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4.0 out of 5 stars Present
This was a present for my daughter's boyfriend and he loves all things to do with Top Gear so when I saw this, I just had to get it for him - he loved it
Published 16 months ago by Pauline

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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stick to reading Clarkson, Hammond and May... you'll learn a lot more.
This book is easily read and you will shoot through it in no time. The only reason I didn't finish it in a day was because I as getting so frustrated at reading about things that I already knew.

There are several problems with this book.

1. The author, although clearly a fan of the show, does little in the way of discussing how the show's production...
Published on 20 Feb. 2011 by Jmeek


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stick to reading Clarkson, Hammond and May... you'll learn a lot more., 20 Feb. 2011
This review is from: The Top Gear Story (Hardcover)
This book is easily read and you will shoot through it in no time. The only reason I didn't finish it in a day was because I as getting so frustrated at reading about things that I already knew.

There are several problems with this book.

1. The author, although clearly a fan of the show, does little in the way of discussing how the show's production works, how decisions are made and he does not really delve deep into the inner workings of the show. This is what I'd been hoping for. Rather, he merely picks out episodes and describes what happened in them, and if like me you've seen every episode of Top Gear, or even if you haven't, there just seems to be little point in reading a description about something when you can actually watch the relevant episode and enjoy it for yourself.

2. In discussing the presenters, Clarkson, Hammond, May and even the Stig, the author tells you nothing about them that you won't discover yourself by reading their newspaper articles/memoirs, which are published in book format every year. Even a brief glance at any internet search results will tell you the basics that are covered in this book and with none of the cost. In terms of the Stig, the author dedicates but one chapter to last year's legal battle, and doesn't tell you anything that you wouldn't have known from either watching the news or reading Ben Collins' autobiography on the subject (which by the way is an enjoyable and revealing read, even if it lacks some of the literary prowess of Clarkson et al.).

3. Having read many books by the three presenters, and having watched every show, there are also some glaring mistakes in the book. For example, the author incorrectly states that the presenters went on a camping holiday in series 6 episode 8, when in fact it was series 8 episode 6. Perhaps I'm just being pedantic, but he also talks of James May's dog called Fusker, and being a fan of May's columns, I know that the pet in question, Fusker, is actually a cat (which the author then later states!?).

4. There is too much reliance on some particular sources. He repeatedly uses one particular neuroscientist when discussing Hammond's crash, and once again you are unlikely to pick up anything new if you've read Hammond's book, On the Edge: My Story.

There are other faults of the book. The only times I found myself laughing were when he made reference to a particular episode which resonated in my memory; therefore it wasn't down to the author, but rather picturing the show in my mind's eye.

Overall, I feel bad giving this book such a poor review as I paid £10 from it, expecting it to be enlightening. However, it just seems to me that this is one more person trying to cash in on a hugely successful television phenomenon, and unless you can pick this up for a severly discounted price, I wouldn't bother.

Sorry.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars do not buy this book, 3 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Top Gear Story (Hardcover)
i read this book and was hugely dissapointed, the author seems to have got his information from the internet and has less knowledge of top gear than the average viewer, in certain points becoming farcical, in one chapter he completely misunderstands a comment made by a presenter and says it reflects the human element, but misses that the it was a joke playing on the lyrics of pink floyd,

the writing style is that of a local newspaper journalist, and often he states his own opinion as if it mattered, this book is pure trash and I advise anyone thinking of buying it to watch the repeats on television or the internet and igonre this truly terrible excuse for literature

review 2/10
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Top Gear Story Rubbish, 11 Oct. 2011
By 
Mr. Kevin E. Brough "toonboy6" (sunderland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Do not buy this book total waste of money,it offers us no insight into the show or its personalities the scketchy accounts of early Top Gear must surley coincide with the lack of internet knowledge about the early shows, because the writer seems to have done all his research from sitting at home lookin at Wikipedia,nothing new is to be learned from this rubbish, wish now i had bought it from a book shop at least i stood a chance of getting my money back, i have been forced to give this tripe a one star rating when in fact it deserves none.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars top gear story, 31 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Top Gear Story (Hardcover)
i totally agree, the prospect of the book sounded really good, the chance to see how the presenters made their way onto the show. I expected more insite into what jeremy was like when he was younger and how people responded to him. Although i find it bizarre they compared jeremy and james to be to similar!
i did find it very dull in parts because its just narrating an episode which we all can do in our head, not much thougth went into the structure of the book, the title itself will get sales but sadly i dont think the author has much credibility as we could have all written this with little effort
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing recycling of things you already knew or didn't care about., 20 Aug. 2011
By 
Andrew J. Wilson (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Top Gear Story (Hardcover)
I found this book very disappointing.

