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The Grand Prix Saboteurs: The Grand Prix Drivers Who Became British Secret Agents During World War II [Paperback]

Joe Saward
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

31 Dec 2006
James Bond meets Michael Schumacher The idea of racing drivers working as secret agents is at best far-fetched but The Grand Prix Saboteurs tells the amazing TRUE story of how three top Grand Prix drivers from the 1920s and 1930s worked for a clandestine British secret service in occupied France, during World War II. The product of 18 years of research, The Grand Prix Saboteurs tells a story that remained top secret until the British Government finally agreed to release them in 2003. The book dazzles with swashbuckling escapes, shocking betrayals and a story you will never forget.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Morienval Press; Reprint edition (31 Dec 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955486807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955486807
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing 17 Feb 2007
Format:Paperback
A few years back I wrote a novel called Early One Morning, based on the true story of a group of Grand Prix drivers who joined Special Operations Executive during WW2. At the time people asked me why I didn't just write a non-fiction book. Joe Saward's book is the answer. This is the work I couldn't have written and I am glad I didn't try (I'll stick to novels). Saward (whom I have never met or spoken to) has combined his formidable knowledge of GP racing together with a vast quantity of meticulous research and managed, with enviable deftness, to produce a thrilling and heartbreaking story. Anyone interested in the fascinating legend of the racing driver spies Benoist and Williams and Wimille, and in SOE in general, should buy this book. I take my peaked cap off to him.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'classic' 30 Jan 2007
By jerste
Format:Paperback
The Grand Prix Saboteurs is a detailed, intricate story about the secret world of motor racing.

Despite its length, I was surprised at how easily the story flowed and how Joe Saward managed to combine so many different elements into a coherent whole.

A 'classic' in every sense of the word.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Liz
Format:Paperback
I first heard of the "characters" of this book in the mid 70's when I first started getting interested and going to GP races including Monaca won by Williams, and the Le Mans 24 Heures, where grandstands were named after Benoist and Wimille. A few weeks ago I found Robert Ryan's novel on the subject and was gripped and intrigued. Then I read about Joe Saward's book in the Telegraph and thought I'd better order it. Absolutely fascinating - I learned a lot about the French Resistance that I'd not previously known - or cared about - before. I'm glad I read these books this way round as fiction is always an easier read and whets the appetite for the sometimes unpalatable truth. The only trouble is, one of my favourite TV programmes, Hallo Hallo, is no longer funny ...
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Stevek
Format:Paperback
A great and fascinating story - it's just a shame that nobody bothered to proof-read it before going to print.
Errors such as duplicated, missing or incorrect words appear with frustrating frequency.
With such a detailed account of the complexities of war-time undercover operations, these errors are an unwanted and unnecessary diversion.

The good news is that a second edition has been released apparently correcting the printing errors and adding even more to the story.
Make sure you get the second edition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressive 19 July 2007
By John Richard VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Representing eighteen years of thorough research which could not be verified until 2003 when certain war time documents were declassified, this is a fascinating piece of work and a glimpse into another murky backdrop of WW2. Saward is actually a professional motor racing journalist and author, his prose really comes to life when the story allows him back into his area of considerable expertise but he does a fine job of unpicking the strands of people and events which weave into this amazing account of intrigue in the face of oppression. There is a fictional version of this story, 'Early One Morning' by Robert Ryan which is a superb read in itself, all the more so because it is largely faithful to the facts uncovered by Saward though there is no acknowledgement of joint research, Ryan recommends Saward's book in his bibliography at the end of his novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting read 12 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback
A rivetting read backed with exhaustive and revealing research into the incredible lives of the early Grand Prix drivers in France who became resistance heroes in WW2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars terrific SOE information 20 Mar 2008
By reader
Format:Paperback
I am not a huge fan of motor racing, but despite this I enjoyed the first chapters of the book which is mostly about the early lives and racing careers of the saboteurs. The author really brings the people to life and makes the reader care about them.
Once he starts writing about their SOE activities the book comes to life. He must have done an enormous amount of research, because, despite reading many, many books on the SOE, I found a lot of new information.
Excellently researched.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great story 8 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can recommend this item to every Formula one fan. Great story, well written. I would have wellcomed a bit more pictures.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Birthday present
This item was a present for a friend who was very pleased with it. the book looks very well illustrated and the content seems very readable
Published 5 months ago by granny
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Hugely interesting, either from the point of view of a Grand Prix enthusiast or as someone interested in the war this book gives a real sense of the people that were hugely... Read more
Published 11 months ago by FionaR
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Try and Read this in a Hurry
Here is Honour's Review as he is the Reader in the household:

I haven't written a book review for an Amazon-bought product yet, so here goes. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kris and Honour
5.0 out of 5 stars very intresting
I am enjoying reading this book. and find it difficult to put it down, thats how good it is for me.
Published 12 months ago by Mr. Graham Young
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fascinating Story!
An interesting and well researched true story about 'Willy' Grover Williams, the first winner of the Monaco Grand Prix who went on to become a British SOE 'spy' behind enemy lines... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Music-lover
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for Fans of Racing with Interest in WWII
I am a huge fan of F1 and have recently been reading more and more about the history of racing. I have always been fascinated by the details of the Second World War and all of the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Charles Kliment
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book especially for Bugatti fans
An very detailed story about 3 pre war Bugatti drivers, Robert Benoist, Willy Williams-Grover and Jean Pierre Wimille who joined the british secret services to set up the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jan
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book
I bought for my partner as a present and he loved it... Easy to read. It is high recommend it.
Published 17 months ago by Gema Bernaldo de Quiros
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly moving story.
I was totally hooked on this book the moment I picked it up.
It is a true story of British Secret Agents working behind enemy lines in occupied France during WWII in an... Read more
Published on 16 Feb 2012 by Mr. Ps Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars FAB!!
The Grand Prix Saboteurs: The Grand Prix Drivers Who Became British Secret Agents During World War II. Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2011 by wnicola
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