Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Not quite the definitive biography
on 25 October 2002
First, let me say that this is the best Chapman biography available. It is an honest, adult, biography. Adult in the sense that most biographies of sports or entertainment figures are one dimesional puff pieces written at the high school level.
Chapman was a remarkable man, and he certainly has had his share of that sort of nonsense written about him. This book goes way beyond that. It cuts through the BS and half truths that have become part of the Chapman/Lotus myth. So in that sense its well worth the money, and certainly it is the best motorsports book of this year.
But to be honest it misses the mark as a definitive biography. Lawrence treats the text like a fleshed out essay. He straightens out the facts, and is damn proud of his ability to do so. But as a biographer he tells us next to nothing about his wife, children and close friends. Even claims of substance abuse and chronic infidelity are skimmed over. Where is the human being?
As a magazine article/essay this is magnificent. As a biography it is about half done. Buy it anyway though, its as good as you'll get a man who may be the single most significant figure in 20th century motorsport.