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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 12 January 2010
As a Scot I really wanted to read this book because I was a fan of Coulthard....but it wasn't all I hoped for.

I actually look at him in a different light. Not necessarily a bad light, but he's not up where I used to place him. I've always classed him as a mediocre driver with occasional sparks of brilliance. His book seems to show this, but then contradicts itself by saying he is brilliant. How HE got big names to go to Red Bull.

He came across as arrogant and yet humble. Normal and yet a legend. His dismissal of "normal" people (he mentions how it annoys him that his friend says "you have to try Skateboarding" or "you have to try snowboarding "- why would you let it annoy you that someone says that??) seems to come from the fact that a chunk of his childhood is missing. He doesn't seem to know how to interact with normal people and doesn't seem to be comfortable outside F1. I guess this is normal as he's been in racing for so long...but it's a shame that he's missed his childhood. Also his dad seems to come across as a "US mother of a pageant beauty queen"...pushing, pushing, pushing. But I guess if you're going to invest that kind of money in your son, then maybe you would be that pushy. Seems a shame though.

The main gripe I had with his book is his constant insistence to advertise it to me...there's no need David...I've got it...that's why I'm reading it. It just irked me almost the whole way through the book (and therefore made it an uphill struggle to enjoy it) that he continually says "It is what it is"...it's a simple thing and I'm sure it won't bother many people...but it amazed me how much it got on my nerves. From then on (well before halfway through) I was fighting to enjoy it.

Don't go expecting any inside info into the paddock world or F1...it's Coulthards book and he's writing about himself. This didn't annoy me because I knew it was going to be about him...just letting you know.

I have to give him credit though. Normally if I am disliking a book, I have no problems putting it down. But something about it made me want to read to the end. And I did - so I don't know...it is what it is, I guess!

I gave it 3 stars - took one away for his annoying promotion of the book within the book, and one away for seemingly being so contradictory in places.
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on 27 November 2013
Oh dear, what a disappointment. DC comes over very well as a commentator these days, but you would never believe he could be so erudite going by this rambling jumble. Perhaps the ghost writer is to blame: he seems to have taken things over entirely. Would DC really write "I was like " before saying what he said? He might speak that way, but write it? And are so many expletives included to promote some sort of rock and roll image? Seemed fitting in Keith Richard's wonderful autobiog. but not here.
The early life in his home village was interesting, especially since I know the area well, as were the early days of karting and the lesser formulae. But the lengthy self indulgent debate about whether he was a "ladies man" or not was tedious in the extreme, as were the other attempts at self analysis. He doesn't paint a good picture of himself...

A little more motor sport, less self indulgent tosh, if this is to be updated to cover the retirement from racing and subsequent TV career, please! And write it yourself, DC!
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on 15 August 2014
This is a book that changed my view on its subject. Unfortunately it changed it for the worse. The book starts very well. Its first seven chapters are very good at depicting the infancy days and his early career through karting and the lesser formulae.

In this highly enjoyable part of the book we are told a bit about the family history and glimpse the importance that those facts would have on the beginning of DC's career. We witness a pushy father trying to live is own shattered dreams through his kid, and the importance it had on the motorsport life of DC. The feeling I got is that DC was really happy in his karting days. Formula Ford was not so enjoyable but he mastered it nonetheless.

Walking up the Stewart `Staircase of Talent' was a bit more difficult. Later in F3000 DC got to a point that lack of funding would eventually stop his career. And then Imola 1994 gave him the chance of a lifetime. And he grabbed it. Unfortunately from this point on the book started to go downhill.

The whining about the McLaren years, the inability to acknowledge the fact that he was not the fastest and the weird attempts at self analysis were really, really boring. And what to say about the constant repetition of the (ugly) title throughout the book? Annoying to say the least.

After struggling to the end of this book I have to say (in a DCish way) that it is what it is. And it is boring.
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on 23 April 2012
I have always been a fan of DC, he seemed a hard working honest driver and is an excellent commentator. I was pretty disappointed with his book though. I am sure that a career as a driver in a top flight team must be pretty bruising but I didn't like the way most of his comment on McLaren was so negative. There was no mention of any positive team stuff like comment about his mechanics etc and surprisingly little about any racing where he wasn't upset about his team mate . Alot of the book was DC's general comments on life, and the sad fact is a guy his age and in such a focused environment doesn't have much to say that's worth hearing. He also seems to have a bizarre fascination with toilet brushes! However DC is very honest about himself and in his world he seems quite isolated and vulnerable, perhaps he would have been happier with a career where you can trust your colleagues. Finally I would have liked to let my son read this but in my impression the book was peppered with unnecessary f words and some pretty odd comments about the size of DCs appendage etc. Perhaps he is overall a pretty insecure guy trying to prove himself?
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on 26 March 2008
Not much insight into the life and deliberations of the F1 circus I'm afraid. What earns this book the two stars are the first chapters on DC's early years, his childhood, family and bumpy road along the way to the higher formulae.

