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Crashed and Byrned: The Greatest Racing Driver You Never Saw Paperback – 4 Sep 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd; First Edition (a paperback original) edition (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848310285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848310285
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.4 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"For all the rollicking yarns, this is a tale of talent wasted, but in spite (or perhaps because) of that, it is far more honest - and funny - than the anodyne autobiographies of many more successful drivers." -- Independent on Sunday, Sept 08

"One of the most extraordinary sporting autobiographies you are likely to come across" -- Andrew Baker, Daily Telegraph, Sept 08

`...I challenge you to put it down. It might just be the greatest book you've never read.' -- Simon Arron, Daily Telegraph, Sept 08

`A riveting read.' -- Financial Times, Sept 08

`I'd be amazed if you didn't enjoy this book.' -- F1 Fanatic, Sept 08

Review

'Forget Senna and Schuey. Tommy Byrne was the best of them all.' (Eddie Jordan)

'It's told in a breathless, raw style, and had me astonished and appalled in equal measure.' (Bookseller)

'The most exciting petrol-head release of this year. A high octane guilty pleasure.' (Bookseller)

‘One of the most extraordinary sporting autobiographies you are likely to come across.’ (Andrew Baker, Daily Telegraph)

'Motor racing is a great sport for 'what ifs' and 'if onlys,' and Byrne must have had many a rueful glance back. But this rip-roaring autobiography rarely indulges in self-pity. There isn’t time. In between the racing there are girls, guns, billionaires, fights, parties and orgies. It would be a tremendous book with the sport left out – and there aren’t many sporting books of which you can say that.' (Andrew Baker, Daily Telegraph)

'For all the rollicking yarns, this is a tale of talent wasted, but in spite (or perhaps because) of that, it is far more honest - and funny - than the anodyne autobiographies of many more successful drivers.' (Simon Redfern, Independent on Sunday)

‘A riveting read.’ (Financial Times)

‘I’d be amazed if you didn’t enjoy this book.’ (F1 Fanatic)

‘It’s a remarkable, colourful, at times scarcely believable tale which unravels at a breakneck pace.’ (F1 Fanatic)

‘…I challenge you to put it down. It might just be the greatest book you’ve never read.’ (Simon Arron, Daily Telegraph)

‘Quite simply the best motor racing book I've ever read.' (2009 Irish Motorsport Annual)

‘You won't be able to put it down.’ (Times)

‘One of the best racing books you'll read this decade.’ (AUTOSPORT)

‘An essential read ... brilliantly told.’ (Observer)

‘Witty and shocking ... a must for anyone who has the constitution to handle it.’ (Motor Sport Magazine)

‘Incredibly entertaining.’ (Ireland AM)

‘A real pleasure and provides massive insight into what makes racers do what they do.’ (International Herald Tribune)

‘Absolutely brilliant.’ (RTÉ)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is some journey!

Barely believable, 'Crashed and Byrned' somehow twists through the apposite worlds of grubby 1970's O'Connell street, the 1982 Las Vegas Grand Prix and a seedy mansion in drug addled Mexico. Why? Because Tommy Byrne was chasing his quest to make the motor racing world realise that he was the most naturally gifted racing driver of his generation (and that is no idle boast by the way). And what is more, this book does it in a kind of surreal innocence that would be quite at home in a Hunter S.Thompson yarn!

Tommy Byrne will generally only be known to racing people but his story is so unique that he and his adventures will be enjoyed by those who have never seen a motor race in their lives before. This story will surely become a classic alternative to the bland and colourless publications that modern sports stars often produce.

It wasn't so much that Tommy was anti establishment it was more like he created his own establishment and then whether it was his fault or not, trashed it in a bright haze of his own brilliance and confidence. This had an uncanny knack of rubbing people up the wrong way. Ron Dennis was one of these people, so was Ayrton Senna. Years before Eddie Irvine was getting a slap from the great Brazilian champion, another and more gifted urchin from the Emerald Isle was getting under Ayrton's skin! Put bluntly, if John Lydon and Phil Lynott had raised a bastard child that took up motor racing, then his name would have been Tommy Byrne.

The anecdotes are told in a fabulously honest and more often than not comic fashion. There is no self pity and no 'what ifs'. These are left to the reader, who by the end of it are likely to ask these questions quietly to themselves.
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Format: Paperback
Just extraordinary. What a fantastic read. If you could imagine an unlikely cross between Angela's Ashes and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas with a loose motor racing backdrop, this is it. It has you in hysterics one moment, full of sadness the next. The most amazing sports biography I've ever read. In fact even if it was a work of fiction, it would still work. If you never buy another book again, you must buy this one.
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Format: Paperback
I loved the book, gripping from the beginning and a great read all through. The Racing stuff is very interesting but it's not just a book about racing the strange characters that Tommy encounters through his life you just couldn't make up!

Full throttle racing, money, steeling, sex, drugs and rock and roll (without the rock and roll).
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Format: Paperback
An excellent and personal view of one man,s motor racing career.Do not expect a race by race account but instead get the inside story of a meteoric rise to success and an even quicker fall from the spotlight in the competitive world of British and then European racing.
To say he got screwed by McLaren would be an understatement!
There are,however,some hilarious accounts of racing in the early 80,s
Buy it!
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Format: Paperback
This is a no holds barred on how getting to Formula 1 was (and probably still is) if you do not have the financial backing required when Tommy raced. It also shows the snobbery of F1. By this I mean the rough, raw talent (with no financial budget) of a man against the might of the right and proper sponsership friendly corporate identity of McLaren. This book tells it how it was.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book follows the life and racing career of Tommy Byrne, an Irish racing driver with plenty of raw driving talent but who due to his personality (it comes across as the primary issue) never truly makes it. From winning all the feeder championships in the first year of contesting them, he joins a third rate F1 team, where there was no perspective, he flies in tests for McLaren but fails the Ron Dennis test (in some ways much like Montoya and Alonso in that respect) and then goes through a slow motion train crash and byrne over the next 10 years or so, partly in Europe, partly in the US and Mexico.

The book seems to have been written during two periods, as there are two clearly definable styles in there. The early chapters, which describe his childhood and adolescence in Ireland, are written pretty much like an Irvine Welsh novel (If You Liked School, You'll Love Work for example), full of raw anger, associated bad spelling and language but somehow engaging and gripping. Part Two of the book, which then focuses more on the racing has either been written at a different time period or has been edited completely differently - the style is night and day. It is a bit more typical sports personality biography, in some way more polished (the language cleans up for sure) but no longer so gripping and engaging. The anger gives way to some sense of deep disappointment over the lack of respect the author is faced with most of the time in spite of the unmistakable pace he can deliver on track, often with not exactly stellar machinery and support.
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