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James Hunt: The Biography

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JAMES HUNT WAS A TOWERING PERSONALITY WITH A COMMANDING PRESENCE, A HUGELY GLAMOROUS PUBLIC FIGURE WHO BROUGHT FORMULA ONE MOTOR RACING TO THE ATTENTION OF A WHOLE NEW AUDIENCE, His story is an epic tale of a short but turbulent life lived to the limit. Triumphing against all odds to become World Drivers' Champion with McLaren in 1976, Hunt sank into a period of decadence a JAMES HUNT WAS A TOWERING PERSONALITY WITH A COMMANDING PRESENCE, A HUGELY GLAMOROUS PUBLIC FIGURE WHO BROUGHT FORMULA ONE MOTOR RACING TO THE ATTENTION OF A WHOLE NEW AUDIENCE, His story is an epic tale of a short but turbulent life lived to the limit. Triumphing against all odds to become World Drivers' Champion with McLaren in 1976, Hunt sank into a period of decadence and depression ... only to be rejuventated as he found true love for the first time. With that came personal contentment and a renewed zest for living, so that one of the most colourful and controversial figures in Grand Prix racing is best remembered by those close to him as a fun-loving, caring man who had a genuinely uplifting presence - qualities that shine through in Gerald Donaldson's compelling and moving account of his life.


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JAMES HUNT WAS A TOWERING PERSONALITY WITH A COMMANDING PRESENCE, A HUGELY GLAMOROUS PUBLIC FIGURE WHO BROUGHT FORMULA ONE MOTOR RACING TO THE ATTENTION OF A WHOLE NEW AUDIENCE, His story is an epic tale of a short but turbulent life lived to the limit. Triumphing against all odds to become World Drivers' Champion with McLaren in 1976, Hunt sank into a period of decadence a JAMES HUNT WAS A TOWERING PERSONALITY WITH A COMMANDING PRESENCE, A HUGELY GLAMOROUS PUBLIC FIGURE WHO BROUGHT FORMULA ONE MOTOR RACING TO THE ATTENTION OF A WHOLE NEW AUDIENCE, His story is an epic tale of a short but turbulent life lived to the limit. Triumphing against all odds to become World Drivers' Champion with McLaren in 1976, Hunt sank into a period of decadence and depression ... only to be rejuventated as he found true love for the first time. With that came personal contentment and a renewed zest for living, so that one of the most colourful and controversial figures in Grand Prix racing is best remembered by those close to him as a fun-loving, caring man who had a genuinely uplifting presence - qualities that shine through in Gerald Donaldson's compelling and moving account of his life.

30 review for James Hunt: The Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    to be honest I am not a big fan of motor racing so I am not sure why I thought I would be interested in this book. having seen the movie 'rush' I can only assume it was because I wanted to know more of the story behind the film. the book was ok from what I read and I got a basic understanding of what kind of person hunt was. I do recommend for the formula one fans who remember hunt to be honest I am not a big fan of motor racing so I am not sure why I thought I would be interested in this book. having seen the movie 'rush' I can only assume it was because I wanted to know more of the story behind the film. the book was ok from what I read and I got a basic understanding of what kind of person hunt was. I do recommend for the formula one fans who remember hunt

  2. 5 out of 5

    Riccardo Paterni

    When Formula 1 racing was real racing (no electronic controls etc. just sheer power and pilot control) there were people like Hunt. From a struggling and little promising career in the lower formulas to the thrilling 1976 F1 title. A flat out biography that present an involving human side about Hunt unknown to many...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dan Pickles

    The first half of this book is the best thing I have ever read, the second is dull dull dull. Buy it, read half of it and walk away having had a bloody good time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matt Chambers

    The definitive James Hunt biography This book is packed full of interviews with friends and family and even Hunt himself. Donaldson has clearly done a lot of research which really adds to the narrative. The book feels really comprehensive covering the whole career. It is an read and a great insight into the character of a very interesting man.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Strohl

    Great read! Absolute detailed account of the magnificent life of James Hunt! Well worth the time to sit back and read! Must read!

  6. 4 out of 5

    GesikCZ

    I agree with Dean - what a character Hunt was!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Phil Hodgkiss

