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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In depth portrayal of the life and character of the enigmatic Ayrton Senna
Having read every other English language book on Senna published both before and after his death up to 2008, I had owned this one for quite a few years before recently deciding to read it. I didn't expect to learn anything new, but was constantly amazed to discover that there was plenty of content that, while not always 'new', did provide a refreshingly different in-depth...
Published on 5 May 2009 by Peter

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Abysmal
This book was a real effort to get through. Countless factual errors allied to a collection of seemingly independently written articles cobbled together made it a frustrating read. Rubython's writing is basic at best, childish at worst. His denigrating of Prost and morbid obsession with Senna's death make the book, at times, downright uncomfortable to read. I dread to...
Published on 20 Dec 2011 by Kevin Guthrie


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In depth portrayal of the life and character of the enigmatic Ayrton Senna, 5 May 2009
By 
This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
Having read every other English language book on Senna published both before and after his death up to 2008, I had owned this one for quite a few years before recently deciding to read it. I didn't expect to learn anything new, but was constantly amazed to discover that there was plenty of content that, while not always 'new', did provide a refreshingly different in-depth understanding of events which I previously thought I knew a lot about.

The passage of time has allowed the author to explore more sensitive areas in a more open way. Furthermore, the author is not shy about expressing his opinions or pushing beyond the limits of insufferable political correctness. To me, this makes this book more 3-dimensional than some other biographies of Senna, which I found sleep-inducing. I didn't agree with all the opinions noted or implied, but unlike other reviewers, I didn't find them either detracting or offensive.

In short, this was one of the only two outstanding books on Senna, in my opinion. The other was Richard Williams' title, The Death Of Ayrton Senna, which beats this one on sheer quality of writing, but not on depth of content.

If I was faced with the choice of giving away all but one of my Senna books, this one would be the one I would keep - no question at all. Why? To me, it succeeded more than any other in giving as close an understanding as one could arguably hope for or expect of the complex character of Ayrton Senna and the effect his presence had on people around him.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good effort, 11 May 2009
By 
B (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
I am a huge fan of Ayrton Senna and really wanted to find a read that would ultimately enlighten me about the man on and off the track
Here are the flaws of this book in my honest opinion
The 'Repetition'
I found myself thinking 'Hang on a second havent I already read that before'? this continued throughout the book
The 'Trial' I am sorry to say however this dragged on for so long in the book I cannot begin to imagine how it was for those involved in the real trial, we dont actually find out a definitive reason as to why Ayrton perished that day, the trial is played out like some over-the-top drama with egos and contradictory statements being thrashed out, ultimately frustrating to me as a reader as I felt justice was not truly served
I gave up on this part of the book, a real disappointment
'The accident'
This was suffice to say extremely graphic even I as a fan find it hard to accept Ayrton has gone, however to read about the horrific injuries he sustained whilst in the car, to the issue of his face being badly disfigured therefore resulting in a closed...well you get the picture...was shocking to read
I have the feeling this wasnt written with any sensitivity at all, yes this happened, but do we the fans want to remember Ayrton because of the graphic nature of his injuries? No!!! This was hard to read

Onto the more positive aspects I liked of this book
I enjoyed the written chapter about Ayrton and Adriane its a fascinating insight into what made Adriane fall for Ayrton and how their relationship came about in the first place, even reading about their arguments, and her resisting Ayrton made me feel like I was there seeing it all happen
The record-breaking statistics throughout Ayrtons Formula One career are outstanding, it is brilliant to have them all collated in the book, a must have for any SENNA fan!
The pictures are excellent and again is a sentiment the fans will enjoy
I enjoyed hearing the personal thoughts of Ayrtons peers throughout the book and also thoughts from a young Ayrton into a man

Overall a good effort however proof reading was lacking...along with sensitivity on the accident, the anti-Prost theme was laughable I get the impression the writer has his own personal venom towards the man, but there you go

Fans of Ayrton if you are interested in this book, I would say borrow from the library or from a friend first, then if you are serious make a purchase, but generally this book will interest any one familiar with the Senna name
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive, yet manageable read, 9 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. C. Appleford (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
This is a great read and of course a comprehensive biography of the great Ayrton Senna.

