Mark Webber is one of those drivers who you just couldn't help but like. He was always a driver I enjoyed watching and I was always rooting for him toMark Webber is one of those drivers who you just couldn't help but like. He was always a driver I enjoyed watching and I was always rooting for him to win races and titles (unless he was fighting Alonso). He always came across as a straight shooter and a top bloke, and different to most of the other drivers on the grid. I was desperately hoping he won the 2010 title and Le Mans, sadly neither were to be.
On the whole, Aussie Grit is a good read.
It certainly however, wont make good or comfortable reading for fans of Sebastian Vettel or Red Bull Racing. Nor for Helmut Marko (not that he would read it anyway). The book does cover the awkwardenss of the relationship with RBR very well, but it doesn't cover much new. It's what everyone was able to see at the time and whilst it does shed light on new things that cropped up behind the scenes, it was nothing that wasn't guess at or speculated at the time.
A lot of it, whilst it may at the time of release have been deemed bitterness towards Seb (as has been stated by friends of mine who are big S.V fans), is more evident since his move to Ferrari and his subsequent actions.
I was disappointed however that the book doesn't go into much detail regarding the races themselves. Especially Mark's days in WEC. It's a very brief chapter, which in some ways is understandable as this part of his career was only a year old when the book was released. However he barely covered his 2014 Le Mans race for Porsche, other than a brief mention. I wanted to read about how he felt back there, what the experience of driving through the night was like, the battles on track, the heartbreak at having to retire in hour 22.
It would also have been good to read exactly WHY Mark didn't move to another team after the acrimonious events of 2010 & 2011. After all everyone watching F1 during late 2010 was wondering just how long it would be before Mark was driving a Ferrari. It was covered a little but I just feel there could have been more there.
As with many sporting autobiographies, the book came too soon. Had Mark released it in late 2016 or after it would have covered his decision to retire and maybe he could have elaborated on more on certain aspects as he would have no longer been sponsored by Red Bull. It won't go down as an all time must read sporting autobiography and probably isn't as enjoyable to read as Australia's other great mid 2000's motorsport hero, Casey Stoner's book, however for a die hard F1/motorsports fan then it's definitely worth a read. However the fact that I, a generally slow reader, managed to read it in a week speaks volumes about how easy it is to pick up and just keep going. So it's definitely a 4 star book....more
This doesn't need a big review. Quite simply it's a brilliant book about an astounding British mission to start taking back the Falklands against theThis doesn't need a big review. Quite simply it's a brilliant book about an astounding British mission to start taking back the Falklands against the odds. This is probably the best military history book I've read since Agent Zigzag. Anyone with an interest in the RAF or military history has to read this....more
I shall start by saying that I've never read a Star Wars book before. And I chose this one to start with as I didn't want to start a series and wantedI shall start by saying that I've never read a Star Wars book before. And I chose this one to start with as I didn't want to start a series and wanted to read something more out of the normal canon of the films and couldn't resist reading this having just watched Rogue One.
I am pretty sure that if this wasn't a 'Star Wars' novel and just a random book it wouldn't see the light of day. Therefore, why the two stars? Well the first two/three chapters are pretty good. After that it's all downhill in a giant sprawling mess of boring story line, unnecessary 'geek speak' and poor writing.
Vader is reduced to some comedic villain who stands there with his hands on his hips and it's nigh on impossible to imagine him with the iconic voice or manner of the films. Tarkin appears to be from some world such as you would find on No Mans' Sky and the Emperor just plain boring and more like a Granddad who is rather old and feeble.
The majority of the plot revolves around Tarkin and Vader jumping around space on a stolen ship following Tarkin's own personal ship which has been stolen. It's a lazy and sloppy plot device that's been done in various forms hundreds of times over and brings nothing new to the chase.
The end of the main story is a twist. A traitor within the Emperor's top ranks. However it's quite obvious very early on in this characters development that they're the traitor. It may as well put in brackets next to the characters first introduction that they're the traitor.
Save your money and time. Buy a Chris Wooding book instead. Far more enjoyable. Far better characters and a better plot and a far better author. ...more
Unfortunately this was probably the worst of the Clarkson books that I've read. I generally enjoy his writing and find him funny. However I only laughUnfortunately this was probably the worst of the Clarkson books that I've read. I generally enjoy his writing and find him funny. However I only laughed two or three times throughout the book and even then it was only a little chuckle.
