By Michael Keyser and Jonathan Williams
ISBN 8376 0234 3
Published by Bendy, £39.99
What a simply terrible title for a simply brilliant book. Brilliant, that is, if you have seen the film Le Mans and consider it one of the greatest ever made. If not, stay several miles away from this book.
I will, however, presume you are a fan of the film, and can see through its rather obvious faults (not much sign of a script, less of a plot) to the masterpiece of film-making that it is. This book’s subject is the making of that film, from the reasons Steve McQueen became interested in racing to the minutiae about how the set-piece stunts were set up.
On any level you like, it is ‘Wetting. As an insight into the often unappealing character of McQueen it is illuminating, as an inside view of racing at the time it is thrilling (co-author Williams actually drove a camera car in the 1970 race to get decent footage). My favourite section is how they converted Lola T70s into Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512S lookalikes, fitted them with remote control and then smashed them to pieces in pursuit of authentic crash shots.
This is a great book both to read and look at. If you liked the film at all, it is a must. AF