An excellent recounting of his formative years and coming of age through snowmobiles and fomula cars. While overall the book paints him as a bit of a devilish saint it does hint at darker times too. Overall a good overview of the state of Formula 1 in the late 70's and an 'up close' look at one of the truly gifted who's time was cut short. A great companion read to the biography of his son!
I found this biography very well written and very detailed with numerous quotes from Gilles himself and of the many people associated with him and the F1 community. Gilles had his faults like all of us do, but his life was racing. Racing to the limit, always, no exception. There was an old saying for those people who had extraordinary skills for a particular vocation or hobby. You had "the wheels for it". Appropriately, Gilles had "the wheels for motor racing". Enzo believed that Gilles was his most exciting F1 driver ever and even considered him as his son. From reading anyone's biography the reader will come away, if written accurately, having a much better understanding of the life of the person and will in a sense "know" this person much better than before. Sometimes this will be a positive move and sometimes a negative one. In this case my esteem for my favourite F1 driver has increased, even with the few bumpy areas in Gilles' life. Actually the bumpy areas in Gilles' life made him more real than ever to me.
I found this to be a very well written biography of an exceptional F1 racing legend.
Let me be clear: this is simply the best racing driver biography ever written. It's complete, well written, touching and objective at the same time, respectful to the dead. It's an amazing book. No doubt the writer is a big Villeneuve fan, but he managed to avoid being totally partial. It's full oof data, anecdotes, funny parts, tragic parts, competition, brief technical analysys of the cars, a lot of famous drivers in diverse categories... Well, this is the book.
This is a truly impressive book. For racing fans, Donaldson delivers step by step action through a lap of the Monaco race - capturing the reader and having them feel as though they were in that car with Gilles. Glimpses of Gilles' personal life bring color to his character without being tabloid cheap!! In short, I feel sad that Gilles is no longer with us, what an awesome personality and a warm, friendly person. This book left me wishing I could meet him and wondering what Gilles would've been doing today in his fifties! Stunning book!
It is rare to come across a biography of a famous sports personality that will keep you reading on and on and on compulsively, but Gerald Donaldson has written one. The book combines all the passion and excitement of Gilles' short career in a thorough and superbly readable biography that takes you right behind the public image of Gilles Villeneuve. In short, buy this fantastic book! It more than lives up to its reputation as the racing classic.
This book is still today a classic, and an absolute must for any motor racing fan-- independently of their favourite category. Beautifully written, it narrates in detail the life, times, and racing of one of Formula One's most intriguing drivers. It is full of interesting anectodes and important facts about Gilles Villeneuve's racing and his all too brief presence on the international scene. It is full of interesting notes on his character, personality, and private life-- never crossing the line, however, in morbid curiosity or tabloid cheapness. You will read it over and over again.
This book will make you feel a shiver up your spine! It's all there: the racings, Villeneuve's determination, the real facts, his family, all put together in a reasonable way that makes you read the book non-stopping. There's no need for another Villeneuve reference book, you must be sure!!!
Gerald Donaldson has written a great biography on the life of one of the greatest racing drivers of all time. It's one of those books that's very difficult to put down once you start reading as it is very entertaining, informative, and moving. You come away from this book with a great deal of respect for Villenueve as he overcame incredible odds to become the man known for his unbelievable car control/driving skills and his tremendous heart. The book covers all aspects of his personality including his warm side, his shortcomings, and his quirks as well as providing a detailed account of his career from beginning to end. I highly recommend this book.
Perhaps the definitive biography of Gilles Villeneuve, Donaldson writes very entertainingly, and the book will make you laugh and feel sad. He covers Villeneuve's personality well with quote's from freinds and family, and provides a balanced view of a warm, freindly, but sometimes naive and thoughtless person. Some of Gilles' exploits will shock, but it's amusing to hear from those on the receiving end. Covers his life and professional career chronologically and very well. Excellent and revealing book.
The book is strictly written in chronological fashion, but Donaldson weaves in opinions and quotes from many people who worked or lived with Gilles. It gives us a good impression of Villeneuve, both as a racing driver and as a person. Personally, I'm not that interested in learning about the private life of racing drivers, hidden as they are behind their helmet. It's their driving that's important. Consequently, I didn't much care for it in this book, either, and it upset me here and there. But then, I'd have missed out on the hilarious accounts from people who were passengers in Gilles' road cars. The racing action in this book is magnificent. Like being there in person. Really well-written, this book literally made me cry and laugh. I can only recommend this one.