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on 5 February 2009
What if I had never tried it explores the life of motorcycle legend Valentino Rossi and his life growing up in the industry.

Having watched racing for the past 3 or 4 years I only knew a little bit about motorcycle racing past and picking up this autobiography I was hoping to learn more of the past and I wasn't to be let down. However as much as we learn about Valentino the professional from this book, we can only read between the lines of the personal Rossi as the whole book is dedicated to his racing life, and as that is the purpose it feels disappointing to not see how his life shaped him into the man he is now.

The first couple of chapters are brilliant as Rossi reveals the reasons behind his controversial move from seemingly unbeatable Honda to apparently trashy Yamaha. Opening with this story it seems as though the racer wants to clear it up for fans. And its from there everything about his career comes out.

Growing up with different bikes, rivalries with Biaggi and Gibernau and a funny chapter on his celebrations, it is a dream for any fan. But shouldn't a biography include early life, relationships and school recollections? If that is what you are after you are forced to look elsewhere, which is very sad. And come the end of the book, the fact that he hasn't opened up or expressed any reference to his none biking past makes you wonder what he is truly like outside of work.

However the technical language will please any engineering enthusiast with his knowledge of the workings of a motorcycle. He knows what he's talking back and the proof of his concepts on screen are backed up by numerous references to the technical workings here.

In conclusion Rossi's first autobiography will delight fans who have a first for first hand biking knowledge. Written at a time when his career was up in the air, this is the source for the controversial move. His writing is far from perfect and is so repetitive it becomes increasingly annoying but it will be what any Rossi fan could have hoped for.

7/10
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VINE VOICEon 6 March 2006
I speak as a huge fan of Valentino Rossi when i say that this book is overall a disappointing read.
The problem with the book is that Vale hasn't lived enough of his life yet, and by his own admission failed to complete a full school education, and it shows with the construction and content of the book. The whole book has the feel of a long homework essay written by a teenager, although perhaps the translation into english might be to blame for this. Again due to his young age, Vale has little to fill the book with apart from drawn out repetitive anecdotes about his childhood and trackside pranks, and his limited outlook on life. His ability on a motorcycle and to surround himself with the best pit garage talent throughout his career, is beyond question, however his ranting about Honda for the 1st three chapters became a bore. I had the feeling throughout the book that Vale either isn't as interesting as we would like him to be, or isn't able to express his feelings articulately enough to make this book an interesting read.
It is easy to fall into the trap of saying that a product about something or someone is great simply by association with an individual or event that people hold in high regard, but in my view Valentino for the time being should have let his motorsport do the talking, and perhaps waited until he had completed his career in motorsport a decade or so from now, before writing a autobiography about his life.
If you want to read a better motorcycle racers auto\biography, try the Barry Sheene or Steve Hislop books both of which are a far more interesting and engrossing read.
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on 19 January 2012
I am a biker and a big fan of all forms of motorcycle road racing. I have followed Rossi for a number of years and I am a huge fan of his ability and personality and I want nothing more than for him to succeed again on a Ducati. This book however is poorly written and certainly does not rank as one of his achievements. Each anecdote follows a similar pattern of 'I wanted to do this and I did it and it was great'. Maybe it is lost in translation but I really wanted to like this book and couldn't. Little of the charisma comes through - there is little sense of struggle or dynamism. He starts off by talking about his decision to switch to Yamaha and ability to develop the bike into a race winner and how marvellously skilled he is which sounds a little hollow now we know of the struggles he is having with Ducati.

I can't help but think the book might have been more mature and balanced if he had waited until the end of his career to start blowing his own trumpet.
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on 29 June 2006
I was looking forward to having an insight into a living legend of MotoGP - sadly I cant bring myself to finish the book. The core themes of the book are long repetitive ramblings about his relationship with Honda and then his childhood days of pranks. The good bits of the book could have been structured better and dealt with in 50 pages. Nonetheless I still look forward to seeing him race again but wont be buying his next book!
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on 7 November 2014
Very disappointing. The ghost writer was Enrico Borghi and he has done a very poor job of presenting a coherent story. Far too much of the book is Rossi rambling on about his jolly japes, and his mates, and what sounds like a pretty tedious social life. I hoped for a chronological story of Rossi's amazing career with much more info on the bikes and the actual day to day business of a MOTO GP team.
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on 31 August 2006
I have to agree with the last reviewer, why are people knocking this book?

I thought it was great, and yes some things are lost in translation, but if the whole book was written in Vale's charming broken english, people would soon be complaining about that!

I thought it still showed what a cheeky spirited person he is, as we all can tell whenever he's interviewed.I laughed at the little escapades he tells of what he and his mates got up to back home, and his meticulous planning of his on-track pranks to entertain the crowd. A lot of sports personalities autobiographies can become weighed down with technical jargon and statistics, but this one for me, especially as i'm not an expert on motorbikes or racing, was very enjoyable.

I first became a fan of Valentino because i was forced to watch motoGP by my boyfriend, and being half-italian i would instantly pick the italian in any sport to cheer for, but at the end of the race when he'd won and was interviewed i LOVED HIM!

Vale is such a big character, and an even bigger natural talent, anyone who has not finished reading this book, please give it another go, it really is an entertaining read!

Thanks Vale, When's the next instalment??!
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on 26 April 2008
I am not a reader at all, infact it can take me up to a year to read any book i have picked up in the past, but this book is brill, i read it in 2 days!!! a record for me!! This books give a great insight to the man who is the doctor and what actually happened with honda!!! i have read alot of moto gp & BSB books and the only one that kinda comes close is the HIZZY book!!!
Any Vale fan needs to read this book, cant wait for more Rossi books to come out!!!
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on 9 November 2011
The only sporting autobiography that I had ever read at the time of reading, I originally bought this as a present for someone else. I have only been a MotoGP fan since around the time Rossi joined 500cc, but when this book was laying around, I thought I'd give it a whirl - and I'm glad I did. Although the English is quite obviously a translation, the style of writing is very much like Rossi's style of speaking English - very easy to get along with. Each chapter reads almost like a single book in itself as they are not really in chronological order and each chapter is quite a 'pageturner'. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Rossi's Apecar days. Thoroughly recommended to anyone with even a passing interest in MotoGP or Valentino Rossi.
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on 13 January 2013
Perhaps the worst autobiography book that i have ever bought. Felt like the whole book was written overnight. Even photos were taken on the same w.end
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on 11 October 2005
This is one of the best books i've read this year. Gives a great insight into Rossi himself and into the world of MotoGP. A must read for any Rossi fan! Very funny in parts!
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