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T. Wright "2Wright" (Scotland, UK)
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Kingston Technology DataTraveler 101 Generation 2 16GB USB Flash Drive - Black
Kingston Technology DataTraveler 101 Generation 2 16GB USB Flash Drive - Black
Price: £4.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Love It! Chromey, Tactile, Big Memory., 3 Oct 2011
Great little drive. Substantial, snug, chromey and tactile, 16gb, Nice secure flip lip that stays in place to ably protect the USB. Nice! Great price too .....


Crashed and Byrned: The Greatest Racing Driver You Never Saw
Crashed and Byrned: The Greatest Racing Driver You Never Saw
by Tommy Byrne
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sex, Drugs, and the Road to Self Destruction from Formula 1, 26 Sep 2011
Byrne, a promising raw racing talent, who rose from a life of deprivation and a crime ridden background in Ireland to rise through the ranks of motor-sport to the promise of Formula 1 - only to spectactularily self-destruct, or, as in the title of the book "Crash & Byrned".

This is heady stuff. Hollywood couldn't make this one stick - but it's all true (well, the blurb about Senna is complete rubbish! He only raced once - maybe twice - against Ayrton, to my knowledge, and went no-where. He'd already shown his talent for self-destruction by then and blew it. He did however pilfer his tyres! That and the subsequent show down with an irate young pre-F1 Senna was true). A life of petty crime in Ireland during the troubles, pulling himself out of destitution and deprivation by sheer determination using a raw racing talent, then, destroys his chances with a damaged and seriously flawed personality; bad attitude (whole sack of potatoes, not just the chip on these shoulders!), seedy sex, prostitution, drugs, a trail of broken relationships (and children) all the way down to the seedy brothels and drug cartels of Mexico. A tale not for the faint-hearted.

This is the man given an F1 test by Mclaren (most drivers would give their right arm for this) and "dissed" Ron Dennis with his attitude, sarcasm about the car, and, being late for a test due to an illicit encounter in a seedy hotel - he (and his career) never quite recovered from the fall-out. What a waste! This is indeed a cautionary tale of inflated ego, lost opportunity, and an individual hell-bent on distruction due to a lack of focus and self-discipline when he could have gone on to greater things. This is a stupefying multi-car-crash-pile-up in slow motion. Can he survive it (more to the point, can you?)? Read on....

Well worth a read for most readers (fiction & non-fiction), as this is a human story rather than a racing one. Whilst reading you do get involved in the dramas(and there are a plethora of 'em in here! LoL!) and are by-turns; shocked, sympathetic, disbelieving, repulsed, disheartened, happy, sad (I even felt angry with him at points for being such an idiot - I really wanted him to do well and turn it all around - but that self-destruct button was firmly pressed on turbo boost!), etc. There are inspirational moments and lots of laughs along the way (the story about the missing steering column bolt - caused a crash because he'd forgotten he'd stolen it! - is one. The naked, gun-toting, bi-sexual, paranoid drug-dealing team owner having a shoot-out whilst trying it on with Byrne is another. LoL!) which lightens the story nicely.

One question I asked myself between chapters was "Why hasn't this been turned into a movie"? Makes "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" look like a fairy tale. Why only 4-stars if it's that good? Hell, he let us all down. No fairy-tell ending .... but a hopeful one none-the less. That attitude problem again ......


Adriane My life with Ayrton
Adriane My life with Ayrton
by Adriane Galisteu
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gold-Digging Yarn, 12 Sep 2011
Ms Gallisteu wrote this in the 4/5 months following the tragic death of Motor-Racing Icon Ayrton Senna da Silva at Imola in May of 1994 when she was his girlfriend. She had the mental acuity in the midst of grief at losing "the love of her life" to get it out and marketed in time for the Christmas sales of that same year (December 1994). Grief does funny things to some people ...... and you don't have to be the worlds greatest cynic to see this effort for what it truly is (or indeed, Ms Gallisteu for what she truly is and what her motives were!).

The 2 stars I've generously awarded are for the brief insights into the man behind the iconic myth (so this is just points awarded to Ayrton's memory rather than the book) that doesn't really shed any great depth of insight into 'The real Ayrton Senna' just naively private observations (like his amazing belt collection!). Since Ayrton guarded his relationships, private life and friendships in life, I don't think he would have approved of this (especially not in the months following his loss) or appreciated it in any way. It's quick release also lacked the respect deserved to his memory and lacked sensitivity to the feelings of his grieving family and friends.

