Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



Read Review
<back to archive

The Limit By Michael Cannell

Release date: 14th November, 2011
Publisher: Atlantic Books

List Price: £17.99
Our Price: £8.46
You Save: £9.53 (52%)
Buy Now

For readers who hanker over a time when racing car drivers and their sport had a modicum of character, The Limit offers a wonderful trip down memory lane, as well as a reminder that in times before strict F1 rules were introduced, death was a constant companion inside the driver's cockpit.

Cannell's protagonists are American Phil Hill and his Ferrari teammate, Count Wolfgang von Trips, a German nobleman with a name and a manner plucked directly from central casting. The pair go head-to-head in a duel to decide who will emerge victorious in the 1961 F1 drivers' championship. By the time the race, held at the super-fast racetrack at Monza, has finished, one man will be world champion, the other will perish on the boomerang-shaped track.

The contrast between each man's background and upbringing could not have been starker. Not surprisingly, the Count was the one who embarked upon a life of debauchery and drove his 'sharknose' Ferrari with aplomb. Hill, a lover of Bartok and Shostakovich, was a nervous character who invariably vomited before a race.

Despite their differing routes to motor racing's pinnacle, both men sought to achieve the sport's most coveted balance - that between speed and control, known by drivers as 'the limit'. To move beyond this position was to invite catastrophe.

Set against this background, Cannell provides us with a thought-provoking examination of the emotional and psychological matters with which drivers had to contend before leaping effortlessly into the cockpit - bear in mind it was not unusual for a driver to be killed during a race.

If the book has a fault it is a sloppy approach to checking facts. Some are glaringly obvious: the Carrera Panamericana is the route across Mexico's Sierra Madre, not the Sierra Nevada, which is in California. Jaguar's XK120 set world production-car speed records in Belgium in May 1949, not 1950, and at 132.6 mph, not 136.

However, these mistakes, while irritating, do not detract from a thrilling tale set in an era when drivers were glamorous, heroic and appeared to revel in dicing with death each time they took the wheel.


<back to archive


Toolstation


SBOTM Current Top 10

The Hardmen: Legends of the Cycling Gods By Frank Strack
Pursuit Books
Read Review Buy Now
The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide to Football Glory By David Bolchover
Biteback
Read Review Buy Now
Tom Simpson: Bird On A Wire By Andy McGrath
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
But Seriously An Autobiography By John McEnroe
W & N
Read Review Buy Now
The Descent By Thomas Dekker
Ebury Press
Read Review Buy Now
We Are Sunday League By Ewan Flynn
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
The Fall of the House of FIFA By David Conn
Yellow Jersey Press
Read Review Buy Now
Gentleman and Player The Story of Colin Cowdrey, Cricket’s Most Elegant and Charming Batsman By Andrew Murtagh
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
The Premier League: 25 Years By Lloyd Pettiford
Urbane Publications
Read Review Buy Now
Johnny Haynes Portrait of a Football Genius By James Gardner
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.