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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 March 2010
The book follows the life and racing career of Tommy Byrne, an Irish racing driver with plenty of raw driving talent but who due to his personality (it comes across as the primary issue) never truly makes it. From winning all the feeder championships in the first year of contesting them, he joins a third rate F1 team, where there was no perspective, he flies in tests for McLaren but fails the Ron Dennis test (in some ways much like Montoya and Alonso in that respect) and then goes through a slow motion train crash and byrne over the next 10 years or so, partly in Europe, partly in the US and Mexico.

The book seems to have been written during two periods, as there are two clearly definable styles in there. The early chapters, which describe his childhood and adolescence in Ireland, are written pretty much like an Irvine Welsh novel (If You Liked School, You'll Love Work for example), full of raw anger, associated bad spelling and language but somehow engaging and gripping. Part Two of the book, which then focuses more on the racing has either been written at a different time period or has been edited completely differently - the style is night and day. It is a bit more typical sports personality biography, in some way more polished (the language cleans up for sure) but no longer so gripping and engaging. The anger gives way to some sense of deep disappointment over the lack of respect the author is faced with most of the time in spite of the unmistakable pace he can deliver on track, often with not exactly stellar machinery and support. It seems his burning ambition got somewhat satiated by knowing he was excellent and could win, and the hunger for doing everything and keeping the eye on the ball to keep on winning and make it in F1 was not fully there. The co-author (Mark Hughes), who inserts explanatory passages throughout the text claims that all it would take for Byrne to really make it was getting under the aegis of a good manager, something lacking throughout. As it is, Byrne never really made it big in F1 - at least he seems to have made his peace with it and is now a dedicated and seemingly relatively happy racing school instructor in the US. Potentially the name will return, with at least one of his sons rising up through the ranks in karting now.
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on 26 March 2009
Great book with insight into a troubled life. The balls of the man are unbelieveable! Recommended reading for any racing fan! Im a hugh Senna fan and from reading would agree that Arton Senna did fear him!
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on 27 February 2009
I am a motor racing fan since the early seventies and have read quite a few motor racing biographies. This one is by far the best. A great story, written in a very entertaining way.
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on 23 October 2009
Wow - what a truly terrible book. I read the reviews and thought I would give it a go - even though I had never heard of Tommy Byrne - strange since I grew up around motor racing in the late 70's and early 80's and also worked for an F1 team (guess that is why it is titled as it is - but strange nonetheless). I have read most of the biographies / auto biographies - Hunt, Gilles Villeneuve, Mansell, Stewart, Senna etc etc. So when I saw that this book was somewhat different I was intrigued - I wish I hand't been. The book feels like it has been written by a 13 year old doing their GCSE English exam with a terrible hangover - it is honestly that bad. Clearly Tommy was a very talented driver but unfortunately he seemed to think he deserved respect as opposed to earning it - no matter what happened. And that theme continues throughout the book and becomes very tedious very quickly. If you are the best driver in the world (as he likes to claim rather too often) you will get to the pinnacle of the sport one way or another. If you don't there is a reason for it... It is rare that I start a book but not finish it - but this one fell into that category. Sorry - but don't waste your time
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on 1 September 2010
This is probably the best motor racing autobiography i've read. It seems this man was destined for great things, and even had Senna worried! Really couldn't put it down. Great.
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on 6 November 2015
Seemed brand new! Was expecting to receive a 'used' copy, so happy out! Thank you!
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on 3 August 2014
A must read. One of the greatest ever motor racing books.
Brilliant
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on 2 February 2009
Great book that should have been written years ago. There are a few 'big names' who should be very embarassed if they read Tommy's story. A few girls may also be embarassed aswell. Lots of 'names' I came across in my motorsport days figure in this no holds barred story.
Get it!
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on 24 February 2009
A very refreshing story of a man that didnt make it when he got to the big time but did get to F1 as a professional driver with nothing other than pure talent.
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on 14 February 2012
Tommy Byrne was never F1 capable...that is why Ron Dennis dumped him !!!!

Tommy just a lazy dreamer...about a F1 career with any team.

Just a book about a no hoper, with a fantasy world.
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