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5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary British hero, 22 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Richard Noble and his Thrust project are well known but this book goes inside the bid for two land speed records. It doesn't spare the reader an honest appraisal of both attempts. The book often seems like a debate between the participants and is no lesser book for it. It is an excellent, lavishly produced account of the quest for two land speed records and the ultimate first supersonic speed achieved in a car. It is as much about business as it is about the land speed records. Richard Noble, a complex man, vividly describes his hero's attempts to win the record and how it was so much harder the second time around. He struggled throughout to raise enough money to complete the job and this rather overshadowed an enjoyable 15 years of his life. Richard Noble has lavished as much care on this book as he did his Thurst car. His success could not have happened to a nicer man. It is a must-read for business people with a modicum of interest in motoring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspirational, 12 Dec 2010
A fantastic read, detailing one man's passion to succeed. You don't need to be a car fan, to love this book. I can't recommend this book enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 9 Mar 2010
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This is a fantastic book. A must read for everyone. A wonderful review of the failures and success in going supersonic on land. Want to know how to manage a team successfully ? buy this book and read how it should be done not one of those trashy self help guides. This is real world stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - The story of a war on the land speed record., 1 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This is a fantastic book. Anyone with a smidgen of an engineering soul should read it. The story of Richard Noble's fraught land speed record successes and business set backs makes mesmerising reading. ThrustSSC Project's six year roller coaster ride, constantly staring into financial dark holes, on the technical edge - not really knowing whether supersonic land travel was possible - is a spell binding and emotional story not to be missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "SSC is rolling.", 18 Jun 2014
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A rather good insight into the ups and downs of the attempts and final capture (once again) of the Land Speed Record. The vision, the teamwork and sheer hard work and guts required to overcome a generally apathetic engineering industry is fascinating, and detailed on almost every page. Why Richard Noble hasn't received the highest available honour for service to his country is maddening at the bottom end, and scandalous at the other. If this book was written as a 'self help guide' it would surpasses any other in that genre. How to succeed. How to work under pressure. Victory over adversity. It's all there. The British Bulldog scampers through this book trailing the Union Flag in it's Mach 1 vortex. Fantastic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book, 12 April 2014
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This review is from: Thrust: The Remarkable Story Of One Man's Quest For Speed (Paperback)
This is a great read, about a fascinating guy. It epitomises all that is great about the British determination to succeed against the odds. I’ve been lucky enough to have met Richard a few times, and he’s so passionate about succeeding, pity there aren’t more folks around like him these days!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thrust, 17 Mar 2013
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This is a very interesting story and extremely factual. For me it brought back many memories of the actual THRUST vehicle as I was very privaliged to have met Richard Noble and saw the Thrust vehicle in the Isle of White before it went out on its first official testing.
The story of Richard Noble is most interesting and really depicts the dedication of his very facinating life.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The inside story of a unique individual and his achievements, 11 April 2001
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There are few good books about the Land Speed Record - with a few exceptions (eg "Man Against the Salt"), they tell you more about the cars than the people who drove them, and themselves, to the limit.
Being autobiographical in nature, this book was never going to fall into that trap, but in his typical "the team is all" fashion, Noble has invited several of the other Thrust team members, and a few others, to make their own contributions to this book. It says a lot about him that even though several of these contributions are not entirely flattering, or in agreement with Noble's interpretation of events, he let them be included. Consequently the reader benefits not only from the expert analysis of the Thrust technical team (designer Ron Ayers' contributions in particular are excellent examples of how to communicate complex engineering ideas to the layman), but also gets a feel for the tensions that ran through the team at times.
The book is partly a life story of Noble, covering his life and the various hare-brained but oh so brave schemes that he has been involved in, though naturally the main focus is on his two successful land speed record projects. It becomes clear the Noble is equally blessed and cursed with an insatiable drive and vision which though often frustrated by the limitations of everyday life, on two glorious occasions burst through to make history.
Despite his achievements Noble remains modest - though occasionally perhaps his protestations ring a litle false. One of the remarks in electronics-boffin Jeremy Bliss's contribution has an interesting resonance (you'll know it when you read it), but again, credit to Noble for including it.
Whatever, Noble emphasises the importance of every member's efforts in making both Thrust projects successful. I was fortunate enough to be living in Coventry when the Thrust SSC team held its parade through the city (read about it in the book), and spoke to several of the team including some of the contributors to this book. I found them all to be friendly, patient, helpful and informative, as they were with the thousands of members of the public that day. Noble is right to be proud of them all. Reading this book makes you wish that you could be a part of something so unique at least once in your lifetime.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living proof for British sportsmanship, 6 Feb 1999
By A Customer
I first came across the book when attending an amateur rocketry workshop in Bristol. Luckily, on my way home, I was able to purchase the last remaining copy from a Heathrow airport bookshop. Wow. What a page-turner. It took me only two days to read the book.
Apart from Richard Noble's very personal account of his long way towards finally managing the Mach 1 record for land vehicles as a project leader, the book gives a lot of hints what went wrong with British (and European?) industry after WW II. Especially the author's remarks on the scrapping of Britain's Mach 1 contender aeroplane (the Miles M-52) give the impression that a good deal of British engineering superiority was simply given away to the US in the late 1940s and thereafter. What a pity. You British used to have such an outstanding aircraft industry which is almost forgotten today. Noble's achievements are a little compensation for this.
Thank God that you British still have such great sportsmen among you. Noble (and Andy Green, for sure) reminds us what one can achieve with a vision, will power and perseverance. Simply great.
P.S. This reminds me of the fact that the $10 million X Prize (for the first private passenger vehicle going into space) is still out there, waiting to be claimed. Isn't this something for a British team as well?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrust 1,2 and SSC projects, from despair to ecstatic succes, 18 Jan 1999
By A Customer
The overwhleming impression that this book leaves is how much a small dedicated team could achieve against the odds of apathy from government departments, many commercial potential sponsors and industry in general. But for the fact that the book actually told a success story, it would have made quite gloomy reading. The team, of which Richard Noble was part, overcame enormous financial and technical problems to, not only break the Land speed record but also to be the first to go supersonic on four wheels. Even the closing chapter of the book left one at a low point when one appreciated that British industry has made almost no capital out of the success story: we should be trumpeting it from the rooftops.
My only criticism is the disturbingly large use of the f word in quotes from those involved. It makes it more difficult to recommend the book for a widespread readership.
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Thrust: The Remarkable Story Of One Man's Quest For Speed
Thrust: The Remarkable Story Of One Man's Quest For Speed by Richard Noble (Paperback - 23 Oct 2012)
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