It's worth noting that Ms Gallisteu moved on quickly following the books release and had a new rich partner around the time of the first royalty cheque (6 months or so after Ayrton's demise). The former 'hospitality' girl has made a great career out of being Ayrton's girlfriend and good luck to her, but if you're looking for an insight into the personality of the great man himself, don't look here to assauge your curiosity. Ayrton's memory deserves better than this. Alright for a leaf through, like 'OK' or 'Hello', and to be taken as seriously as such.

And (IMHO)I think he would have come to his senses eventually and the affair would have fizzled out. Ayrton's long-term partners were generally smart, sassy and independent women. Ms Gallisteu ... well ... mmmm? Doesn't really fit the profile. Playboy spreads..... not really Senna's style.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2012 9:29 PM BST


Senna Versus Prost
Senna Versus Prost
by Malcolm Folley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Biased Against Senna, 27 Aug 2011
This review is from: Senna Versus Prost (Paperback)
Don't read this expecting some balanced account of the most famous motorsport feud of all time. I was sadly disappointed with this piece which makes Ayrton Senna the villain of the piece when this story goes far, far deeper with roots in Montreal 1986 when Prost pushed Senna off the track for 2nd place & managed (through great car control and tenacity) to achieve 5th (and yes, you read that right - Prost did this, not Senna!). What is also never deeply acknowledged is the fact that Prost did not get on with ANY of him team-mates and ended up leaving each team in acrimony (including being cermoniously sacked by Ferrari before the end of a season) blaming team-mates, team personnel and other incidents for every failing (which were often his own). His politiking and manipulative character traits were never fully explored either.

Prost's incessant whingeing over the years was bad enough in real-time, without having it all in one place. I put this one down quite alot since it started to gnaw at my will to continue (or should that be persevere?). Also annoying was the psychophantic and grovelling tones of the authors words, obviously well impressed to have been granted an interview with the F1 legend.

As a Senna fan, I expected more from this book in terms of an honest, balanced and in-depth study of both of these complex characters and what drove them. Instead, all there seemed to be within these pages were disrespect and demonisation of my own hero. Prost, the white hero. Senna, the wayward bad-boy. It was so much more than this with strong complex personalities, faults and blazing ambition on both sides. They were two sides of the same coin (and I believe neither would have achieved what they did without the other) and should be acknowledged as such. This book does both of these great men a dis-service by it's bias. Ayrton Senna was also a great man and it's to the authors detriment that he cannot convey this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2013 9:53 PM BST


Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One
Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One
by Sid Watkins
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars F1, The Drivers, Amusing Stories & The Battle for Safety, 25 Aug 2011
Sid Watkins 'The Prof' has done more for F1 driver safety than probably any other man alive. An eminent Neurological surgeon, Sid was the man in the medical car that all loved but none hoped to see in F1! This is an interesting story of the development of safety in F1 from the beginning, when there was none to speak of (apart from other drivers & kind spectators mostly!), to the aftermath of Imola and the multiple rush of changes (Not all of them good, or wise, and what Senna himself would have hated - such as the changes at Eau Rouge in Spa which were just sacrilege!) following the death of the late, great Ayrton Senna (to whom Sid was a great friend and paternal figure. The pages on his attendance of his friend at the fatal crash are incredibly sad and difficult but show a unique professionalism).

The story is never boring and the serious business of F1 safety, and the battles for it, is broken by funny, witty observations of great races, racers and what they get up to when they're off track. Senna, Villeneuve, Rosberg, Prost, de Angelis, Mansell, Berger, Stewart, etc., all ripple through the stories in funny anecdotes and nostalgia to lighten the darker moments.

If you're looking for gore and crash stories, don't read this. It details F1's darker moments with honest sensitivity and an objective observational professional distance as you would expect from such a great man and strong personality. As an F1 fan, I enjoyed this, and non-fans of motorsport might enjoy it for the human stories throughout.


Jo Ramirez: Memoirs of a Racing Man
Jo Ramirez: Memoirs of a Racing Man
by Jo Ramirez
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight of Behind-The-Scenes in F1 From a Legend, 25 Aug 2011
Interesting and amusing insight to what life is like behind the scenes in F1 from the total legend that is Jo Ramirez. The McLaren Man (Although he worked for many teams over the decades from the 1960's, Jo was the heart of the McLaren empire in the 80's/90's and it's now a very different beast without him!) who was the ceaseless diplomat at the heart of the Senna/Prost era gives a wry, funny and honest look at the politics and machinations involved in the workings of F1 from someone at the heart of it all.

