18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly moving...
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, after all, with all the press coverage you would think that you knew pretty much everything that there was to know about "The Hamster" and his accident on the 20th September 2006. However I was surprised and incredibly moved. The brutal honesty with which both Richard and Mindy described what they went through during that...
Published on 31 Oct 2007 by MorganaNK
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On the Edge
Read this book to understand more about TBI which my brother is recovering from. Some helpful insights but found the book drawn out.
Published 9 months ago by Fiona
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Edge - Fantastic!,
Richard and Mindy Hammond have written an incredible book. I have enjoyed Top Gear for years now and, like many others, was deeply shocked and upset by Richard's accident. It's very hard to read what he and his family have been through; they have all shown incredible bravery in my opinion.
The cynical might accuse Hammond of simply cashing-in on the accident. I daresay he's pleased the book has done so well for him! But this is far more than a cash-in on fame. It's an honest, brave and emotional account of an incident that shocked so many people and changed the lives of Richard and his loved ones. A beautiful book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about more than you'd think,
This is the story of survival. Autobiographical and telling, Richard Hammond's wit and knowledge works well together to bring his story to the fore. Why anyone would have accused him of "cashing in" ("crashing in") on his misfortunes, is beyond me. We all have misfortunes and most of our are self-inflicted. To those I say, "get over it."
Now, about this wonderful and inspiring book, it is uplifting but you have to go through some of the not-so-pretty parts to get there. The basis of the book are the events that led up to the horrific crash that almost took Richard's life. But all this aside, the story is really about the love that sustained him and his family. I highly recommend ON THE EDGE along with the titles KITE RUNNER and DON'T STOP ME NOW which are also good.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what i was expecting... and all the better for it....,
This review is from: On The Edge: My Story (Paperback)
When i bought this book, I was, i am ashamed to say, expecting a rushed to be published 'celebrity' style 'cash in' following Richard's horrific Jet Car crash in 2006. The title itself was almost enough to put me off. I thought it would be a 'look at all the great stuff i have done on Top Gear' account. But instead, what i found was one of the most frank, open and honest accounts of life, love and recovery that I have ever read.
The more i read, the more i realised that the title was not about his 'On the edge' exploits with Jeremy and James, but his recovery from the accident and being literally on the edge of existing and knowing who he was, not as a TV presenter, but as himself, as Richard Hammond, the family man who loves his wife and family and the long road back from that edge.
As somebody who also enjoys sport and takes part in what some would consider 'risk' activities, the part where Richard describes his realisation that despite his best efforts the car was out of control, and he had calmly resigned himself that would be it, the end of his life touched me deeply. It found me questioning myself if that is how it would be for me, if i were in a similar situation.
Richard goes into detail about the guilt he felt, and still feels to have survived, when others haven't from lesser accidents. The book recalls the re-programming of him as a person, the re-understanding of his life, his apologies and the support he received are all detailed here. This is not a rose tinted story with a happily ever after ending. This is a warts and all account shared between Richard and his wife, of his behaviour, habits and feelings after the accident. It is all here, right down to the toilet trips and the cigarette breaks.
Ignore the cynics, this is a good read, an enjoyable behind the mask account of a road to recovery, and one that i hope will inspire and provide hope to many others.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and sobering - not just for petrolheads,
This book had me both laughing and in tears.
Richard Hammond was one of my favourite TV presenters long prior to his accident. For me he always comes across as someone who genuinely loves what he does and his irrepresible good nature lights up the screen. In an age when so many "celebrities" are constantly whinging about their misfortunes, he is a breath of fresh air, and I think that is why so many people were shocked and upset by his accident, myself included.
I'm surprised by the reviewers who consider Richard to be cashing in by telling his story. His collegues on Top Gear, Clarkson and May have both published books, it would be odd if Richard hadn't written his own at some point. And given most people's reaction to his accident, to not tell that story would have been an odd choice.
I'm sure plenty of people who have suffered head injuries will be glad that someone has raised attention to their plight - it's not something we hear that much about in the media.
As to the book itself, I read it from cover to cover the day I bought it, could not put it down. For a book to do that, when the key twists and turns in the story are already known speaks for itself.
The early part focuses on Richard's life from childhood up to just prior to the accident, and is an amusing read. The majority of the book focuses on the build up to and aftermath of the accident, with Mindy writing much of what happens post the accident.
Having heard the stories in the media of his apparant almost immediate recovery, it was sobering to read the reality of what Richard, and his wife and family actually suffered.
The love that Mindy and Richard have for each other really shone out, and left me with a lump in my throat on more than one occasion. The bravery Mindy showed dealing with the possibility Richard might never be the same really left me in awe.
It was also heartwarming to see the genuine affection that the Top Gear team have for Richard. One can't always tell whether what we see on the TV is real, but the friendships off screen are clearly as genuine as they appear on the show.
