5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Do my eyes decieve me, or is this a great book?,
This review is from: Murray Walker: Unless I'm Very Much Mistaken (Hardcover)
I've always been a fan of Murray's commentary, the enthusiasm and obvious passion in his voice, coupled with those humourous slip-ups, often made dull races seem thrilling (we sure could ahve used him in 2002!). I actually have this book signed, having gone to one of his signings, and he seemed like the pleasant, likable man he is widely regarded as.
There is much that people don't know about Murray. The son of motorbike legend Graham Walker (bikes were very much his first love, he claims to have been annoyed when he went to the bike Grand Prix, and someone said "what are you doing here? You're a car man"), his real name is actually Graeme Muuray Walker. He worked in advertising for a full career, having fought in the Second World War (yet has never been biased against anyone, not even Michael Schumacher, a rare and impressive trait in his age-group) and until 1982 his broadcasting career was merely a hobby. Contrary to popular opinion,however, he did not coin the 'A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play' slogan.
His life and times have taken in a large amount of motorsport. He first found fame commentating on the gravel-based motocross and rallycross action, and he remenisces at length about those, with great anecdotes, especially the classic 'What Am I Saying?' blooper and the time he went to entirely the wrong town to commentate on an event. He has also taken in events in the Far East, and I pity him for some of the names he had to pronounce in those.
As for F1, his 23 years of regular commentary included many great moments, and he shares his opinions as to what Senna, Schuamcher, Prost, Mansell, Hunt etc were like on and off the track. His dislike of James Hunt, which stemmed from James' racing days and lasted until his lifestyle changes (which were too late to save him from a premature death), seems justified on the evidence given here- I guess they were too different. He is reverent about recent colleague Martin Brundle tho, who is almost like the son he never had.
However, the number of errors is hard to accept. He refers to Jackie Stewart and Jack Brabham as the only race-winning drivers to win races as team owner- what about Bruce McLaren? At another point, in 1950 he was asked to commentate on a weight-lifting event and recalls asking his wife Elizabeth for help, yet elsewhere he claims to have met her when he was 33- that would be 1956. He seems confused about the technical rules of the Touring Car action he covered as well. But I'll let him off, as overall this is a fabulous archive of a great man's life and times.