A great book by a great man whose presence in the F1 paddock is sorely missed (thought still seen from time to time like the ice-skating panda I hear!). F1 from the 60's to the beginning of the new millenium and the personalities and dramas which have come and gone over the decades. A good read for anyone, not just F1 fans and petrolheads.


The Life of Senna: The Biography of Ayrton Senna
The Life of Senna: The Biography of Ayrton Senna
by Tom Rubython
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Senna Story - Pity About Repitition & Flaws, 15 Aug 2011
As a fan of Senna's from the early 80's, I have to say I found this book a good portrayal of his life, career and obssessively driven complex nature. I couldn't put it down as I read familiar facts/stories from new and varied sources. Mr Rubython and his team are obviously big fans of the man themselves and their enthusiasm for their subject shines through (though, by no means biased as Ayrton's flaws are also portrayed here).

So, why only 4 stars if it's so good? Like other reviewers, the repetition of some facts/stories got tiresome after a while. The over-dramatisation and elaboration in certain events weren't needed - Senna's story has enough true drama in it to fill the book (and then some!) no problem. The love story with Adriane however was completely OTT in slushiness (I felt nauseated at points) and some facts were at odds with what she had written in her own book about her time with Ayrton (not sure whether this was down to Adriane or the author!). The portrayal of his family trying to split them up was not truly presented and one point I will make in his familiy's defence since I felt this portrays them as controlling and meddling - Ayrton had fallen out with Adriane for 4/6 weeks or so prior to deciding to give it another go with her in Portugal because she had a) had glamour photo's taken which offended him, & b) she had allegedly been calling her ex from his house and apartment when he was gone (some an hour or so long). He did love her but this upset him (and his family) greatly. Thus his silence from her in the run up to Imola and why he never even called her on her birthday (it's in her own book, though she omits to elaborate fully!). So, He showed his family his itemised bills to ask their opinion and that's why they grew to distrust and dislike her so - they had welcomed her into their lives and home until then. A very private family, they were embarrassed by this and thought that Ayrton deserved more (thus Leonardo asking him to think about committing to her. He wasn't being machaevellian, just trying to look out for his Brother who was at that point vulnerable and at an unhappy place in his life because of what was going on in his career. Makes their treatment of her at the funeral more transparent and understandable don't you think? Yet, there is no mention of this in the book which I think portrays his Brother Leonardo in an unfair light (almost jealously leachy when this wasn't the case. They were just very, very close). Also, consider the fact that she was in a relationship with someone else only 9 months later - this from an interview from herself - Another millionaire - patterns! Again, not mentioned.). So, overtly pushing the rosy romance element IMHO ruined it some-what. He'd fallen in love with her, but she had hurt him. It wasn't a true portrayal (kind of like 'The News of The Worlds' version of their love affair, LoL!).

The emotive detailisation of his death and accident really got to me - keep the kleenex at hand (You'll need the box, not the packet and I'm not the weepy kind!). I had to reach for the malt after this part. The presentation of the possible causes/scenarios of what brought about the accident are really informative and detailed, but explicit and harrowing - but could it be put any other way? No, I don't think so (although a bit shorter might have been kinder!) as the whole weekend of Imola was harrowing and you can't change it. The explicit descriptions of his wounds could've been toned down (again, overt dramatisiation when it wasn't required), which I felt took away some of the magic which could've made this book really exceptional.

So, apart from that, and a few other minor errors this is a great read, a (mostly) decent and detailed portrayal (Just skip the accident analysis if you're of a sensitive disposition is all I'll say). As a fan, I'd give this the thumbs up. Ayrton, warts and all. Focused, Charming, ruthless, warm, kind, petulant, single-minded, generous, heroic, cold yet emotional, and the consummate driver who fought (and won) against a corrupt system on his own terms to become the biggeast icon in F1 that he was and continues to be.


