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The Limit: Life and Death in Formula One's Most Dangerous Era by [Cannell, Michael]
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The Limit: Life and Death in Formula One's Most Dangerous Era Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Length: 337 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"Enthralling history of road-racing's golden era... It is clear from Mr. Cannell's well-researched chronicle that men like Hill and von Trips, however different their styles, wouldn't have raced without the specter of death tugging at their shoulder." ""The Wall Street Journal"""

"Michael Cannell's narrative rides in the shadows of Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken in the way it introduces a fascinating cast while reviving a time and place in which death danced with glory... In often jaw-dropping detail, Cannell explores both Hill's triumph (he remains the only Yank to win Formula One's coveted crown) as well as the grizzly world that was auto racing in an age before safety concerns." ""USA Today"""

"With THE LIMIT, Michael Cannell has given us a sports epic for the ages, as well as a memory of one the great eras of the American century. It ranks with John Milius's script for "Big Wednesday" and James Salter's "Downhill Racer." As my father would say, it's not about a race. It's about life." "Rich Cohen, author of" Sweet and Low"""

"Vivid biography of a fast-and-furious competitor on the Grand Prix racing circuit . . . a passionate, ambitious work . . . Cannell doesn't lean on the crutch of exposition to convey Hill's intrepid, sporty story, demonstrating great talent as a biographer. A crisply written, effectively compelling chronicle." ""Kirkus Reviews"""

"Cannell's full-throttle epic leaves you breathless." ""Publishers Weekly"""

A roaring zip about an American who took on the 1961 Grand Prix... as Cannell recounts in this winning book, Hill would prove to be a groundbreaking figure in the history of international racing-even as his accomplishments were met with a collective shrug of the shoulders in his native country.... Racing diehards, of course, will know the outcome. But the rest of us will come to this story blissfully unfamiliar with the thrills and sorrow contained in the book's last 70 pages. ""The Daily Beast"""

Exhilarating... Its pages are filled with tales of nationalistic ardor, devil-may-care bravura, and gallows humor. And there are wrecks. Grisly, spectacular, pyrotechnic wrecks.... The Limit reads like a thriller. And his breathless depictions of disaster will have you white-knuckling your armchair. ""The Boston Globe"""

A testosterone-fueled nonfiction book about auto racing in its bloody golden age, The Limit provides the drama and nostalgia of Seabiscuit and the body count of Gladiator. Its riveting, guy-centric story places readers behind the wheel as two vastly different drivers compete for Formula 1 glory.... In prose as fast and unadorned as an early Ferrari, Cannell rolls out an entertaining and exciting story on the way to the finish line. ""Associated Press"""

"Before I wanted to become a writer I longed to become a Ferrari race car driver. THE LIMIT dropped me into the driver's seats of the fastest cars in the world during the Grand Prix explosion of the 50's and 60's. The story here is compelling and "fast."..the characters are massive men breathing speed and chewing adrenalin. This is a V12 blast of a book." "Anthony Swofford, author of "Jarhead"""

Book Description

A glittering account of Formula One's deadliest and most glamorous era, in which sporting rivalry led to fatal consequences, culminating in the explosive championship battle of the 1961 Italian Grand Prix.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1878 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (1 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #99,944 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Cannell captures the '50s/'60s era, its drivers, the cars and the ethos compellingly, creating a story that contrasts starkly with today's Formula 1 scene. This was a time when track and race-car safety provisions were negligible and risks astronomical. Drivers died often, in all kinds of events from F1 to sports-car endurances races such as the Le Mans 24-hour.

Leaning heavily on Alan Henry's excellent account of world-championship Grand Prix motor racing, the author studies in detail Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips, featured in the dramatic conclusion, the 1961 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Enzo Ferrari is prominent, and comes across as barely likeable. Rarely have the emotional and psychological aspects of F1 drivers (and, implicitly, their MotoGP peers) been revealed so candidly. The book is well written, albeit somewhat overcooked in parts, especially when discussing the drivers' libidinous behavior. Technical aspects are addressed more in layman's terms than in language familiar to enthusiasts, perhaps to broaden the book's appeal. Example: brake fade is a term most of us know, yet he `explains' it.

