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The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record Paperback – 1 Sep 2005


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Frequently Bought Together

The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record + The Bluebird and the Dead Lake: The Classic Account of how Donald Campbell broke the World Land Speed Record (Sports Classics)
Price For Both: £19.99

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (1 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349115966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349115962
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Jennings grew up in London and read English at Oxford University. He is a writer, journalist and broadcaster, who has been a columnist for The Guardian and The Times, as well as appearing regularly in The Daily Telegraph, The Observer and The Financial Times. He has also written drama for television and radio; and several books, most notably Up North, The Fast Set and Them and Us. His next book, a critical introduction to Jane Austen, will be published at the end of 2012.

He is married with two sons, and (still) lives in London.

Product Description

Review

entertaining and authoritative ... (INDEPENDENT)

splendid history ... Jennings brilliantly conveys the rattling turmoil of being in the cockpit of one of these monster cars (GUARDIAN)

This terrific book had me gripped from the start ... a lovely read, full of excitement ... Jennings has captured the essential characteristics of these men - their sadness - extremely well. (NEW STATESMAN)

Thoroughly entertaining yet extremely informative. (EVENING STANDARD)

Book Description

* Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record

* The story of the speed kings - the obsessive fast-car record-breakers of the 1920s to 1940s


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First Sentence
Feelings in Edwardian society were mixed, and essentially lopsided, when it came to the subject of motor racing. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. A. Marsh on 16 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been very interested in the land speed record for many years and have lots of memorabilia and models, not to mention shelves full of books new and old on the subject. I found this book to be not only very informative but also thoroughly entertaining and really didn't want to put it down.
The land speed record drivers come to life very clearly and the author adds lots of details that help to pad out their persona for the reader. The technical details on the cars and boats, and indeed the record runs, are very simply described without being boring or overfacing. The narrative style also helped me greatly to understand the reasons and compulsion that drove the main protaganists to continue facing death on a regular basis.
There are books that explore the subject in greater death and books that concentrate on individuals but if you want to get a feel for the subject, this book is simply the best. If you only ever buy one book on the land speed record, this is the one to get. Beware however, you may become hooked!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian O'Loughlin on 6 May 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly great book. It covers a topic and an era in a viviid and compelling fashion. The author is also a keen observer of social mores too, which adds a great depth to the events recounted. I was very pleasently surprised at how engaging I found this book, excellent through and through, recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By EJ Bridger-stille on 20 April 2007
Format: Paperback
As usual with Charles Jennings books, they provide a well reserched and often wry look at the most facinating of subjects. This is no exception. The well observed historys and personallities come to life under the control of the Jennings pencil giving the reader the feeling that they too had much to gain if they could just make that next daring run accross the desert...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob L on 5 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
This is easily one of my favourite books - it creates a great atmosphere of the art deco era, and covers the excitement of the Land Speed Record in the 1920's and 1930's. Anecdotes of the general history of the time help build up the atmosphere and set the scene for the events taking place
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By D. Lennard on 3 Aug 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book, it's now in my top ten non-fiction of all time!

The author has a very engaging style and colourfully relates a world of moustache twirling baddies (Sir Malcolm Campbell) and under-valued quiet and decent chaps (Jon Cobb and Sir Henry Segrave).

There's a wealth of information on early motor racing and the development of Brooklands at the start of the book, which sets the scene for detailed and often humourous accounts of the Land Speed Record episodes later on.

I had only a passing interest in the history of the LSR before reading it but now I feel very informed and thoroughly entertained in the process.
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