His random articles on the world are far more entertaining than the articles on car reviews....more
I am going to start this (4 star) review with a rant. I am getting increasingly tired of -history books in particular- books being given utterly the wI am going to start this (4 star) review with a rant. I am getting increasingly tired of -history books in particular- books being given utterly the wrong title. Surely one can claim false advertisement? This book is called: Engineers of Victory. With a title like that you expect it to be about Barnes Wallis and his Bouncing Bomb. Hobart and his Funnies. etc etc. However what we have here is a book with 5 chapters, each around 75 pages long about various campaigns in the Second World War. There is very little on 'Engineers' and actually, very little on 'Problem Solvers'. Rather the book is a short history of 5 campaigns in WWII. A more apt title would be 'A short history of the Second World War'.
What you get in each of these 5 chapters, about such campaigns as the Battle of the Atlantic, The Battle for the Pacific, The Battle of Britain, etc is a brief telling of each of those battles included in which is a rather too in depth history of battles from the 17-1800's. Occasionally the author drops in "such and such solved this problem" and then goes on to give you detail about a particular event some-what loosely connected to the chapter, and sometimes not connected to anything else in the book.
It's also very clear from early on and it becomes more apparent as you continue to read that the author is viciously anti Ultra and anti Bletchley. To the point of almost saying 'Well it was pointless and achieved nothing'. True, you can't put an actual figure on what Ultra and the code breakers achieved, but to dismiss it almost as completely as the author does is dangerous and frankly wrong.
I am also sick of publishers not proof reading books and not tailoring the book for the market. The American'isms in this book are atrocious at times (colour has a U in it). This is not an issue plaguing just this book, but publishing in general.
With that over with. The author has written an extremely engaging book. One that is easy to read and doesn't feel 'heavy'. It's not a book the reader has to try to read. It flows well (even if it does go off on a few tangents). The chapter topics are well chosen and well researched and rather fascinating. There is plenty in here to keep even the most ardent world war 2 buff interested.
Because each chapter is relatively short you never feel as though you're trudging through a long-winded book about one topic. More 5 short books in separate topics. It keeps it more engaging for the reader and keeps it flowing better.
Shame about the annoying aspects previously mentioned. ...more
I'm finding it very hard to find the words to review this book. It was very close at times to being a fantastic read and at others close to being a biI'm finding it very hard to find the words to review this book. It was very close at times to being a fantastic read and at others close to being a bit of a disaster. So it was either going to be 2 stars or 4. So I decided to go with 4.
To read, it was extremely easy and engaging. It never felt as thought the subject was weighing it down and making it difficult to read. You could easily knock out a few chapters in 30 minutes no problem. My problems with the book however were to do with how disjointed it was. It was all over the place. There was no chronological order to the chapters or the events in them. Often in the writing, Sir Alex would go off at tangents, some of them relevant to the topic and subject of the chapter and previous sentances and others not.
Most people would also be surmised by 2 words after their introduction. A separate sentance. Great Lad. Or words to that effect.
I was disappointed that the chapters didn't follow the order of events in a chronological order. At least to some degree. It would be fine to drop in the odd chapter here and there out of order, but it seemed as though the chapters had been written individually and then somoeone picked one to start the book with and all subsequent chapters had been picked at random out of a hat. Most of the chapters were written not about a time of life, but about players, Ronaldo, Beckham, Rooney, van Nistelrooy. This in itself ins't an issue however within a few lines the chapter had gone off in a totally different direction and talk about other issues, such as another player signed by Ferguson, before eventually returning to the title topic.
I would have liked to have seen more chapters written about events at Old Trafford, rather than about certain people. To read more about the 25+ years that Ferguson had spent in charge at United. However whilst I have been critical of the disorganised state of the book, the chapters, if at times mistitled, were written well and were interesting. It kept me engaged and I did enjoy reading it.
So there we go, close to being a disasterous mess and close to being a must read for all sports fans. In the end it wasn't quite either....more
The first 150 or so pages could be condensed into around 50 as the pace of the book is at times, excruciatingReally this book only deserves 2.5 stars.
The first 150 or so pages could be condensed into around 50 as the pace of the book is at times, excruciatingly slow. Indeed, I rather think that books 2,3 & 4 could have been written as 2 books instead of 3. You get the feeling that even at this point the series is starting to be milked for all it is worth before the end.
The middle 100 pages, whilst more exciting in content than the beginning of the book are so outlandish, even for a fantasy book, that it completely pulled me out of the story.
The end of the book is it's strong point, or almost. The last 5 pages a brief 'extract' from a ficticious book being mind numbingly dull.