Factual errors diminish the book, surprising from a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Outside, where fact-checking counted. Formula 1 cars using pre-WWII rules (1.5 liters/supercharged, 4.5 liters/unsupercharged), competed for championships before the FIA formally adopted F1 in 1950, with Ferraris, Maseratis, Alfa Romeos and Talbot-Lagos driven by the same F1 drivers--Ascari, Farina, Villoresi and Fangio. Jaguar's XK120 set world production-car speed records on Belgium's Jabbeke Highway (unnamed in the book) in May 1949, not 1950, at 132.6 mph, not 136.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Probably the best and most moving account of motor racing, it's drama, passions, history, tragedies and courage I have ever read. Anyone with any interest in the sport cannot fail to be gripped by this book. Based primarily on the racing life of American Phil Hill in the post World War 2 years through to the early sixties and intimately interwoven with the life story and ultimate death of Wolfgang von Tripps, it also covers much of the sport's preceding history and includes a frank and revealing assessment of Enzo Ferrari and his role in that history. Must not be missed either by true wwwaficionados of the sport or those seeking a better understanding of the origins of modern Formula 1.

A book I would also recommend most strongly to anyone interested in the varying mentalities and driving forces that characterize what, as a competitor and sport's coach myself, I have always dubbed the 'true racer'. 'True racers' come in many varieties from many different backgrounds and with many different psyches - the common factor is a burning passion to win.
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Format: Paperback
This is a detailed account of motor racing and in particular Formula 1 in the period between the mid 1950s and early 1960s. At the core is the rivalry between the German nobleman, Count Wolfgang von Trips and the American, Phil Hill, who was to become the first Formula 1 World Champion from his country. This pair could not have been more dissimilar both in background and temperament, although they eventually found themselves as teammates at Ferrari. Trips was flamboyant with an eye for the ladies and a driving style which verged on the reckless. Hill was a much more introverted character and would prefer to sit listening to classical music rather than partying. His driving style was also much more considered which is probably why he lived to an old age unlike most drivers of that era.

As well as looking at the background of the two main characters, there are fascinating insights into other main players of the period such as Mike Hawthorne, Peter Collins and, notably Enzo Ferrari. The latter does not come out all that well as he appears petulant and rather mercurial, and seems to value his cars much more than his drivers. He also appeared to think it was a good idea to needle his drivers to try that little bit harder at a time when motor racing was incredibly dangerous. Possibly as a result, the death toll at Ferrari was little short of horrifying with most of their leading drivers of the period dying on the track, the exceptions being Hill and Hawthorne who was killed in a shunt on the A3 just three months after his retirement.

Any reader with even a passing interest in Formula 1 will find this a fascinating read and I thoroughly recommend it. Whilst I knew that the motor racing was much more dangerous in that era, I did not fully appreciate the carnage, which was typified by the appalling accident at Le Mans in 1955 when Levegh's car crashed killing 83 spectators as a result of which Mercedes disbanded their works team for half a century.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for myself for Christmas. Well, why not? It is well researched, well written, well illustrated and competitively priced. Very sad in parts given the number of participants and spectators killed during this period. However, this is a MUST for all motor racing afficionados.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are a formula one fan and want to learn about the dangers of the 1950s F1 races, then this is a must. It follows the exploits of Phil Hill, the American F1 racer and Wolfgang Von Tripps of Germany. These two racers come up through the ranks alongside many other great racers from Spain, Italy, Britain etc.

It gets up close to Phil Hill, Wolfgang Von Tripps and gives great insight to many others. Some who die making the ultimate sacrifice to a dangerous sport. A story of speed gladiators that pit their wits against death because they are addicted to the adrenalin rush of high speed racing.
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