Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Good Senna Story - Pity About Repitition & Flaws
on 15 August 2011
As a fan of Senna's from the early 80's, I have to say I found this book a good portrayal of his life, career and obssessively driven complex nature. I couldn't put it down as I read familiar facts/stories from new and varied sources. Mr Rubython and his team are obviously big fans of the man themselves and their enthusiasm for their subject shines through (though, by no means biased as Ayrton's flaws are also portrayed here).
So, why only 4 stars if it's so good? Like other reviewers, the repetition of some facts/stories got tiresome after a while. The over-dramatisation and elaboration in certain events weren't needed - Senna's story has enough true drama in it to fill the book (and then some!) no problem. The love story with Adriane however was completely OTT in slushiness (I felt nauseated at points) and some facts were at odds with what she had written in her own book about her time with Ayrton (not sure whether this was down to Adriane or the author!). The portrayal of his family trying to split them up was not truly presented and one point I will make in his familiy's defence since I felt this portrays them as controlling and meddling - Ayrton had fallen out with Adriane for 4/6 weeks or so prior to deciding to give it another go with her in Portugal because she had a) had glamour photo's taken which offended him, & b) she had allegedly been calling her ex from his house and apartment when he was gone (some an hour or so long). He did love her but this upset him (and his family) greatly. Thus his silence from her in the run up to Imola and why he never even called her on her birthday (it's in her own book, though she omits to elaborate fully!). So, He showed his family his itemised bills to ask their opinion and that's why they grew to distrust and dislike her so - they had welcomed her into their lives and home until then. A very private family, they were embarrassed by this and thought that Ayrton deserved more (thus Leonardo asking him to think about committing to her. He wasn't being machaevellian, just trying to look out for his Brother who was at that point vulnerable and at an unhappy place in his life because of what was going on in his career. Makes their treatment of her at the funeral more transparent and understandable don't you think? Yet, there is no mention of this in the book which I think portrays his Brother Leonardo in an unfair light (almost jealously leachy when this wasn't the case. They were just very, very close). Also, consider the fact that she was in a relationship with someone else only 9 months later - this from an interview from herself - Another millionaire - patterns! Again, not mentioned.). So, overtly pushing the rosy romance element IMHO ruined it some-what. He'd fallen in love with her, but she had hurt him. It wasn't a true portrayal (kind of like 'The News of The Worlds' version of their love affair, LoL!).
The emotive detailisation of his death and accident really got to me - keep the kleenex at hand (You'll need the box, not the packet and I'm not the weepy kind!). I had to reach for the malt after this part. The presentation of the possible causes/scenarios of what brought about the accident are really informative and detailed, but explicit and harrowing - but could it be put any other way? No, I don't think so (although a bit shorter might have been kinder!) as the whole weekend of Imola was harrowing and you can't change it. The explicit descriptions of his wounds could've been toned down (again, overt dramatisiation when it wasn't required), which I felt took away some of the magic which could've made this book really exceptional.
So, apart from that, and a few other minor errors this is a great read, a (mostly) decent and detailed portrayal (Just skip the accident analysis if you're of a sensitive disposition is all I'll say). As a fan, I'd give this the thumbs up. Ayrton, warts and all. Focused, Charming, ruthless, warm, kind, petulant, single-minded, generous, heroic, cold yet emotional, and the consummate driver who fought (and won) against a corrupt system on his own terms to become the biggeast icon in F1 that he was and continues to be.