By Louis Stanley ISBN: 1 84065 077 X
Published by Salamander Books Ltd, £18.99.
A complex and often controversial man, it is no surprise that this collection of reminiscences from Louis Stanley’s 50 years in the sport should be as quirky as the man himself.
The first page of the book sets the scene for what is to follow. He suggests his “tone is more tolerant than it used to be” but still manages to put just one paragraph between that sentence and one saying Bernie Ecclestone is the man who “single-handed has contrived the destruction of the old-order and,.. established himself as dictator of the sport.”
Don’t bother looking for any form of continuity from start to finish. This is no autobiography, rather a rambling discourse, seemingly of whatever happened to be on Stanley’s mind at the time. Illustrated entirely from his personal archive, the photographs are often interesting (though the inclusion of a shot of the fatally burned Bandini is offensive and insensitive) while the page layouts add at least some semblance of order to the work. Overall Strictly Off The Record is often interesting, usually thought-provoking and more than capable of making your hackles rise. Just like the man.