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Shunt: The Story of James Hunt Hardcover – 1 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 764 pages
  • Publisher: Myrtle Press; 1st Edition edition (1 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956565603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956565600
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.5 x 6.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Viking on 15 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
James Hunt ranks alongside the great Jim Clark as a driver in my eyes. I wanted to like this book very much. However it annoyed me because of the terrible editing. Duplication, spelling errors and at times flannel reflected badly on the publishers here. Furthermore, Rubython himself wrote that he wanted the book to read like a novel and it fails on this level too. My final criticism is that it is far too long and could have done without a number of 'added info' chapters. Other reviewers have indicated that Donaldson's book is better as a biography of James and I am inclined to agree.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Sedgwick on 11 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a serious undertaking for any reader - well over 700 pages, but having been an F1 fan since Las Vegas 1982 and having enjoyed Hunt's commentary right up until premature his death, I settled back for a read which I hoped would shed light on this mercurial man.

There are strengths and weaknesses with this book: Its weaknesses lie in the rather odd timeline - the books jumps forwards and backwards in time, which can be a little confusing but once you get used to it then it becomes less irksome. There are a few uneccesary diversions and some rather good ones: I was not at all interested in Richard Burton/Liz Taylor but there is a rather illuminating chapter about Ronnie Peterson's death.

I didn't spot many of the errors/spelling mistakes alluded to by other readers, but I was mildly surprised to read that James, according to Mr Rubython, won a total of 11 grands prix - I have always known he won a total of 10 - but perhaps the author is including a non-championship win in this total?

Having not read Donaldson's biography a lot of this material was new for me - so no criticism there - I enjoyed reading about his time in Marbella and also his early life - these parts were highly readable. While I knew about the Gilles Villeneuve connection, Mr Rubython added some interesting info into this particular episode.

What really fascinates and repels is James attitude to women and I would have dearly loved to have had more details here although the author does confess to not having been able to prise any kiss-and-tell nuggets from former beaus apart that is from the translation of the dutch journalist that made fascinating reading.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Tom Hughes on 4 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
James Hunt's rise and fall is probably one of the most contrasting changes in fortune (quite literally) within the history of Motorsport. Tom Rubython's book captures this in intricate detail but fails to be as entertaining as it should have been. Much of this is due to the lack of new material from previous efforts, notably "Hunt" by Gerald Donaldson. It lacks new contributions, which is entirely legitimate as Hunt has sadly been dead nearly 20 years.

The only new material to my knowledge is the anicdote from Noel Edmonds when they entered a celebrity rally, and a translation of a dutch magazine article from a reporter who was instructed to bed him to rate his performance for a feature article. Rubython explains that he has no idea why this article has not been translated into English previously, well the main reason would be is that it would be pointless to do so, because it was simply vacuous titilation that reveals nothing about Hunt.

Other attempts to freshen up the story include playing up his friendship with Richard Burton and tacking on the story of Burton's own demise which went on for far too long, as did the detail of Nikki Lauda's accident that gets a whole chapter. Such details are interesting to the uninformed but to others like myself it is well worn ground that detracts from Hunt's personal story rather than enhancing it.

Overlooking that, it is very well researched and if you have never read a book on the inimitable James Hunt then this is the one to own. It is just a shame that for fans it fails to offer the fresh perspective that many were looking for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roger Smith on 4 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
James Hunt has already been the subject of a well researched and well written biography by Gerald Donaldson. So why the need for another book about an excellent but far from brilliant motor racing driver, who won his only world championship in 1976 by a single point?

I suppose Tom Rubython's answer would be because there are still stories about this very complex and eccentric man still to be told. And he's right, up to a point. As a dedicated James Hunt fan, who even bought Hunt's rushed and ghosted autobiography "Against All Odds" in 1977, I can tell you that there are many stories and comments among the 700+ pages written here that you're unlikely to have heard.

Unfortunately, just because you haven't heard a story, doesn't mean it's necessarily worth telling. In fact, it may be boring, vulgar or simply pointless. Which is my main problem with this book; James Hunt was first and foremost a motor racing driver, not a world class statesman such as Churchill, or a historical figure such as Karl Marx. He's just not interesting or important enough to justify a biography like this, that goes into so much detail, and seems to randomly lose focus every couple of chapters. As several other people have pointed out here, this is a classic case of publishing a book before it's been properly edited - it's full of needless repetition, lose sentences and meandering story-lines. Perhaps the worst example is more or less an entire chapter about... Richard Burton!

Of course the book is not all bad - James Hunt was a true eccentric and fascinating mixture of the obnoxious and charming, shrewdness and stupidity, competence and incompetence. Given all those contradictions, it's hard not to read some interesting and shocking stuff about him here.
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