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James Hunt: The Biography Paperback – 6 Feb 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; New edition edition (6 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753507358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753507353
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.5 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,164,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'The best biography of a racing driver I've ever read.' Classic Cars; 'Donaldson, in his thoughtful and intimate work, has delved behind the headlines and superbly fleshed out the character behind the caricatures of James Hunt.' Dally Telegraph; 'Covers James Hunt's life with skilful devotion.' Mail on Sunday; 'Donaldson has written a very fine book.' Independent

Book Description

AN EPIC TALE OF A SHORT LIFE LIVED TO THE LIMIT --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 April 2003
Format: Paperback
A thoroughly well-written account of the life and times of a man who brought pop-star fame to a sport previously seen as the domain of stoic gentlemen. The book goes into exceptional detail when looking back over James Hunt's career as a public-school eduacted loner who found himself the subject of mass adulation. The racing side of Hunt's colourful life is superbly dealt with, but I felt that some of the juicier details of the extra-curricular activities that also made Hunt such an interesting character are just alluded in a way that suggests that the author feels embarrassed, or that they could tarnish the image of the subject. To me, these extra stories would further enhance the reputation of a man who was a great racer, but above all one hell of a great lad!
This minor criticism however, should not dissuade any fan of Formula 1 from reading more about a fantastic character who lived through a time when racing was racing and drivers could be cavaliers on the track and off it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Philip L. Widdowson on 9 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
Since James Hunts' sudden and untimely death in June 1993 I held certain beliefs and opinions of him, his career and his relationships.
The author of the book, Gerald Donaldson, dispelled some of these opinions through his excellent work.
James will always be a personal hero for me, it was he and the Hesketh team who attracted me to F1 (in the exiting days), his talent was not lost in the commentary box with Murray Walker - he will never be replaced.
How can a man adored by so many live for so long without true love?
When he finally found a true love in Helen Dyson, he was taken from her and us.
Thankyou Gerald Donaldson for this work - truely an excellent and evoking read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
Having also read the author's excellent biography of Gilles Villeneuve I was eager to get my hands on this book. Once again, I was not disappointed.
Donaldson attempts to explore all sides of Hunt's character through the different stages of his development, and succeeds in producing a well-written account of the legend's life. He achieves a good balance between the kind of factual reporting of the driver's career which is available elsewhere, and a probing insight into the complex nature of the man. It is the latter which will probably appeal more to most readers, and the author does a decent job of bringing together the many diverse recollections of those who were close to the subject.
If I have one criticism it is levelled at the publishers, who have left this edition littered with too many small and annoying printing errors. Don't let this put you off though: this book will appeal to anyone who enjoys a colourful story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DavyA TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have never been a very big Grand Prix fan but as a child of the 70s, James Hunt (and of course Barry Sheene) was a playboy icon and seemed, certainly to me as a young lad, to be the epitome of glamour ,with a life full of speed, Martini cocktails, girls, danger and controversy.
So,reading the story of James Hunt after all these years was something of a revelation. There was glamour, there were girls , there were thrills and spills but also downs, and very severe downs they were too. Hunt was, as is usually the case,a far more of a complex personality than the public persona suggested and the author explores his character in a sensitive but honest and open fashion.
I found this book to be an enthralling,enlightening, exciting and fascinating read. The thrill and glamour of the races, the determination of the drivers (not just James), the intrigue between F1 racing teams (notably it seems, Ferrari), and of course the ladies, contrasts with the sadness of marriage breakdown, the on set of depression and a sense of loss and isolation but then positivity and redemption through his children.
I came away with not only a new found respect for James Hunt as a driver and as a person but also for F1 drivers in general. A book that's a must for any sports fan,or for those who still wish they could have been just (or even a little bit) like, Hunt the Shunt.
Legend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ferreira Pinto on 12 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
The author describes the life of a man,hated by some , but imortalised by his friends ,and by people who knew him by his achievements as a professional racing driver , and as careful human being devoted to his sons and dogs !
Well writen , intense and detailed description of his life ,in two words , an outstanding book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "phil-haigh" on 19 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
If you want to know the full truth about the life and times of James Hunt, this is the book to purchase. It goes into tremendous detail about all aspects of his life, without fear or favour. Well-written and comprehensive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jen Wiseman on 3 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't have much interest in F1 but having seen a documentary about James and Niki, then seeing Rush, I felt compelled to find out more about this intriguing character. I really enjoyed the book and was moved to tears at the end. I would definitely recommend it and would say don't worry if you're not in to the sport, it doesn't matter!
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Format: Paperback
James Hunt may have lived a short life, but it was certainly action-packed. In his relatively brief F1 career he took the World Championship and filled newspaper columns with his exploits, both off an on track. He battled with fear and depression towards the end of his racing and into retirement, but seemed to finally found happiness again before his death. Donaldson covers Hunt's entire life in good detail, with plenty of insightful comment - it is obvious that many of those who were closest to Hunt collaborated with the author. A shame that there are so many printing errors - many vanishing full stops and a few commas in the wrong place - but that doesn't detract too much from what is a great motorsport biography.
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