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The Man Who Supercharged A Very Small Bit of Bond
on 31 March 2010
A very focussed biography with some brief finds. But, this is not an exceptional book; yes, it does cover the subject thoroughly but the title is misleading. While it is true that Bond has a symbiotic relationship with his Bentleys, and the subject is huge - but: Bond is rarely mentioned, and not at all in many areas of the book.
It might be more accurately labelled: The Man Who Supercharged Fleming. Fleming is mentioned far more but even then the detail is brief (one chapter and a few asides). Useful to dip into for a history of the Blower Bentley but other books do it with more energy.
The more unusual revelation of Villiers's involvement with other oddball projects (the US space programme) have fair more 'air-time' and perhaps hint at why Villiers' life was extraordinary.
Extraordinary? The book does not give the impression that he was extraordinary. Highly gifted and exceptionally intelligent, yes, but not unusual in the motoring world of his day.
In all, a useful book but not extraordinary. You'd need a few more books to get the complete Bentley story; especially the Bentley Boys culture and this has been done with a lot more life elsewhere.