Who would I recommend this book to? Well, anyone with a heart.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There but for the grace of God....,
I have to say I was expecting a book on how great it is to go fast and josh with your big mates, Clarko and Mayo. However, what I got instead was a serious insight into what happens when someone has a really big crash. Little Richard was strapped into a terror machine with the power of eleven (yes, eleven) formula one cars - and not Honda either. He then thundered down a disused runway until....well, we all know what happened next. Or do we? What really comes out in this book is the pain and anxiety felt by Richard's loving wife, Mindy, and how, with her love and support, he was able to pull through. What also comes out in this book is the fact thaat it was written by someone with a serious brain injury. That is apparent on every page. And from a personal point of view, what I got from this book most was the scary, sobering, overwhelming thought that, jeez, that could have been me. Tremendous.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the wreck you might imagine,
I actually hated ON THE EDGE, but not because it was bad; because it was so riveting that I couldn't put it down. Top/Gear Richard Hammond fans need no introduction or cajoling to buy this book, but for those of you who aren't familiar with him, he's funny, insightful, real, and a good writer. While I also enjoyed the books ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY by David Sedaris and the novel INVISIBLE MONSTERS by Plahniuk, this one book, I truly loved. ON THE EDGE will keep you there--on the edge, and for good reason. A great read anytime of the year or a great Christmas gift.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put this book down,
I got this book on Saturday morning, started reading it on Saturday afternoon and finished Sunday morning. It is very well written and keeps you engaged all the way through. It is the true story of "That Crash" and The Hamsters remarkable recovery. There are some very touching moments that will make you laugh and cry. I chuckled at the picture of Richard Hammond sitting on the floor of his hospital room playing with lego, not only with his children, but with his grown up serious brothers, wonderful. It certainly turns that cocky little motoring journalist that we all know and love, into a much more three dimensional character. The idea that Richard Hammond could be reduced to a gibbering wreck at the thought of meeting strangers was very thought provoking. I also wanted to rage at the intrusive press who besieged his home and forced him and his family to take refuge in remote Scotland. They can't even respect the privacy of one of their own when they most need it. He gives us access to the all emotions he experienced, whether it be as father son or spouse and the doubts and fears regarding assuming those roles in everyday life again. I hope that one day when they are older, his brave little daughters read this book, and realize what truly remarkable parents they have. Thank you for the book Richard, and Mindy thank you for sharing your Richard with us.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Edge - Richard Hammond,
This is an amazing book. A must have for all Hamster fans! It's great to actually read a book about somebody who is old enough to have had a life (and nearly lose it). As for the people who gave it 1 star & slated the book - if you look to see what they have rated 5 stars it'll give an insight into what really makes them tick (and it isn't that great). I think it's a touch of jealousy if you ask me. What a genuine man Richard is and how fantastic Mindy is for standing by him. It's not about the money it's the story of a man that loves his work & of a wife that is selfless enough to let him do it. Believe me i know people risk their lives for a living (my father is a retired fire-fighter & my hubby in the police), but it's touching how tough the road to recovery has been for the Hammond family. Plenty of people stand by others through tough times - it's just taken somebody like Richard & Mindy to highlight the highs & lows of married life regardless of fame or fortune. If you like a great auto biography, you'll love this one!
70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable!,
What a great book! I have always enjoyed Richard Hammond's quick wit and humour and this book is written in the best autobiographical way - I can hear him speaking every word!
Previous reviews have accused Richard of 'cashing in' on his horrific accident but I for one was devastated by the news on the day and read every press release available to find out how he was doing and breathed a sigh of relief when he appeared to be fine. This book tells it from the horse's (and [with affection, Mindy] the mare's) mouth and explains the details that I really wanted to know - how the accident affected Richard and his family. I am in awe of this couple, the depth of love and patience that Mindy shows for her husband and gorgeous daughters throughout Richard's remarkable recovery, (though he impatiently sees it as prolonged), is totally inspiring. I am delighted to have him back on my screen and wish the entire family long life and happiness. I wanted to finish this with a plea to Richard to slow down and behave himself but no, keep doing what you're doing Mr Hammond (following all safety advice of course) I want you to spar with Jeremy for ever!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous and moving, but not Top Gear,
I enjoyed this book immensely, the story of the crash and long recovery were gripping and moving, Mindy's account really gives an insight as to the suffering of families in the case of accidents and recoverys like these. The trauma for the loved ones is often more moving than the poor unfortunate lying comatose on a hospital bed. And for that this book rates 5 stars. Although do not think that this book has anything more than a passing description of life inside Top Gear. Of course there are references to Jeremy, James etc but this book is not in anyway about them and do not buy this book if you expect to be rolling about laughing at their antics. I am a huge fan of TG and have bought many of the DVDs and books and although Richard and Mindy Hammond wrote this book it could well have been written by any other accident victim. Buy this book if only to understand what can happen as a result of brain trauma and the recovery. As to cashing in on an accident, I won't waste my time gracing such a shallow comment. I think that the very act of writing this book was as much a therapy for the Hammonds as it was a sharing of the story and if they benefit in any way from this book, be it emotionally or financially they have deserved it. Do yourself a favour buy the book.
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On The Edge: My Story by Richard Hammond (Paperback - 29 May 2008)