Top critical review
All over the place... and nothing here
on 7 July 2015
Yes, this book is underrated for one simple reason.: it's not good at all.
It seems clear that the book was rushed into production following the second (and definitive) Lauda's retirement of races, in 1985. It seems there was no proper research, no real urge to tell his whole story, nor any deep meaning put into the book. They also chose a bombastic title, refering to the horrendous crash in 1976, when Lauda himself says in the book that he feels absolutely nothing about the crash, be it visiting the corner where it occurred or any kind of despair about his damaged skin.
The book looks like a collection of anecdotes put together, including a insignificant sketch by Lauda of the main drivers of that age and a very short attempt to describe his "modus operandis". The book is cold, devoid of "juice". Other than that, if you read it nowadays, there is not one single surprise here, not even the animosity between Ron Dennis and him, and Carlos Reutemann and him.
Well, maybe the book (if one can call it that. It seems more like a collage of paper news) is the reflex of the great Austrian driver image: cold, aloof, egotistical. A guy who himself says that his victories are thing of the past, they don't deserve attention anymore.
There is no special comment about his first pole-position, even his first win in Formula One. Nothing at all. It seems that auto-racing was simple a occupation for Lauda, anything would be better than studying, there was no passion in it.
I'm sure that if his autobiography (or if he decides to write another one) was written nowadays, it would have been much, much more attractive, well written, significant. As it is, this book is a waste of time.