on 30 August 2003
More than any other World Champion, Graham Hill worked hard to get to the top. He couldn't even drive until his mid-20s; after getting hooked by a couple of laps of Brands in an F3 car he scrimped, saved (and occasionally conned) his way into racing, constantly improving his technical and driving skills.
Graham is frank and funny about his early life - for once this is an autobiography that doesn't start with the beginning of his racing career, there being much about his childhood, Navy years, and apprenticeship.
He goes on to tell the story of his racing career from his debut in F3 (he led off the start line, and then wasn't quite sure what you did next...) to being hospitalised after his 1969 Watkins Glen accident.
Along the way there are various lewd and occasionally printable anecdotes - Graham did seem to spend more time three sheets to the wind dancing on tables with his trousers off than most modern F1 androids do! - but above all the story of a man determined to reach the top in his chosen sport by virtue of hard work and application of his brain to the task at hand.
Graham was a splendid raconteur and the easy, conversational style of the book makes it splendidly readable.
He's still missed to this day; this is a fine memoir of a true British Great.
on 13 July 2015
A fabulous slice of history, written by someone who was there! Graham Hill had a very direct writing style, I would imagine he wrote similarly to the way he spoke. There is a quiet humour, real 60s attitude, a rakish honesty and some rapier like insights. He spoke very kindly of everyone, even his biggest rivals and was clearly a very gentlemanly person.
There are a number of repetitions and plenty of over-simplification, but I do not want to be too critical of what is such an entertaining and engaging read as a whole. It's a pity that his solicitor persuaded him to remove a number of passages prior to publication. Now they would have added some spice!
Since reading this. I have been inspired to hit Google and Youtube, finding additional material to put more meat on the bones of what was clearly a fabulous life.
on 14 April 2011
Witten by Graham in His own words summing up all of His races up to His accident in 69. On the same day iI received it there nwas a documentary on the telly about the races of that period and He never mentioned all the fatalities in the sport at that time, I found that odd, perhaps it was not strange to Him.