What is so good about it is that it is broken down into bite-size chapters, each using a perspective of a different person who worked alongside him. Tom Rubython has managed to create an extensive masterpiece which draws you in and makes you want to read the next chapter and the next and the next.

In addition, there are several sections which look at the aftermath of his death: the inquest into why the accident happened, the impact it had on F1 including the circuits and the way Brazil came to terms with their loss.

Unlike the biography by Christopher Hilton: Hard Edge of Genius, which is difficult to read due to the writer's over-flamboyance, this book is very manageable. It is long because it covers a lot of ground and includes commentaries from many of Senna's closest allies. For me it works best by being dipped into in small doses.

At the end there is a full summary of his professional driving career by numbers.

I am a slow and reluctant reader, but I found this book right up my street. Other reviewers complain of the repetition of certain quotes or facts, but I think this is because the book was written to be something of an encyclopaedia or collage of Senna's colleagues' memories. I don't think it was ever designed to be a polished novel, something to be devoured in one enormous readathon. I recommend it to any sports fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The life of Senna, 4 July 2009
By 
J. McGhee "JackM" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
An insightful and broad writing of the life of the late, great, grand prix legend, Ayrton Senna.
The book gives an in-depth account of the entire life of Senna, from growing up in Brazil and his first forays into motor sport in Europe to his life in the spotlight and ultimately his untimely death. Much has been written about Senna, but this book stands up there with the best of them. I recommend this book.
Downsides are there though, the repetitive chapters do get frustrating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 2 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
I like the way this book has been written and the detail it covers.
It has been very informative! Ihave discovered things about Ayrton Senna that I previously did not know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Life of Senna, 21 April 2012
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This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
An excellent read; thoroughly recommend for anyone interested in Ayrton Senna's life and also in motor racing. Would certainly recommend it to people to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Abysmal, 20 Dec 2011
By 
Kevin Guthrie (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
This book was a real effort to get through. Countless factual errors allied to a collection of seemingly independently written articles cobbled together made it a frustrating read. Rubython's writing is basic at best, childish at worst. His denigrating of Prost and morbid obsession with Senna's death make the book, at times, downright uncomfortable to read. I dread to think what his latest effort about the 1976 season is like. I have no plans to find out. In short, terrible book, inept author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars truly remarkable work, 24 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
This is Iain Martin 's review on Waterstone.co.uk:

"It begins on Sunday 1 May '04, at the start of the already-disastrous San Marino Grand Prix, then we go back to the start and Ayrton Senna's career unfolds in a highly readable, mature biography, free of the hyperbole and lazy journalism which mars many sporting books. Senna's stats and achievements have now been eclipsed by Schumacher but his status as 'the best' is iron-clad and bullet-proof, and this book reminds us of his brilliance. The sequences at Imola '94 describing the last laps of his life, and his fatal crash, genuinely moved me to tears by recalling those tragic events so clearly and so starkly. This remains the best book on Senna, and one of the best books on Formula One. An essential read."

There's nothing I can add to this, as the book is almost perfect considering the nation of the subject and the events of 1 May.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed and disappointing, 14 April 2009
This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
Had I read reviews here before buying, I might have been prepared. This book began as a series of articles about the great man, and it shows; facts (or suppositions) and quotes are repeated; short chapters succeed each other (particularly in relation to Formula Three/ Senna and Brundle) which might have been merged for an easier read. It's not that the book lacks detail or interest, just that it is so poorly pieced together.

Also, I felt there was too much focus on the fatal accident; too much on the trial. I wanted to read about the great races, the endless controveries, not the horrible end which I remember all too well.

Not the greatest tribute to the greatest racing driver I have ever seen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting Tribute, 5 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Life of Senna (Paperback)
A really good and fantastic read . Do not be put off at the size of this big book but it does cover 34 years of a great man still missed today even though it is now twenty years since Ayrton passed. I was drawn in from the moment that my book arrived and IT could not leave it alone so the book was finished in just under three weeks good going for me seen as I have to fit it around work. I loved the tension between Ayrton and Alain Prost I felt that I was there watching it all unfold the writer drawns you in from day one. I cried when Imola came round. A fitting tribute to such a great man.
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The Life of Senna by Tom Rubython (Paperback - 1 July 2005)
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