Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix CircuitBook - 2011
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Contrary to the comments below, this book is neither engaging or finely wrought. The writing plods through the late 1950s of formula 1 auto racing, an exciting time in the history of formula 1 unless you are reading this book. It overemphasizes the career of Phil Hill and oversimplifies the life of Wolfgang von Trips. The book accurately follows the timeline of events leading up to the winning of the 1961 formula 1 world championship without any of the excitement of the competition.
This is a very engaging and finely wrought story about how Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips became the leading drivers for Ferrari F1 while vying for the 1961 world championship, and how this ends in both tragedy and nobility.
Hill and von Trips were polar opposites held in orbit by the wobbly gravity of Enzo Ferrari, whose drama, flair, and cynical cruelties were operatic.
Cannell blends vivid portraits of the principals and of Ferrari, families, and rivals. The supporting characters are developed enough to bring the story to life. It explains how Hill and von Trips were drawn to intense competition and found the courage to face certain pain or death for mistakes at the limit. This book respects its characters, without lapsing into historic pedantry or tedious, sneering post-modern deconstructionism.
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