Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Up to 70% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

37
3.9 out of 5 stars
The Mechanic's Tale
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£9.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2000
Steve Matchett returns with a book that in some ways expands on his earlier "Life In The Fast Lane" -- but whereas that was a race-by-race account of the turbulent 1994 season, this is a more relaxed account of his entire career as a mechanic, from apprenticeship in the late 70s via Ferrari and BMW dealerships through his F1 career with Benetton in the '90s. Sounds like it's of minority interest? Wrong. This is one of the best "insider" accounts of F1 I've ever read. Matchett is intelligent, perceptive, and writes with wit and economy about the characters, the deals, the technology and the atmosphere of F1. Since this is less "chronological" than his previous book there is more room for Matchett to reflect on what F1 has meant to him, and how working in it has affected him.
A unique and fascinating work.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2002
The aspect of this book that really struck me was Matchett's ability to combine elements of a personal autobiography with an enthralling account of those first (and last) championship years for Benetton. I enjoyed reading about his ascension through the ranks of the team (he makes it sound all too easy!) but also about everything else he experienced that makes F1 such a special business to work in.
It was particularly interesting to read the book after having read 'The Death of Ayrton Senna' (Richard Williams), comparing the two different viewpoints of the Great F1 Witch-hunt of 1994, and Benetton's involvement in it. But, but offsetting the serious parts of the book are some wonderful comic moments (such as Nelson Piquet's ability to, ahem, break wind on cue).
I would say you don't have to be an F1 fan to enjoy this book (although it helps to have a little bit of technical knowledge, since Matchett's descriptions aren't always perfectly clear) but if you are an F1 fan, I guarantee you'll enjoy it. If you've ever watched a pit stop and thought, "I wonder why..." or "I wonder who..." this is the book for you.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2001
Before reading this book, I had never picked up a book about the inside goings-on of Formula 1. I must say that I`m glad I did. `The Mechanics Tale` is a superb read for anyone interested in the sport. The book goes through the entire career of a Mechanic in the high-paced sport that is F1. As soon as you pick it up, you won`t be able to put it down. It is interesting throughout and details many good(and bad things) about working for a Formula 1 team. The highs, lows, successes and failures are all excellently written about. The book makes you feel like you are there with the writer from start to finish, experiencing all the feelings and emotions. A gripping read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2000
Steve Matchett's second book, The Mechanic's Tale, is a quite extraordinary work, in essence the memoires of a Grand Prix mechanic throughout his ten year career with the Benetton Formula One team. That an engineer has written such a fascinating and interesting account of his life inside the somewhat secretive world of Grand Prix racing is unique in itself, but what makes this book so outstanding is the authors original approach to the subject and his natural flair for writing: his style is witty, rhetorical and very readable. "Every so often in the endless stream of biogrophies churned out by the Formula One book industry," says Motoring News, "something different comes along. This is it." Matchett touches on all aspects of this prestgious job, describing the incredible effort that the team are expected to give, the dangers and high stress of the pit-stops, the myriad of famous drivers he has worked with, and how Benetton and Schumacher stormed the world championships - amid great controversy - in 1994 and 1995. But The Mechanic's Tale is more than a collection of derring-do racing escapades; through his occasional digressions Matchett takes the reader on many colourful diversions, including an ill-fated ballooning trip, his views on the future of computer technology and his slightly surreal comparisons between Formula One and Orwell's 1984. All of that, combined with his attemps to make reason of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwoky make this book anything but predictable.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2011
A really enjoyable insight into the unknown world of an f1 mechanic. Knew it was a difficult and skilled job but didn't know the mechanics are also responsible for the very demanding role of pit-stops wheel-changes and previously re-fuelling. Can thoroughly recommend this book to all who love motor-racing. Excellent!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 15 May 2014
This popped up as a recommendation and as I was about to head off for a week in the sun and as I love F1 I thought I'd give it a go. It starts off well and the author talks about his early years before making the break into F1 with pace and interest.

Initially he covers the shock of working in F1 well, but as a year by year account of his career, the books seems to loose focus and it feels like the author got bored of writing about F1. Indeed, from about halfway through it appears he had gotten bored of F1 when he was working within it, but he stuck it out to win the constructors.

He clearer had ambitions to be a serious writer and he punctuates his F1 anecdotes with stories about holidays and his personal life. Sadly these come across as an attempt to showcase his writing ability rather than to entertain as the stories are incongruous to the book and not very interesting. I skim read quite a lot of these parts as they were wordy and dull.

He then skims through the 94 and 95 seasons, states cars should be remotely driven and built as a feat of engineering and scoffs as the FIA wanting F1 to be a drivers championship. Hardly what any true F1 fan thinks. He then seems to get bored with the book, moans about his life in F1 before the book ends with no real story or closing point.

The fact that I know more about his house in France, his publisher and his first book than any of the technical aspects of the F1 world championship winning car says it all about this book.

In the end, starts well, lost its way, became boring then stops. I wouldn't recommend it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2002
A very interesting book, presenting an insider's view of the world of Formula One. I was engrossed in the early years - breaking into Formula One and coming to terms with the lifestyle of an F1 mechanic. However, when the story should have become even more interesting - the world championship years of 1994 & 1995 - the description became more and more superficial. I'm sure this is a deliberate move - the author has already written his story of the 1994 world championship in another book. But if this book is considered on its own, the interest generated by the early chapters is lost towards the end.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2012
A good book if your into Formula 1 as it gives the reader a feel of what its like behind the scenes. Matchett keeps you interested and entertained while writing about the stages he had to go through to become a grand prix mechanic to life in the pitlanes on a race weekend to day to day chores back at the factory. All in all a really good read :)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 27 March 2015
Was looking forward to reading this book as I am a big F1 fan, but to be honest, its was nothing more than OK.

Quite simply there was not enough F1 in it.

Whilst the journey to his being a F1 mechanic was interesting, too often it was a bit waffley and meandering. I highlight his section on getting his first F1 job interview as an example of this. When we actually get into the F1 content, there is simply not enough on his actual work as a mechanic. I have not read his other book but I hope that this is where he has put that content.

A lot of what i read is rather good, liked his views on the selection of drivers by management, and their relative pro's and con's. However he needed to support his opinions in greater detail with better quality evidence that supported his views.

Overall it was a decent read, but I wanted more depth, more content and it to be more interesting.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 19 June 2013
A generally enjoyable book, written in a nice easy, flowing style. A book that could be enjoyable and educational to anyone, not just a Formula 1 enthusiast, and doesn't stray into using too much jargon (at least, not without explaining it) and doen't become too esoteric.
In fact, from a purely personal point of view as I come from a mechanics background, that might be the only drawback, as I wouldn't have minded a bit more detail about the different aspects of the jobs he undertook and the daily workings of the team. But it is probably just as well as it might then loose some of it's general appeal.
So well done Steve, it's a good book and an interesting insight!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Formula One and Beyond: The Autobiography
Formula One and Beyond: The Autobiography by Max Mosley (Hardcover - 18 Jun. 2015)
£6.99

Tales from the Toolbox
Tales from the Toolbox by Michael Oliver (Paperback - 28 Sept. 2013)
£14.99
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.