thinking it’s a bit too erotic, thank you very much.

Then there’s the description of the Ulster race, where Guy lists every corner in incredible detail, pausing at one point to explain that the place called The Hole In The Wall is named thusly because "there’s a wall with a hole in it." Well, I guffawed. I’m not sure if this was intentional, or if Guy was just worried some people wouldn’t be able to distinguish metaphor from reality.

The persona that is projected is of a bluff Northern type, opinionated and sure that he’s right about everything. If he wasn’t racing motorcycles and fixing trucks, he’d be sitting in a pub with a flat cap on, discussing whippets and calling people twats, I assume.

But although he’d be frustrating to have around, it would be interesting. At the three-quarter point of the book, he reveals a diagnosis of Aspergers’, which might go some way to explaining both the fractious relationships he’s had with racing team owners, and his incredible focus in memorising the corners of each race course. He makes a good point near the end that although he’s aware of what might happen, he doesn’t think of the consequences – crashing is a very matter-of-fact thing that you get on with, instead of stressing about. A lot like eating a Mars Bar in the back of a Transit van.

There’s also lots of injuries, whether that’s through crashing a motorcycle at such speed that it explodes, or hitting his mouth on the side of a barge and wrecking all his teeth. This might not be a good book for somebody with a weak stomach, or not while they’re enjoying their elevenses.

Certainly it’s an easy read aside from that, and as Guy isn’t a professional racer, constrained by the PR department of a motorcycle factory, he can be as rude as he likes about people without getting sacked. I galloped through it in a couple of days.

And he almost kills himself and another bloke by over-revving the engine from a Lancaster bomber. Really, what’s not to like?
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on 12 May 2014
Guy is the real deal. Genuine down to earth person who has written an honest and interesting account of his life. he has thrown himself into all sorts over the years - often at great speeds! Worth a read.
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on 1 June 2014
Such a good book and really funny in places. My husband was really chuffed as he likes Guy Martin and really enjoyed it.
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on 3 October 2014
Guy's autobiography is a very interesting insight into the mind and personality of a road racer. As someone fascinated in people, I really enjoyed Guy's frank account of his life (would he have it any other way?)

While I love riding motorcycles, I've never been interested in participating in road racing. It doesn't appeal to me at all, but I am interested in the sort of people who do choose to race on public roads, and Guy's book gives us a peek into that world. Road racers are aware of the dangers, but they don't dwell upon them, if they did, they would talk themselves out of racing. It is not that they are unhinged, but very focussed upon what they want, and singleminded about getting there. There is a lot of faith in technology, in people and in tyres.

In essence, we are privileged to see the inner workings of a man with the ability to hold his focus to the intense degree required to compete at such high speeds on the roads. Call it mild autism if you like, but if something, anything goes wrong, the consequences are dire. Guy races for the fun of it, and wants to keep things fun; amateur.
He also avoids the public, at least he doesn't court them. He is as non nonsense as they come, no rock star, no celebrity, but a solid, top bloke who loves his racing, and loves the technology that goes into it.

If guy doesn't end up working in vehicle development, I'd be very surprised. He has the hands on experience, and he has the technical knowledge to boot. A very likeable, genuine and down to earth guy. Road racing at its best.

If you like motorcycles, Guy's book comes highly recommend.
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on 29 May 2014
Genuine book genuine bloke like what he has done and what he is about seams to keep a grip on reality nearly lost it 3/4 way through book but got back on track crack on son
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on 31 May 2014
Brilliant book loved it.Bought it for my husband who doesn't read many books but he couldn't put this one down.
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on 29 May 2014
Enjoyed reading this very much. Shows him as the guy you want to know not what the media want you to know.
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on 27 May 2014
Brilliant read just couldn't put it down loved the honesty. Good racing detail appreciated. Not afraid of telling the truth very refreshing.
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on 11 May 2014
Real life, down to earth, told as Guy see's it, genuine. An insight in to an energetic, committed, hard working bloke.
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on 25 September 2015
I've been watching Guy Martin for the past four years plus now, and his kooky personality, view of life, and of course, being a fellow Lincolnshire resident, he won me over. He is is very watchable, both as a TV personality, as well as a bike rider. I've seen him live at Oulton Park, Cadwell Park also.

Reading his autobiography I particularly enjoyed his thought-processes, his chapters dedicated to his early life where his chatty, no nonsense personality come through. His one-liners, jokes, and general way of saying things really brings to life the words. His struggle with painkiller addiction and discovering his aspergers syndrome was also riveting.

Definitely worth a read about a 'celebrity' that doesn't fit nicely in the box.
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