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on 25 October 2016
This is a compilation of short articles and as such doesn't really hang together well. A few more dates are needed for context. It's written by a very wealthy and privileged man who seems to have little interest in the sports cars of mere mortals, for example MGs and Triumphs. No, he's a Bentley, Rolls Royce and Porsche man, although to be fair amongst his favourite saloons are a 2CV and a souped up rusty Beetle.
His position as a member of the establishment, as a motoring journalist and as MP gave Clark free access to many races and motoring legends, though in this book there's little that is revelatory or memorable.
It's a reasonable read for enthusiasts and cheap, but I was somewhat unimpressed.
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on 25 December 2001
Back Fire provoked very mixed feelings, which is a shame. Clark's own columns and diary snippets are full of his enthusiasm for cars - proper cars that is - and motoring in general, and if you're like-minded they're a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, like many books of newspaper and magazine writings it's got an air of being cobbled together. The columns are very much a product of their various times - but there's rarely an indication of when and where they were first published. Their brief intros give only a bland context and some are marred by sloppy editing.
If you're a Clark completist it's essential; if you love cars it's an entertaining read. But ultimately most of these writings were intended to be ephemeral and might be better read in dusty back issues of the magazines they first appeared in. Having read Back Fire in an afternoon I doubt I'll do more than dip into it again.
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on 18 September 2001
Having read AC's diaries, one knows what to expect. Utterly honest and open, but playing to the gallery. But this isn't a book for the non enthusiast really, heaven for the Clark afficionado who loves old cars but a bit too specialist for others. Being of the first category, I read it in two sittings and enjoyed it immensely.
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on 26 November 2013
I didn't think I'd like this book as much as When the Revs Keep Rising but it's a touching story of the automotive life of an eccentric motoring enthusiast and while we have a very different taste in cars, some of Alan's opinions are still very valid today.
A great read.
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on 29 December 2012
How many people can claim to have owned these cars? Alan Clark was a one off. A good writer who owned some of the world's most interesting cars. What with today's speed cameras he would probably have lost his licence.
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on 25 January 2013
A modern Mister Toad. Mr Clark knew his cars and was not inhibited in his writings. As direct and frank as his writings on the years of the Thatcher government.
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on 2 June 2013
Bought the as a present for my husband who is car mad. He lived it and read it in two days
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on 21 February 2017
great read,for vintage car enthuiasts
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on 28 December 2016
Wonderful!!!!!!
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