    Interesting insight into the life and career of a sporting superstar

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dane Sørensen

    It's respectful without falling into hero-worship, and it's informative without succumbing to excessive verbosity: if you only read one James Hunt biography (and with Rush due to hit theatres soon, many probably will), make it this one. Gerald Donaldson brought his "A" game for this one, putting together a densely-packed, highly readable summary of the extraordinary life of James Hunt, best known for sensationally winning the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship, for being a gorgeous poster boy for It's respectful without falling into hero-worship, and it's informative without succumbing to excessive verbosity: if you only read one James Hunt biography (and with Rush due to hit theatres soon, many probably will), make it this one. Gerald Donaldson brought his "A" game for this one, putting together a densely-packed, highly readable summary of the extraordinary life of James Hunt, best known for sensationally winning the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship, for being a gorgeous poster boy for the anti-establishment counterculture of the 1970's (in the UK at least), and for living as the hedonist's hedonist for much of that time. Donaldson's book covers all of that, and plenty more, with an affectionate and good-natured tone that is a pleasure to read. He neither glosses over Hunt's more appalling moments, but nor does he condemn them, being more interested - the mark of the true biographer - in understanding his subject's mind in such moments. There's also hardly a page in it that isn't aided by a quote from someone who was there, and although many of them are in Formula 1's "public domain", much of it doesn't show up anywhere else - most notably Alastair Caldwell, McLaren's engineering chief in the forgotten era before Ron Dennis. To me the book's only real flaw is that it shies away from really delving into the darker part of Hunt's life in the late 1980's. Some have speculated that, like Heath Ledger, his extraordinary energy was a result of bipolar disorder. I have no idea if this has been established medically, but it's an intriguing idea that should have been explored. Certainly nobody realised how much James was driven by his own inner demons until after his death, and the later chapters should have shone a newer, darker light on his mid-70's heyday of partying, substance abuse and seat-of-the-pants driving. But it doesn't, and the book is slightly one-dimensional as a result. But nevertheless, if the movie has you pumped up wanting to read more about the life of one of Formula 1's most famous (or infamous) personalities, look no further. Gerald Donaldson has you covered.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan Paxton

    James Hunt's Formula One career was brief but memorable, and never more so than in 1976 when he challenged Niki Lauda for the World Championship, a gripping story soon to be told on film in Ron Howard's upcoming (September 2013) film "Rush." Donaldson, previously the author of a well-written biography of Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, was working with Hunt on this book at the time of Hunt's untimely death of a heart attack in 1994. Hunt's life and racing career are covered ably, James Hunt's Formula One career was brief but memorable, and never more so than in 1976 when he challenged Niki Lauda for the World Championship, a gripping story soon to be told on film in Ron Howard's upcoming (September 2013) film "Rush." Donaldson, previously the author of a well-written biography of Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, was working with Hunt on this book at the time of Hunt's untimely death of a heart attack in 1994. Hunt's life and racing career are covered ably, as is his life after racing, when his calm baritone voice and crisp analysis became the antithesis to Murray Walker's often wacky enthusiasm on BBC F1 broadcasts. Donaldson does not back away from the fact (as indeed James did not) that Hunt was a man with demons - sex and substance addiction, massive depression coupled with periods of mania, and yet reveals ably that James also was in his own way a good man who loved his children, adored his dog Oscar, played the trumpet well, raised champion budgies, and prayed regularly. Towards the end of his life Hunt got to grips with his problems, and it would be interesting to know if he took advantage of the new antidepressants coming in to use at the time. In fact, Donaldson would have been well advised to get some commentary and analysis from a psychologist or two on just what propelled, motivated, and obsessed Hunt. This paperback edition is somewhat indifferently proofread, but will give readers an absorbing introduction to James Hunt and his life in and out of Formula One.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    Fantastic read - what a character Hunt was.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ady Stimpson

    Donaldson totally nails James Hunt the man and James Hunt the racer in this definitive biography of Britain's 1976 World F1 Champion. Hilarious, sad, moving and nail biting - all in one book. Sublime. Donaldson totally nails James Hunt the man and James Hunt the racer in this definitive biography of Britain's 1976 World F1 Champion. Hilarious, sad, moving and nail biting - all in one book. Sublime.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Raimo Wirkkala

    As "sports bios" go, this is one of the very best. Donaldson combines his own writing with alot of very valuable "oral history". The result is a portrait of a man-in-full. Hunt was a larger-than-life-character and is, unlike so many sports figures, worthy of a biography. As "sports bios" go, this is one of the very best. Donaldson combines his own writing with alot of very valuable "oral history". The result is a portrait of a man-in-full. Hunt was a larger-than-life-character and is, unlike so many sports figures, worthy of a biography.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wsclai

    Read the biography after watching "Rush". James Hunt undoubtedly is a legend in his sport and his short life is as dramatic as the film itself. His racing against Niki Lauder in1976 is something to remember and it is a pity that James went downhill afterwards and never get back to the top again. Read the biography after watching "Rush". James Hunt undoubtedly is a legend in his sport and his short life is as dramatic as the film itself. His racing against Niki Lauder in1976 is something to remember and it is a pity that James went downhill afterwards and never get back to the top again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard Melville

    I wish the movie Rush had portrayed the real Hunt instead of the detuned version. A real character never to be seen in Formula One again or any major sport for that matter due to corporatisation and political correctness.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Walker

    An amazing account for an amazing man taken too soon.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bobby24

    Brilliant ,Brilliant, Brilliant book on a Sporting legend ,superbly written, one to re read ,I v read its the "definitive" account of his life ,I can easily believe it . Brilliant ,Brilliant, Brilliant book on a Sporting legend ,superbly written, one to re read ,I v read its the "definitive" account of his life ,I can easily believe it .

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ty

    Very good book on the life of a great f1 driver.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John

    A talented waste. Money and bad advice - insecurity and poor support.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Myra

    James Hunt's life makes for very interesting reading. James Hunt's life makes for very interesting reading.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rohan Tyagi

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andy Young

  23. 5 out of 5

    Justin Tully

  24. 4 out of 5

    JW

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tstout68outlook.com

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adam Killeen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Hughes

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cristián Casanueva Bahamondes

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rhys

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