If you're a Top Gear fan then you'll find it a bland, factual recycling of things you already knew. If you're not a Top Gear fan then I don't see why you'd be interested in it.

I am a Top Gear fan and was given this book as a present by my wife. It is tempting to suspect that the book was put together in order to tap into the market for wives and sweethearts looking for a gift for Father's Day, Xmas or whatever.

(Hint to wives everywhere: personally I found Ben Collins book "The Man in the White Suit" to be a more interesting read.)

Don't judge a book by it's cover, but in this case the cover is a good indication of what is inside. Take a glance and you can see that the cover image is put together from recycled bits and pieces. Four separate images of the presenters plus the Stig have been pasted together over a generic background. The presenters are looking in slightly different directions and not at the camera. The back cover uses the same background and the same Stig pasted in a slightly different way.

However it is a non-authorised book so I guessed I shouldn't be too surprised by a montage that looks like it was put together from amateur shots taken at a motor show. I dove on into the book.

Normally I finish the things I start. With this book I didn't get past Chapter 8 out of 21.

Maybe you would read further. But I don't see why you would choose to do so unless you had a lot of time to waste. If you are going to be reading this book then probably you are a Top Gear Fan. Probably you don't need the book to tell you that the program format has evolved over the years. Probably you don't need the book to tell you that Jeremy Clarkson can exaggerate and is sometimes controversial. Probably you already know the show features "star in a reasonably priced car", and that Tom Cruise went a bit faster than Cameron Diaz. Probably you already know that they do "special" episodes. Probably you don't need the book to list them. Probably you already have a favourite. Probably you don't need the author to give you a blow-by-blow summary of what happens in his favourite.

I think this book is a missed opportunity. I'm sure it's been carefully researched to make sure every detail is factually correct and the publisher can't get sued for what amounts to an unauthorised biography of Top Gear. But the book lacks the essence of what made Top Gear successful. We don't want a bland and factually correct compilation; we want something with an original opinion, a sense of humour and an entertaining way of presenting it.

When I finished reading Ben Collins "The Man in the White Suit" I passed it on to a friend who thanked me for it. I would be embarassed to pass on this book except perhaps to the recycling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book with too much personal information, 20 Mar. 2011
By 
Mr. Jeevaka K. Weerasena (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Top Gear Story (Hardcover)
I enjoyed reading the book, but I feel that the author did too much research on internet tabloids and made a few basic mistakes.

Still a good book, but you're better off reading books that have been written by any of the presenters.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The Top Gear Story, 4 Nov. 2013
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I agree with all reviews which categorize this book as "rubbish", it's not even "ambitious, but rubbish". It is a lazy compendium of information available elsewhere particularly in the presenters' columns and books. That was bad enough, but then to get information wrong "Fusker" was a cat not a dog and the genesis of his name was not a computer hacker, though that is the correct definition when used as a slang term. "Oliver" is the same age as James, not Jeremy, Jeremy owned a Ford GT, not a GT-40, etcetera, etcetera. I learned a lesson though, don't be so excited to purchase a book without first reading the reviews. I, too, wish I had the option of awarding zero stars!
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1.0 out of 5 stars They missed 'Not' from the book title...., 8 Oct. 2014
What a waste of time. Other reviewers have stated that this book adds nothing whatsoever if you have actually seen the programme - I could not agree more. I quickly grew tired of Mr. Roach's use of the words 'hilarious' and 'hilarity' while describing mildly amusing aspects of the show. I can only assume he has a particularly sensitive funny bone. This is essentially a review of the broadcasted shows, similar to a stitched together collection of Radio Times previews of the shows. It came nowhere near the behind-the-scenes expose I was hoping for. Just as well I did not buy this book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish Book, 22 Jun. 2013
By 
Graham Ward "gward" (Teesside. UK) - See all my reviews
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this book is rubbish if you have watched the programme before. the info is what you already know and you can fly through the book in no time
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4.0 out of 5 stars Present, 11 Nov. 2013
By 
Pauline (Trowbridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Top Gear Story (Hardcover)
This was a present for my daughter's boyfriend and he loves all things to do with Top Gear so when I saw this, I just had to get it for him - he loved it
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