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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only ever buy one book on the land speed record......
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...
Published on 16 Dec. 2009 by G. A. Marsh

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a little biased...
A good book let down by some obvious and unwarranted bias. Segrave and Cobb are the hero's. Campbell most certainly the villain.
That's not quite an accurate portrait of actual events. It spoiled the book for me, because it somehow seemed overblown and vindictive. Notwithstanding this, a well researched book bringing some new information to light.
Published on 2 Jan. 2012 by N. Sheppard


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only ever buy one book on the land speed record......, 16 Dec. 2009
By 
G. A. Marsh (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast history, 6 May 2005
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating . Revelation after Revelation, 10 Feb. 2015
By 
A . J . Reynolds "AJ" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record (Paperback)
This is a superb book even if I find Mr.Jennings writing style a little pretentious in places . It paints excellent portraits of Henry Seagrave , Malcolm Campbell , George Eyston and John Cobb . Belonging , as they do , to an age before I was born I found them fascinating . Seagrave , Eyston and Cobb were almost entirely unknown to me , so each page revealed something entirely new . I gained an appreciation for Seagrave and a very warm affection for John Cobb .

Despite the welcome attention to Seagrave , Eyston and Cobb the core of this book is devoted to Campbell . Indeed , in his introduction Jennings comments that his original intention had been to write a book solely about Campbell . Jennings plainly dislikes Campbell , but then Campbell was a character with an abundance of things about him to dislike . Certainly Jennings does nothing to dispel the conceptions I had of Campbell . My view of Campbell was formed long ago , in my early teenage years watching old newsreel footage of him . In all of them he spoke in that strangely harsh , unpleasant , clipped , accent of the interwar British upperclasses and came across as a fairly obnoxious individual obsessed with his own self-importance . Jennings reinforces all this with revelation after revelation of Campbell's endless self-promotion . You read it all and wonder how Campbell's son , Donald , managed any semblence of sanity growing up in the shadow of this orgre .

At the end of the book Jennings is in a little too much of a hurry to conclude the book . In doing so he jumps from Donald Campbell LSR efforts into the era of jet projectiles . This ensures that he all but ignores the later wheel-driven LSR efforts of Mickey Thompson with his Challenger 2 and the Summers Brothers with their glorious Goldenrod . He mentions Thompson in passing and ignores the Summer Brothers entirely . This final chapter could comfortably been a third longer and could easily have further enhanced the book ; possibly the author had tired of his researches .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High speed insight-highly recommended, 20 April 2007
By 
EJ Bridger-stille (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting subject and creates a great atmosphere of the era, 5 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 3 Aug. 2012
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D. Lennard (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record (Paperback)
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a little biased..., 2 Jan. 2012
By 
N. Sheppard "Neil Sheppard" (London, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record (Paperback)
A good book let down by some obvious and unwarranted bias. Segrave and Cobb are the hero's. Campbell most certainly the villain.
That's not quite an accurate portrait of actual events. It spoiled the book for me, because it somehow seemed overblown and vindictive. Notwithstanding this, a well researched book bringing some new information to light.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating story!, 25 Feb. 2010
By 
rebwag (Yorkshire UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record (Paperback)
An extremely well researched book which gave a new insight into the chase for the Land Speed record before WW2-I also found the references to Brooklands very interesting as they told me things I had not come across before-all in all well worth a read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record (Paperback)
great
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Fast Set - Champagne and Gravel, 25 Dec. 2005
By 
M. B. Jennings "wwwmikejbentley" (M R James country) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fast Set: Three Extraordinary Men and Their Race for the Land Speed Record (Paperback)
The Fast Set is a very well written book; the descriptions are vivid, the analysis of character searching and much research has obviously gone into the backround of the record breakers involved. I have to say however, that, for me , the book suffered from those quirks of modern writing; too much dramatic irony, and an extension of English self-deprecation to self-degradation. The spin put on the book is so wry that it's difficult to see why Jennings was motivated to write it at all. The books' premise seems to be that the spirit of speed record breaking was an inter-war phenomenon, with little prominence given to the fact that Donald Campbell (Malcolms son)held more speed records than anyone post war, if I remember correctly. Still, an interesting book for all that, and any author who bandies words like apopthegm is worthy of respect!
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