The words here really bring to life what it was like for a middle class scottish family supporting one of their children in pursuing his ambitions.

However the F1 section is pretty vacant, and for the oldest, most experienced driver on the grid, one feels that the insight, emotions and dealings could have been better explained. I'm not talking about dishing the dirt or blowing the lid on some libellous secrets, but some sort of "colour" is missing. There are a few page-turning chapters, such as the episodes with Mika Hakkinen and Ron Dennis, but I felt the rest of it was a turn-off.

It's altogether too navel gazing and more about DC trying to work out how he should behave or be perceived to be behaving. He's clearly got some psychological issues having been at the pinnacle of the sport for a number of years. The celebrity status that F1 brings clearly doesn't sit well with him, but an autobiography is not the place to explore that.

A good first few chapters, but overall there are better books for F1 fans out there.
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on 13 August 2007
This must be one of the best written and most honest sporting biographies I have read. It's not just a list of races and achievements, but an honest insight into the life of a Formula 1 driver, with details of the women, the lifestyle, the plane crash, and an insiders view of the personalities from the world of Formula 1 racing.
A great read, not just for motor racing fans, but for anyone who wants an entertaining insight into the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
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on 26 August 2007
...this has been a scintillating read.

I rarely read autobiographies, but a friend of mine encouraged me to buy this book. I tried desparately to borrow theirs to no avail ;)

Sporting books usually get left on the shelf after reading the first couple of pages, but I've been glued to this for the first six chapters- which is all I've had time to read since it arrived yesterday.

Buy this book - you'll enjoy it if you're a Formula One fan- its not the usual stuffy rubbish.
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on 16 August 2007
Having read other F1 drivers biographys Jenson Button and Eddie Irvine i was interested to get a behind the scenes look at what motivates Coulthard all these years later, and for me what the 9 years at Mclaren were realy like! The book comes over as an open and honest look at his climb to getting his F1 drive after the death of senna to his current drive with Red Bull Racing and those interesting 9 years at Mclaren for me the Mclaren years were the most revealing but sometimes not supprising! If your into F1 a must read. Im just waiting to see what Bernie has to say in his book out in October!
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on 26 September 2007
David Coulthard's autobiography, `It Is What It Is' constitutes a very informal, revealing look at his life. The note of honesty is sung from the outset when DC expresses his gratitude to his ghost writer, Martin Roach. He starts from his childhood and teenage years in the tiny Scottish town of Twynholm and extends all the way to the first six races of the 2007 F1 season.

On the racing side, DC includes interesting accounts of his hugely successful carting days, his experiences in Formula Ford (he says these cars were boring!), Formula 3 with Paul Stewart Racing and Le Mans (etc.). There is much said about his years at McLaren - obviously - and DC is candid and honest about his relationships with Ron Dennis and Mika Hakkinen. He also explains his feelings about entering F1 at such a terrible time (because he took the seat at Williams after Senna's fatal crash) and sheds some light on his current drive with Red Bull.

DC also reveals some pretty deep, occasionally shocking personal stuff too. (Including personal weaknesses - I've never read a driver be so "brutally" honest about himself.) And he deals openly with such tacky issues as the occasional tabloid "sexposé".

Things like relationships within F1, technical innovations (remember the McLaren `three pedal' revelation?) and team orders (remember Melbourne 1998 when DC moved over for Mika?) are fascinating. I really would have liked more about his F1 races specifically though, so had this book been 100 pages longer, I'd have been even more chuffed!

I enjoyed DC's autobiography. It's a much more satisfying read than Sid Watkins' `Life at the Limit' for instance, but not so exciting and inspirational as `Mansell' (though DC does reveal much more of himself). If you want to understand the man behind the wheel, or if you want an (honest) insight into modern F1, DC's book will fit the bill. Recommended.
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on 29 November 2012
Its funny, having just written my title for this its is the perception I personally have held of DC (I hate calling him or hearing people refer to him as that but it is alot easier so lets stick with it). Over the years I think people have built up a image of a man from scotland who wasn't bad at driving but was a permenant number 2. This book will utimatley alay this image pretty quickly, especially condsidering his pre F1 years.

However I frankly found it rather, well boring. There is no particular structure to the book. Yes it is in chronological order but he does seem to spend an awful lot of time trying to convince us that he is a better driver than his public image shows (to be fair I do not see why he cares as it appears enough of his piers do know) and that he isn't a ladies man but a shy family man. Well DC I am afraid no matter how many times you reiterate the last 2 points, there are a host of stories (nothing you couldn't have read about over the years in certain "red top" news papers I might add) in the book to show otherwise. Oh and as for being a recluse we can see this on BBC F1 where on occasions since you started work there are times when you are frankly repetative and out of your depth.

But all in all a nice read, especially the McLaren years (how Ron Dennis is so pleasant in his foreword is beyond me!) however if your looking for a skin peeling bare bones Autobiography, this is not it it is simply a misunderstood man trying to change a public persona he clearly takes issue with
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