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on 16 September 2010
My appetite was whetted by the extracts in the papers, and the full length version far from disappoints. I haven't quite finished it yet, but it's a rollicking good read. It's very funny and I like his easygoing style. I wasn't expecting Clarkson or May. (If he could write like Jezza and James, he would. Wouldn't we all?) What I was looking for was the inside scoop, and it's all here.
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on 29 May 2014
I did enjoy this book, in particular the background behind filming
Top Gear. It did seem to jump around a bit and I also got a bit irritated with the Stig's high opinion of himself. But I suppose that's why he's a racing driver!
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on 1 February 2014
Really well written and fascinating (if you like cars) stories of THE STIG's life in the army and Formula One before joining the Top Gear team to drive every type of high performance car, as well as stunts for TV and film.
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on 25 April 2016
Most people will be attracted to this book to find out more about Ben Collins' secret life as Top Gear's Stig, and there's plenty of behind-the-scenes info about the show, stunts and stars in reasonably-priced cars. But we're also told about Collins' racing career (this is where I thought the book was a little light - I'd have preferred more on this side of his life) and his application to join the SAS. It's an easy read, nothing too controversial.
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on 22 January 2013
A pretty entertaining book with lots of behind the scenes perspective to the action we see on the TV. Like a lot of reviews I read I felt the army stuff dragged on a bit but at the end of the day it was very important to Ben Collins so it was always going to be in there. Rated 4 stars because of the lengthy army stuff being a bit boring and the writing isn't "great" but then he's a racing driver and not a author by trade.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in racing top gear or the stig and urge them to bear with it through the army bits
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on 16 September 2010
If Clarkson and May could drive like they write, they'd be quite good touring car drivers. If Ben Collins could write as well as he drives, this book would be enthralling: He can't, it isn't.

Writing about driving is hard (that's why Clarkson in particular is so skilled), it's like trying to describe the emotions created by adrenalin. "Flat Out, Flat Broke" Black Stig's book, got close, White Stig just isn't articulate enough. As Schumacher proves every time he opens his mouth, to be a great driver you need to lack imagination (where's the advantage in being able to imagine a crash?). Ben Collins sadly has that lack of imagination and communicates its absence in most of the sentences in the book.

It would have been so much better a book if he were less in awe of the programme, the guests, the producers and the confidentiality agreement he signed. It's not truly awful (Try Richard Hammond's post crash bizarre public love letter to his wife for bite your knuckles bad writing), but having read it and paid for it, I'd advise either getting it from the library or waiting for the paperback and long boring flight.
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on 1 April 2014
Good read - it's about Stig and his life

Few good extracts of Top Gear and how it works

Had to read on ipad and have YouTube open to watch the scenes as he described them, as hard to describe otherwise
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on 11 June 2013
Entertaining and hard to put down. A frank and honest version of events from Ben Cohen. Put paid to few myths about Top Gear Filming too. Well worth a read.
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on 22 May 2015
Really interesting take on the life of the Stig and the man in the costume. Not usually a fan of autobiographies but this one is done with humility and great anecdotes around the challenges to be famous yet at the same time being just the guy next door on a daily basis. Highly recommend
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on 3 April 2012
(spoilers possibly contained)

I found this a fairly entertaining book. For a good deal of the book he kept his eyes on top gear - which is what made his name. He gave some army stuff, but he linked the army-gained mindset in quite well with how that affected his driving -- whether this is true or not I'm not sure, but thats the impression i got from the book, and it seems fairly good.

The thing that stuck out about this book, I'd compare to star wars novels. The star wars books didn't work for me. Seeing space battles on screen works, but the SW authors never managed to describe them and they just became a drag and boring (x wing flies around, blows up tie fighter, ad infinitum). In this book BC did manage to describe driving well. When he describes skidding, tyres locking, hitting kerbs and apexes, I really got into it and enjoyed them as real situations with driving happening.

Toward the end it goes a bit fast, it has the feeling that he just tries to fit as many stories in as possible. The last 3 or 4 chapters could have been a bit more extensive and relaxed. Personally the single thing that comes across as disappointing to me personally, is that as BC is describing making his decisions about what to do as the book ends, i get the impression it was heavily based around what he heard from a fortune teller. Which just seems like a disappointing side shunt into something else (but since when does life obey the rules i guess lol)
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