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4.7 out of 5 stars76
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 April 2003
A thoroughly well-written account of the life and times of a man who brought pop-star fame to a sport previously seen as the domain of stoic gentlemen. The book goes into exceptional detail when looking back over James Hunt's career as a public-school eduacted loner who found himself the subject of mass adulation. The racing side of Hunt's colourful life is superbly dealt with, but I felt that some of the juicier details of the extra-curricular activities that also made Hunt such an interesting character are just alluded in a way that suggests that the author feels embarrassed, or that they could tarnish the image of the subject. To me, these extra stories would further enhance the reputation of a man who was a great racer, but above all one hell of a great lad!
This minor criticism however, should not dissuade any fan of Formula 1 from reading more about a fantastic character who lived through a time when racing was racing and drivers could be cavaliers on the track and off it.
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on 9 August 2004
Since James Hunts' sudden and untimely death in June 1993 I held certain beliefs and opinions of him, his career and his relationships.
The author of the book, Gerald Donaldson, dispelled some of these opinions through his excellent work.
James will always be a personal hero for me, it was he and the Hesketh team who attracted me to F1 (in the exiting days), his talent was not lost in the commentary box with Murray Walker - he will never be replaced.
How can a man adored by so many live for so long without true love?
When he finally found a true love in Helen Dyson, he was taken from her and us.
Thankyou Gerald Donaldson for this work - truely an excellent and evoking read.
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on 3 October 2005
Having also read the author's excellent biography of Gilles Villeneuve I was eager to get my hands on this book. Once again, I was not disappointed.
Donaldson attempts to explore all sides of Hunt's character through the different stages of his development, and succeeds in producing a well-written account of the legend's life. He achieves a good balance between the kind of factual reporting of the driver's career which is available elsewhere, and a probing insight into the complex nature of the man. It is the latter which will probably appeal more to most readers, and the author does a decent job of bringing together the many diverse recollections of those who were close to the subject.
If I have one criticism it is levelled at the publishers, who have left this edition littered with too many small and annoying printing errors. Don't let this put you off though: this book will appeal to anyone who enjoys a colourful story.
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Gerald Donaldson having previously provided two of my favourite motor racing biographies, Fangio and Gilles Villeneuve, I eagerly anticipated his biography of James Hunt. I was not disappointed. This is a superb book and Gerald Donaldson is to be congratulated not just on the quality of his writing but also on the quality of his research. Having known James Hunt briefly, early on in his racing career, I was familiar with the details of his racing to which this book provided a valuable aide memoire. What I was less familiar with were the details of his childhood, personal life, and the years following his abandonment of his racing career. In all these areas Donaldson throws a very large light. This is a very informative biography.
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on 19 January 2004
If you want to know the full truth about the life and times of James Hunt, this is the book to purchase. It goes into tremendous detail about all aspects of his life, without fear or favour. Well-written and comprehensive.
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on 3 November 2013
I don't have much interest in F1 but having seen a documentary about James and Niki, then seeing Rush, I felt compelled to find out more about this intriguing character. I really enjoyed the book and was moved to tears at the end. I would definitely recommend it and would say don't worry if you're not in to the sport, it doesn't matter!
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on 21 November 2011
James Hunt may have lived a short life, but it was certainly action-packed. In his relatively brief F1 career he took the World Championship and filled newspaper columns with his exploits, both off an on track. He battled with fear and depression towards the end of his racing and into retirement, but seemed to finally found happiness again before his death. Donaldson covers Hunt's entire life in good detail, with plenty of insightful comment - it is obvious that many of those who were closest to Hunt collaborated with the author. A shame that there are so many printing errors - many vanishing full stops and a few commas in the wrong place - but that doesn't detract too much from what is a great motorsport biography.
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on 19 October 2013
Having never had any interest in Formula 1 racing as a sport this was a unusual choice of subject for me to pick, but having seen the film Rush, I was interested in finding out more about the two main characters. I was really pleased I did as this book proved to be a brilliantly written portrayl of a very interesting man that I found very difficult to put down! I would strongly recommend this book to anyone whether you are interested in Formula 1 as a sport or not. Some of the racing terminology might have been lost on me at times but the story of James Hunt as a person both in racing and his personal life was very fascinating!
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on 21 March 2013
When racing drivers where real racers with no assistance from technology. A guy with such charisma and who lived the life and who did what many people are afraid to do and speak your mind.
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on 8 January 2013
This book is a superb read - if you have any insight into F1 and really want to get a feel of what it was like both on and off the track then this is a must read....well worth every penny
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