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Long Lane with Turnings: Last Words of a Motoring Legend Hardcover – 4 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (4 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862078726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862078727
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 670,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

  • Author of the critically acclaimed Drive On! A Social History of the Motor Car
  • Leonard Setright was one of the twentieth century's most influential and opinionated motoring journalists
  • A warm and quirky memoir about Setright's early years and his passion for all things automotive
  • 'The doyen of British Motoring writers, an idiosyncratic, eloquent, deeply informed, erudite enthusiast... He found it impossible to be boring' Alan Judd, Spectator
  • Praise for Drive On! A Social History of the Motor Car:
  • 'His fuel-injected eccentricities of opinion are as combustible as the internal combustion engines with which he is greasily familiar' The Times
    James May is the co-presenter of BBC's Top Gear programme and also one of the contributors of the Top Gear Magazine

About the Author

L. J. K. Setright, author of the critically acclaimed Drive On! A Social History of the Motor Car (Granta) wrote for Car magazine for 33 years, and was a world expert on tyres and expresses forthright views on such things as speed limits, taxation, and pollution.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matteo_B on 14 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a shame Setright did not get a chance to finish this book, having sadly died in 2005. Here we see a very different writer to the one that dazzled many with his sheer breadth of knowledge in countless articles and books.

Here you have a warm account of Setrights early years as he devloped his interest in machinery. It is good to know that like many of us who grew to love cars from a nearly age that he ,like us , urges his father to put his foot down! This is only the first few chapters of Setrights biography but he is warm and candid in speaking of his family and his abandonment of the law for journalism. Anyone who reads this will be left wanting to know more about the man. To this end I would point them in the direction of his many other excellent and learned books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aeolus on 16 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a tantalus that cannot be undone. It does fulfil its promise of some insight into the making of this quiet but utterly singular man, but there should be so much more! It tells us nothing about why he took up his religion, his love of music, his partners and their children. I, personally, would have loved to have heard his thoughts on some of the people he met in the course of his career. The blame for that is split between his choice and the cruelty of fate - he did not finish it but I doubt that he would have ever told us much about his private life.

But it is like the man. Once you had met him you would always want to know more. What we are left with is a one-off; his exceptional command of language in the service of a story about himself.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By DriverJohn on 3 Sept. 2006
Format: Hardcover
I first came across Mr Setright's writing in the early 1970s through his contributions to The Motorist's Bedside Book, a much loved volume that is still within my reach once in bed and it is often to one of his pieces that I turn to clear my mind before turning in.

I now have several other of his books, and they are all first rate. His ability to use words so well is a delight, and he used his independant position to tell us the truth as he saw it. If a car was bad he would say so and why, but his relish of a good vehicle, road or journey would leap from the page and take you along with him.

I did not realise that he had gone over to another world, having been out of the country at the time I now know he left us. It was only when Amazon suggested that I might like this book that I became aware that he had gone. This book is a fine, if slim, tribute to his life, and should inspire anyone who has not read him to buy some of his other works. I have no hesitation in recommending it; there is not much of it, but what there is is as neatly crafted as anything else he wrote, and it is an inexpensive purchase.

Of the younger generation of Motor Noters, James May stands head and shoulders above the rest as a writer of some culture and wit, and I thought that it was fitting he should be asked to write the afterword for this book.

In summary, I would give this book 4 out of 5 purely because it was not finished, and I feel that the author would have taken a similar view. It deserves 5 stars though, and it deserves a place on your bookshelves. Put it on your Christmas list if you must; it would make a fine stocking filler.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading this book, I felt sad, but not disappointed.
Sad that it was left unfinished, sad that such an interesting life could not be chronicled in full in that unique prose. The words, the syntax, the pencraft that Setright displays are really the main feature of these pages. Yes, there are stories about cars, there are fine descriptions of obscure engineering details, there are postcards from a bygone era, but interesting though they are, at times they feel like a mere excuse to produce another literary flourish, a pretext to astound the reader with some audacious metaphor.
Impressively, Setright is so confortable in his own style that he never feels overbearing or patronising. You can clearly feel that he is not trying to impress you, he is just being himself (I hope he will forgive me for wheelnig out this overused cliche').
Even if you don't like cars, or have no idea about the importance of the author in the history of the motoring press, you should buy this book simply because it's very, very well written.
And who cares about the price of the page per pounds ratio.
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