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4.6 out of 5 stars27
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2003
What a fantastic book - having never really liked the man when I met him, reading this book gave me an insight to the kind of person that Steve Hislop really was. A true and genuine person who endured so many things in his life, but this never stopped him from what he loved doing most - Motorcycling.
The 2004 season of racing will not be the same without his unique style.
If you think life has treated you badly - read this book and you will realise that whatever life throws at you, there is always something to look forward to. Inspirational writing.
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on 2 September 2003
This is the best autobiography I have read so far. Once you start reading it you cannot put it down. It is a tragic story. The number of people he knew who lost their lives is unbelievable yet he still soldiered on. It is an incredible story, of an incredible rider. He mastered the most dangerous circuit on the earth, the TT, won on the rotary norton in 1992 which was said to be impossible. Beat the worlds best on a motorcycle. This man was a legend and one of the best men to have ever swung his leg over a motorcycle. This is his story. This is an absolute must read for any bike racing fan. RIP hizzy. We will miss you
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on 30 May 2013
Found this book very interesting and just couldn't put it down, its not just about the sport but about his life which is very interesting. You sit there either at the track or at home watching these men going round and round on the track not realising just what these brave men go through just to do something they love. It does open your eyes to what actually goes on behind the scenes
I know one thing ALL them so called men who play professional football need to take a look at what these motorbike racers do to keep fit and to turn up to riding with broken bones etc, Brave men
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on 24 January 2010
I didn't expect this book to be as good as it was. Many books on racers bog you down in race and championship detail but this book gives real insight into the man, and it is an absorbing story from page one. Steve was always my number 2 favourite rider, after Joey Dunlop, in road races he was smooth and inch perfect, I recall watching at the TT one year near the Gooseneck and he and Joey were so smooth, their riding was mesmerising, graceful, elegant - the right words are hard to find but I still recall the feeling of awe from just watching them. They made it look so easy and made other riders look amateurish. I was there the year he beat Foggy in the most exciting race I ever saw on the island. It was a shame he didn't get the opportunity like Foggy to go into WSB, but maybe he would admit he didn't sell himself too well. The book mentions Steve's father knew Bob McIntyre. I read Jacky Stewart's autobiography and he too knew Bob Mac. Pity Steve could not have picked up some of fellow Scot Jacky's business acumen and learned how to sell himself, he'd have made that fortune.
The book mentions lots of riders I've seen over the years who have visited Northern Ireland to do real road racing. Sadly too many of them paid the ultimate price for their sport, I'm saddenned every time I look at my photo collection and I go to few races nowdays. Doubly sad then that after leaving the sport Steve's life ended the way it did.
Great book. One of the best I've read on any rider or racer. It brings him back to life on every page.
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on 15 December 2004
One of the hardest jobs I have ever had to do in journalism was to write an obituary for Steve Hislop. I did not know him well - we only met a few times during the years that I covered the British Superbike Championship for Race24 - but he was always approachable, friendly and helpful, not the image always given of him by the media at large.
This was also a man who could really ride a bike. Setting a lap record - beating none other than Valentino Rossi - is an achievement. But taking the record away from a full-specification GP bike, when riding a year old Superbike? This just doesn't happen. Only a truly special racer could do that. And when he was in the mood, Hizzy was a very special racer.
So what was the man really like? Hizzy: The Autobiography of Steve Hislop goes a long way to filling in the gaps.
The book covers the standard "We were little oiks" stuff that seems to be a requirement of character-building for any bike racer to begin with, but once Steve and his brother are first introduced to bikes, the story picks up with an evident passion.
It is remarkable how Hislop kept on with his racing career after losing a number of friends and indeed his brother at such an early stage. But persevere he did. With remarkable results - first as a TT rider where his achievement in winning on the rotary Norton could quite possibly not have been achieved by anyone else and then moving into short-circuit racing where he recorded titles at British Superbike and World Endurance.
The tales of racing, both on the Isle of Man and then around Britain, Suzuka and his exploits in the World Endurance Championship are great reading and give a real feel for what it is like when you are an up and coming rider, struggling for sponsorship and living out of the back of a van, through to hitting the "big time" with factory backing and all that comes with it, both good and bad.
And the bad is something that seemed to happen to Hizzy... a lot. A constant complaint throughout the book is how he was never paid enough, how people claimed he had a fragile psyche and so on and how if things had worked out differently, he should have been getting the best rides and the same kind of money as Carl Fogarty etc. Sadly, there is no smoke without fire.
Steve had run-ins with so many team managers and owners over the year that by the end, there were precious few teams left that he hadn't burned his bridges with - something he acknowledges in the book without ever really wondering why other people (such as Fogarty, no wallflower when it comes to expressing his opinion) could open their mouths without getting fired.
Whatever the reasons, it is sad to think about "What If"? What if Hislop had been able to play the game and keep teams, manufacturers and sponsors happy? Would he have made it to the very top of the pile? We will never know. But what this book does is to show just how bike racing was at the core of this man, how it saved him from a self-destructive pattern he had fallen into as a young man. But does it show the real Hislop?
I think it does. There is a passion in the writing, especially when dealing with racing, that is obviously Steve. He had an almost photographic memory when it came to track layouts and he clearly had fantastic recall of the rest of his life... even if he didn't always appreciate the reasons why other people saw him the way they did.
Ultimately, the book is a reflection of the man himself. Passionate, motivated, but ultimately flawed. If you can filter out the complaints about money and the treatment he got and focus on the man, both racer and human being, then this is a fitting memorial to a fine man and racer.
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on 27 April 2011
A very good read. Steve Hislop was a guy who lived his life just to go racing, whether it be the TT, BSB, GP, the NW200 or wherever.
He caught the bug at an early age, his dad was into bike racing, his brother Gary was killed racing at Silloth at the age of 19.
But the death of Gary didn't seem to put him off, it just seemed to make him more determined to achieve things in racing that Gary didn't because of his untimely death.
He will be best remembered for the epic dual with Foggy at the 92TT, and the TT win he achieved for Norton on a bike that wasn't really rated as a machine that could win races, especially the TT.
A recommended read for any bike racing fans!!!
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on 8 October 2013
Loved it, filled in lots of gaps of the jigsaw for me, and complimented Mackenzie's book too. Recommended to all fans who saw him race, the kind of
People who read the back page of MCN first.
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on 12 November 2012
A fantastic account of life from Hizzy's side of the fence in his own words.
A legend who dominated the roads as well as the short circuits and who lapped Donington Park faster on his Ducati WSB bike than Rossi could manage on his MotoGP Honda.
A really interesting account of his racing days and thoroughly recommended
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on 26 January 2015
great insight to the man, learned lots of things that never get much of a mention, from the death of his father ,then his brother and other riders and colleagues who where close to him, how it affected him and how he overcame many more setbacks, a real under valued rider, first class read for al bike fans.
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on 4 February 2015
I knew Steve personally through racing & spent more than a few hours in his company.
This autobiography is a great read & gives a good insight into what he was all about.
I also know a few things that weren't in the book but what happens in Macau stays in Macau eh!
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