This is a book I have been waiting for. Several years ago while working with Bluebird's co-designer, Ken Norris, we began to piece together what we thought had happened during Donald Campbell's last fateful attempt. For us, it was just a small part of a more general work on both Campbell's, Sir Malcolm and his son Donald. This book looks solely at the last attempt, and finishes with a technical breakdown of why it all went wrong, an analysis that goes beyond whatever I dreamed possible, in depth of research, calculation and observation.
Taking the bulk of the book, the author takes the reader through a thoroughly detailed diary of events, backed up with personal recollections of those who were present. Reading the text, each page gives you not only a journal of the events, but illustrates it with pictures of untold atmosphere. When a page tells you the mood was heavy, as was the weather, you merely have to glance at the pictures on the page to confirm it.
Throughout, the reader is transported back in time and literally relives the last fateful record attempt of Donald Campbell. It will, undoubtedly draw in another generation of Campbell aficionados.
The final chapter takes what is a complex string of events, and gives the reader all the ammunition needed to understand the bald mechanics of an accident. It stays away from the oft quoted, inaccurate assumptions that Campbell's failure to refuel created a light boat, it stays with what is known, but expands that to leave the reader with little to doubt.
The layout quite obviously has had much time and thought put into it, and it has paid off in spades, and when you add all this together, it makes for a complete a book as you could wish for. The author, and all those that contributed should be commended.
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