Ayrton Senna: A Tribute
Ayrton Senna: A Tribute
by Sir Stirling Moss
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Author No Senna Fan, 2 Aug 2011
Mr Rendall wrote this one in the aftermath of the 'Black Weekend' at Imola in 1994. The only good things about it are the (Very) generalised overview of Ayrton's marvellous career and the photographic images. This "author" could hardly disguise his dislike/disdain of Ayrton which I found to be contemptious to say the least since he'd obviously seen fit to make a quick buck on the back of the misfortune of this very talented man and his tragically early demise(this came out within the year of his accident - a quick cash-in!). Ayrton was not perfect, especially single minded when racing (Not singular in F1, but was also the only driver to stop & help when Comas & Donnelly crashed - heroic) but he was a good and kind man out of his cars and left a great legacy when he died. This work just seems lax and, at times, spiteful. Honest criticism of Ayrton Senna and his complex personality (Read Chris Hilton, Karin Sturm, Keith Sutton's books for a more fitting and honest tribute. Jon Ramirez's book gives a brutally honest portrayal of Senna the man who was his friend in his own memoirs where Ayrton gets a few - not always glowing! - mentions) is always welcome, not this.

The first thing that really irked (too mild a word actually!) was his comment right at the start of the book colluding to the idea that Ayrton was retarded as a child (two ice-creams bought by his mother - an old joke I remember from the 1980's and a sick one at that!) when the only problem he had was motor co-ordination (ie: clumsy movement). Ayrton was a very intelligent, switched on and multi-lingual (he'd easily switch beween Portuguese, Italian, French and English, speaking competently and confidently) Other snide comments about his personality continue throughout - if this 'person' didn't like him, why the heck waste time writing this tosh? I was more than offended reading it (and did not continue). There were also career statistical inaccuracies here and there which shows how quickly this guy needed to get this one out .... Total Tosh.

I'm am glad to see that copies are going for as little as 1p (1p too much!) and notice that he didn't see fit to donate any funds to the many charities (including the Ayrton Senna Institute) that Ayrton quietly gave to in his life-time when this book came out. Says it all really. I'm just amazed that Sir Stirling Moss put his foreword in such rot!


Dark Matter
Dark Matter
by Michelle Paver
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Arctic Darkness & Cold Paranoia, 22 Feb 2011
This review is from: Dark Matter (Hardcover)
This one is up there with a modern take on EA Poe's best pyschological horrors. The dark, cold, oppressive loneliness of the Arctic, when day turns to night with no reprieve. The only company for the remaining member of a doomed expedition left to man the resarch point are the howling huskies - that, and the visions, of course. Only thing is, they ain't visions ..... and there is no escape, only white-out.

This book is the most atmospheric psychological horror I've read in a good long while. Set in the 30's, Jack Miller is a poor boy working-class boy done good, but always the outsider among elitist academia. He Graduates from university but finds most economic and social doors still closed to him. Stuck in an oppressive job & lifestyle he wishes he could escape and he jumps at the chance to become a junior member on an arctic research mission to the isolated bay of Gruhuken. The group are all elistist rich boys, and he is suprised to be chosen, doubting if he has done the right thing by accepting one oppressive set of circumstance for another - but it is the chance of a lifetime to fulfill his dream of an adventure. The group are doomed almost from the beginning, Jack, desperate to show his new friends his strength and reliance - without him the reseach mission would fail - stays, alone, or is he?

I read this book from end to end in a few hours and didn't want to put it down. I found this book took me to the Arctic with Jack and the crew, and, cinematically, I could view in my minds eye the utterly beautiful desolation of the landscape, whilst experiencing the oppressive nature of the surroundings and feeling Jack's increasing paranoia which just intensified with the stories development - such were the vivid descriptions by Ms Paver.

This is freezing cold, paranoid cabin & wilderness fever with a touch of Shackleton's adventure thrown in for good measure. You'll not know whether to "ooh", "ahh" or scream .......


Crazy From The Heat
Crazy From The Heat
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £14.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laid Back Summer Rock Vibe - Diamond Dave Tastic!, 17 Dec 2010
This review is from: Crazy From The Heat (Audio CD)
Feeling the cold? Turn the heating up, get those tacky burmuda shorts/bikinis on, wrap-around shades about your face, a grab a glass of your favorite poison and let Diamond Dave take you on a lil' beachy surf trip to Cali-forn-i-a! This is classic rock Diamond Dave style. Fun & Sun. Chill to 'Easy Street', Swig Along to 'Just a Gigolo', then there's the Beach Boys classic 'California Girls', and the sweet little ditty 'Coconut Grove' is just a dreamy little number .... Ahhh, it may be snowing outside.... but, here, I'm in surfy dreamland.... Just for a little while


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