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2.2 out of 5 stars34
2.2 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 2006
I am a big fan of the big man's writing, and decided to buy this book in the hope that it would be a reasonably amusing read. It wasn't. Gwen Russell manages to write about one of the country's most controversial and amusing celebrities, and manages to make it a very painful (and boring) read. She seems to have chosen him as a subject at random (who else has she written for!? Heat Magazine?!), then done some flimsy research, before sticking a huge picture of Jeremy Clarkson on the cover, and plastering her name on the book - including unashamadely on each of the pages inside! That should have been a warning, as well as the choice of photos - even they are awful! Talk about suckering in buyers and trying to make it on the back of someone else's success!

The only saving grace is that she collects various snippets about Clarkson together for the reader, but a couple of hours spent on the Internet would have generated just as much information. I learnt virtually nothing new about the subject from this book. Other reviewers can also testify to the mistakes, repetition, and amateurishly disjointed writing style of the author. The pages do thankfully pass by quickly due to the large 'John & Jane' font used to fill out the book!

I suggest you save your money, and wait for the paperback edition (or second hand one's - there should be plenty!) if you really MUST buy one of the worst biographies I have read. A great shame - and very disappointing. Better still, wait for Clarkson's next book - it will be a much better read than this twaddle! It has now been filed with my collection of Clarkson books as a curio - a swine amongst pearls! Mr Clarkson (if you're reading this), I suggest YOU write a biography about Gwen Russell in order to exact some revenge!
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on 24 October 2007
I am only 40 or so pages in, and am inclined to toss it in the bin. No, wait - winter is coming, and I might just use it for fuel.

I have nothing to add on top of other readers' negative reviews, except to say that the editing is SO bad, that I never want to read the word 'trucculent' again. Moreover, to make an analogy between young Clarkson and James Dean [what are you rebelling against? what have you got?] when ANY film buff could tell you that this line was in 'The Wild One' and said by Marlon Brando, just shows how awful the facts checking really was.

Do not buy this book.
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on 15 February 2008
This is simply dreadful. Repetitive, dull, poorly written, half-baked, un-edited and shamefully proof read.

It was so bad in the beginning that I thought it could only get better, but it didn't. Like a road traffic accident that you simply shouldn't stare at but just cannot help yourself I was overwhelmed by a need to finish this load of piffle if only to prove to myself that I would be able to undergo torture if necessary.

I have been robbed of a day by a hack who should stick to writing about Jordan's breasts.

If you really have a fondness for wasting your money then buy 'The Wolf of Wall Street' which is an excellent book written by Jordan Belfort who knows a thing or two about throwing his cash away. But don't buy this because you can't get your time back.
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on 8 November 2006
This has to be one of the worst books I have ever read. Inaccurate, inane drivel. I lack the ability to express in words just how dreadful this publication is. You already know more from watching the man on TV and reading his columns in the Times than this book will tell you.
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on 28 August 2006
I too am a great fan of JC. His unwillingness to bow to the pressures of the PC lobby seems to increase as the years pass. Unfortunately, it would appear that he was rather too busy rubbishing Vectras when this appauling diatribe hit his desk. It is, without exception, the worst biography I have ever read. Not that it is inaccurate per se, that might even risk making it controversial, but that it is atrociously structured, badly written and just plain boring. A reader hoping to learn more about the man himself would be wise to consult Google or perhaps a copy of the Sunday Times rather than buy this book. What is also clear is that the relentless self-promotion of Clarkson himself is eclipsed only by that of his biographer who is at pains for us to know how jolly successful she has been.

I bought this book on a whim, but anyone considering it would be advised to wait until the man himself has committed pen to paper. After all, when directly quoted (on perhaps fifteen or so occasions throughout the entire book) he is side-splittingly hilarious.

Might I second the point made by a previous correspondent regarding the 'Janet and John' typography and suggest that if you do buy this book, you might pass it to the nearest 10 year old who could happily occupy an afternoon pointing out the outrageous errors including the 'Ford Sirocco' and unforgettable 'Hercules helicopter'. Ladies and Gentlemen, steer clear.
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on 7 August 2006
I generally read a biography to find out interesting and unknown stories and information about the life of an individual in which I am interested.

I enjoy Jeremy Clarksons approach to life and looked forward to reading a biography of his life.

I was very dissapointed with this book, I could have written a similar book and probably achieved less typographical errors!

The sources appear to be purely public domain and the same information is constantly repeated in what I can only assume is an attempt to pad out the book.
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on 24 November 2007
I bought it, because, well....I didn't really think it could be THAT bad. Come on now!
But oh dear oh dear. Worse than bad. I managed about 1/4 of it, then gave in. As someone else said, nice on the shelf/in the collection, but don't open the covers. Grim.
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on 29 August 2007
I thought this would be the ideal holiday read - how wrong i was...

Having finished Peter Kay's fantastic autobiography, i was expecting a book written with a hint of the humour and humility that Jeremy shows in his on screen persona. Wrongly i believed that the author would have had intimate knowledge of him, and some of him may have rubbed off on her.

The book continually repeats itself jumping back and forth for no reason. I also lost count of the number of times the phrase 'truculent' was used.

Overall a dissapointing read if you wanted a real 'Clarkson' story.
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on 3 September 2007
As a massive Clarkson fan I bought tis the day it was released and read it and finished it on the plane to Florida. I was hoping to learn much more about him but only managed to get frustrated at how many times the author used the word "truculent" and the phrase "snap knicker elastic". It was relentless.

I cannot believe Clarkson has authorised this. The only reward in the book is the section on Clarkson's father-in-law who won the Victoria Cross (Clarkson did a documentary on this which was some of the best television I have ever seen). But I suppose if I wanted to read a book about VC winners I would have bought one. Plus the same thing happened with Hammonds accident. Yes we know this happened because it is very recent news but this (Clarkson) biography detailed this but failed to really quote Clarkson. It merely tells the well told story again.

If this book were a car would be a Trabant!
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on 31 December 2007
My god, what a waste of a good day reading this book.

I bought the book on the basis of being a 'Jezza' fan, however I learnt nothing new about the man. Other, than what was already in the public domain from rehashed reports from the Sun, Mirror, Mail, Times, NOTW, Googling, Piers Morgan 'Insider' and some TV shows.

The writing was disjointed, disorganised, disorientating and woefully short of the mark. This book is surely the Vauxhall Vectra of all biographies?

I promise, promise, promise to read Amazon reviews in the future rather than waste money and buy on a whim. Also, I now know how easy it is to become an author of biographies - so watch out James May, Ricky Gervais & Prince Harry!!

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