Matters of moment

Books

Grand Prix Yesterday & Today
by Bruce Jones. Published by Carlton Books. £20. ISBN: 1844421600

This is a well-written, coffee-table compendium rather than an in-depth look at the sport. The former editor of Autosport knows his stuff and the photography from LAT's archive is uniformly excellent. At £20, this book is also inexpensive and good value. It's just that while the idea of juxtaposing old against new is a good one, we don't think there is enough material here to satiate the more hard-core motor racing types amongst you. Liveries, the press, mechanics, designers, celebrities and many, many more subjects are featured and compared. RH

An Adventurous Life
by Roger Nathan & Stéphane Gutzwiller. Published by Stépahne Gutzwiller. €30 (available from rogernathan.racebooks@yahoo.co.uk)

Racing driver, car manufacturer, flyboy and all-round adventurer, Roger Nathan's life has rarely been dull. We're always delighted to review works that could be described as being of minority interest, and this unpretentious soft-back is a good read. See past the lack of gloss, and the tale behind Nathan's rise through the club-racing ranks to building wooden-hulled (and achingly pretty) sports-racers with Frank Costin is an entertaining one. His relationship with the left field Irish designer makes for compelling reading, as does the text relating to his spell mining diamonds in Sierra Leone and performing UN air-lifts. RH

The Lost Generation
by David Tremayne. Published by Haynes. £30. ISBN:1844252051

A long time in gestation, expectations were high for Tremayne's latest effort. Building on themes explored earlier in his masterful Racers Apart, the story centres on the tragically short lives of Roger Williamson, Tom Pryce and Tony Brise. Intelligently written and diligently researched, it's a joy to read. Moving, too. Having spoken to everyone from team bosses to spouses, this is much more than just a series of bios: the sense of loss is palpable as the narrative progresses. You know how it's all going to end, and photos such as that of Pryce's airborne Shadow, the driver dead at the wheel, are harrowing. An absolute must read. RH

Rapid Response
by Dr Stephen Olvey. Published by Haynes. £18.99. ISBN: 1844253392

Expecting a dry tale of death and near-misses, this 287-page hardback is actually a cracking read. Olvey paid his first visit to Indy in 1955 where the eleven-year old witnessed Bill Vukovich's fiery demise. And thus began his march towards improving life-saving in US motor racing, his first action in a professional medical capacity being to extricate Graham Hill from a practice shunt during the '66 500. The CART medical director's witty writing style really engages the reader. Learn the origins of the 'Mansell Lesion', go behind the scenes of the execrable racing flick Driven, and soak up his thoughts on the remarkable and inspirational Alex Zanardi. RH