It is Christmas soon and for those with race fans in their family, I would recommend a subscription to GP+ for 2015. It is a great value gift that will last them all year long.
However, if you are looking for something that you can wrap up and stick under a Christmas tree, there is always The Grand Prix Saboteurs, a true story of Grand Prix drivers who became secret agents in France during World War II. I am entirely biased, but I honestly think it is a great story and I don’t know many people who have not enjoyed it.
If racing is not your thing (why are reading this?!) there is also The Man who Caught Crippen, which is a marvellous story of unlikely adventures of a sea captain, who lived through some extraordinary moments in history.
Here are a few snippets from Amazon reviews about the books… just to try to win you over!
About The Man who Caught Crippen:
“The Man Who Caught Crippen is entertaining and educational and very well written. It is a terrific read and I heartily recommend it to anybody.”
“A great and gripping yarn of an amazing life, in a different time to what we know. Have bought multiple copies to pass on to others as I rate it that highly.”
“Following on from the excellent ‘Grand Prix Saboteurs’ Joe Saward has again come up with a cracking tale that is slightly off the radar from the obvious. This is another piece of excellently – and extensively – researched material. It’s a rattling good yarn of life at sea in the days before travel was accessible to everyone and pre the days of instant global communication.”
About The Grand Prix Saboteurs:
“I can recommend this item to every Formula one fan. Great story, well written.”
“Hugely interesting, either from the point of view of a Grand Prix enthusiast or as someone interested in the war this book gives a real sense of the people that were hugely motivated to make a difference, living life to the full.
“I am enjoying reading this book and find it difficult to put it down, thats how good it is for me”
“An interesting and well researched true story about ‘Willy’ Grover Williams, the first winner of the Monaco Grand Prix who went on to become a British SOE ‘spy’ behind enemy lines in WW2.”
“I am a huge fan of F1 and have recently been reading more and more about the history of racing. I have always been fascinated by the details of the Second World War and all of the heroism and development that it necessitated. This book is the intersection of these two worlds. Best of all, it is true. Obviously the work of years of research, this book tells many compelling stories that were new to me as well as provides new details to well-known episodes that have only recently become declassified. A truly unique book that everyone can appreciate, but if you are a race fan and love spy stories, get this book now.”
“I bought for my partner as a present and he loved it… Easy to read.”
“I was totally hooked on this book the moment I picked it up. It is a true story of British Secret Agents working behind enemy lines in occupied France during WWII in an attempt to sabotage the Germans in preparation for the D-Day landings. Although I got a little confused with the wide range of different people mentioned the story gives a very detailed account of what life was like for the Secret Agents, the risks they took, and the efforts they went to in order to help win the War.
“I got this book and I was amazed at the detail and information that it contained. I was hooked. Fantastic book for anyone with an Interest in SOE, cars and motorsport. An amazing book.”
“A rivetting read backed with exhaustive and revealing research into the incredible lives of the early Grand Prix drivers in France who became resistance heroes in WW2.
“This is a really great read. The book has been painstakingly researched over a number of years, and this has been translated into a very easy to read, and exciting book. The story is true, but it has been written like a good novel. There is a great balance keeping the story going, without getting bogged down in too much detail. There are however some amazing details in here, such as the insight into the British War effort in France, through the use of an intricate spy networtk, through to the motor racing scene at the start of the last century. Absolutely brilliant!”
“I am not a huge fan of motor racing, but despite this I enjoyed the first chapters of the book which is mostly about the early lives and racing careers of the saboteurs. The author really brings the people to life and makes the reader care about them. Once he starts writing about their SOE activities the book comes to life. He must have done an enormous amount of research, because, despite reading many, many books on the SOE, I found a lot of new information. Excellently researched.”
Representing eighteen years of thorough research which could not be verified until 2003 when certain war time documents were declassified, this is a fascinating piece of work and a glimpse into another murky backdrop of WW2. Saward is actually a professional motor racing journalist and author, his prose really comes to life when the story allows him back into his area of considerable expertise but he does a fine job of unpicking the strands of people and events which weave into this amazing account of intrigue in the face of oppression.”
“A truly fascinating book that will work not only for fans of motor racing from the classic era also fans of a ripping wartime yarn will not be disappointed”
“I was surprised at how easily the story flowed and how Joe Saward managed to combine so many different elements into a coherent whole. A classic in every sense of the word.”