Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Recommended reading

The last time I read a book for enjoyment was in high school - an embarrassingly long time ago.

Since then the only books I have ever had my nose in have been text books, both at university, and even until last year for my qualification. Any love of reading was extinguished....

It was a strange thing then that on one of my last visits to a Tesco store in London, I bought myself the Richard Hammond autobiography, "On the Edge". I thought yo myself, "Not sure why I am buying this, but I need something to collect dust, and this looks like a good candidate".

That said, you will understand what an awesome book this must when when I say I read it from cover to cover on the flight from Amsterdam to Johannesburg on Sunday. An incredible read, that I really had difficulty putting down.

If you're a fan of Top Gear, or some of the other TV programs that Richard has appeared in, you will likely be a fan of his - a young, fresh faced incredibly friendly presenter that welcomes the viewer into his programs with warmth. It's for this reason then that his critical injury in a jet car crash in 2006 generated such massive public interest, apparently not limited to the UK.

This book "On the Edge" is an autobiographical account of the years before the crash, his early career, and an account of the day itself. However, to me, the book really gets going after that, when his wife Mindy picks up the story and in a no-holds-bar manner gives a blow by blow account of her experience, watching her husband recover from injury, enduring his amnesia and repeated question asking and circular conversations. I am a cold sod sometimes, but even I was moved by some of her accounts, and how it affected her, her young family, and Richard's family and close friends.

I cannot recommend enough this book - available in Tesco, but also online at Amazon.


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