There's no doubt that this book is better than the weakest of the 4 that I have so far read, Throne of Jade. However it is nowhere near the quality or intrigue of the first book, Temeraire....more
Firstly, this book is a horribly weight read (although this may be because of the translation from French to English), but it jusHmmm, where to start?
Firstly, this book is a horribly weight read (although this may be because of the translation from French to English), but it just doesn't flow or lend itself to a book you can pick up and knock out 100 pages easily or comfortably. It requires real concentration to read.
Secondly, this book shouldn't be titled 'A Clean Break'. Bassons has made a clean break from nothing. He claims within the book that he made a clean break from cycling, except that he still cycles now. The book should be called 'A Bitter Man'. The further you read the more this bitterness comes across. He of all people surely has every right to be bitter about how he was treated and how his career panned out after so much early promise. But to claim that you've made a break and that you're not bitter when you clearly are is perhaps not the best way to go about trying to change things.
Thirdly, he seems to imply that he was the ONLY cyclist who raced in the professional peloton that was clean. He refused to say within the book that there were other clean riders out there. When he, and the rest of us know that there were (admittedly not many of the top riders).
Fourth: He thinks it's impossible to improve your performance through training. I've never taken drugs or injections and yet I get better at a sport if I train more.
Fifth: He thinks everyone who does improve must clearly be doped.
Sixth: He's EXTREMELY anti British. Despite the amount of French riders who attacked him and who have tested positive compared to British riders he still seems to prefer them (Maybe that's just a French thing)
Seventh: There was mention of French riders who admitted doping, and he was seemingly merciful to those that did it freely. But was there mention of David Millar? Who tested positive, took his punishment and then came back to ride clean and to push for clean cycling? No.
Eighth: The chapter title "Armstrong and Me" had very little about Armstrong in it.
Ninth: His views on doping and doping control don't seem to mix with his practice of hypoxic tents. He seems to contradict himself several times.
There is no doubt that his life in cycling is interesting and the way cycling treated him nothing short of appalling. However the problems are many in this book. I'd only suggest it to a fanatical who can't see beyond the end of their nose....more
The first thing I'll say about this book, and it's blindingly obvious at the start, but less so as you go on, is that it's clearly ghost written. It dThe first thing I'll say about this book, and it's blindingly obvious at the start, but less so as you go on, is that it's clearly ghost written. It doesn't 'feel' as though Guy as written every word and that's probably not surprising, but I like to feel like the person who's book it is has written it.
Secondly, Virgin Books should be utterly ashamed of themselves with the quality of the publication of this. The editing and proof reading are obviously non existant. There are spelling errors on every other page, words not formatted correctly and sometimes two words not separated by a space.
However once you get passed these two issues (the poor spelling being the most difficult issue to look beyond) the book is funny. The more recent the events in the book are the more obious it is that Guy has had a hand in what's been put down on page directly. What stands out most is his love of his day job, fixing trucks. He reinforces it time and again throughout the book and it's refreshing to see that a 'celebrity' isn't bothered by the celebrity lifestyle. You know that is the TV works stops coming his way, you wont find him on celebrity Big Brother trying to get back in the limelight. He'll just carry on fixing trucks and racing his bikes.
He's rough round the edges (much like the book) but that's why I like him. You can relate to him in a way you can't with most other TV personalities. He calls a spade a spade and if he doesn't want to do something, he just wont do it.
Well, what can you say about Nigel Mansell? F1 World Champion & Indy Champion at the same time. Bridesmaid in F1 many a time.
The book started outWell, what can you say about Nigel Mansell? F1 World Champion & Indy Champion at the same time. Bridesmaid in F1 many a time.
The book started out well, but did become more wearisome as it went on.
Several things about his writing frustrated and annoyed me. Chiefly, his spelling of Mum. Being British you would expect he would write 'Mum', however when talking about his own mother he wrote 'Mom'. Now, everyone has the right to call their parents what they wish, however you should tailor your writing to your audience.
I also found that as the book progressed he became more prechy about everything. It was if I were at a self help seminar!
Another aspect of his writing that annoyed me was his constant 'How about they, ey?' it was used multiple times in each chapter and it was as if he was trying to get me to go 'Yes Nigel, I heard you'. All it does it make you roll your eyes the more and more you read it, as if a Grandparent was telling you the same story for the millionth time.
The adventures he had and the injuries he sustained are fascinating to read about. However the book is spoiled by the afformentioned issues which is a shame, because I liked Nigel when he was racing and I was really excited to read the book. It's just a shame it wasn't as exciting as his racing.