A change of pace

This morning I am off to the Chinese consulate in an effort to get my visa sorted out for Shanghai. Hopefully it will nice and easy this year. There are a couple of pieces to be written today, but they will have to wait for a while. In the interim, I leave you with a thought: if you like my writings, have you considered buying my books? Yes, it is a plug for the books, but I am very proud of them and I think both of them are a decent read.

The Grand Prix Saboteurs is the amazing true story of how three motor racing stars of the 1920s and 1930s worked together as British secret agents during World War II in Occupied France. It is a story that has never been told before and is the result of 18 years of complicated research. The story is a real life swashbuckler with astonishing escapes, shocking betrayals and a story that you will never forget. All true. For more information, you can click here.

The Man who Caught Crippen is not a racing book, but it is just as extraordinary a tale as The Grand Prix Saboteurs.
Henry Kendall was a mariner and a hero of his age. In 1910 he shot to fame after becoming the first man to use radio to capture a criminal. Kendall suspected that one of his passengers was the celebrated murderer Dr Crippen. The radio message he sent resulted in Inspector Walter Dew of the Metropolitan Police racing to Liverpool to board a faster ship to Canada. In the newspapers each day the world watched… as the power of radio communication was proved for the first time, in the most dramatic fashion. Four years later, at almost exactly the same spot as Crippen had been arrested, in the St Lawrence Estuary, the RMS Empress of Ireland, which Kendall was commanding, was hit by a heavily-laden coal frieghter, with an ice-breaking bow. The liner sank in just 14 minutes, killing 1,012 people. By a quirk of fate Kendall survived. The story of his life reads like a work of fiction. He went to sea as a cabin boy at 15. He survived attempted murder, shipwrecks, torpedoes, icebergs, scorpion bites, cannibals, sharks, fevers, flying bombs and even a marauding leopard. The captain of an Atlantic liner by the age of 32, he played a key role in rescuing 800 refugees when the Germans invaded Belgium in 1914, using one liner to tow another out of Antwerp, despite attempts to stop the two ships leaving. If you would like to buy a copy, click here.

Right, off to the consulate!

55 thoughts on “A change of pace

  1. Pity Pandemic never came clean on how much they borrowed from you for The Saboteur game, Joe. It was a pretty fun romp though I only found out about your book reading up on William Grover-Williams. I’d have been glad to hear about it from the game itself.
    Though having said that, the developers made Williams into an Irishman so their judgment is questionable – not due to any fault with being Irish but more that an Irishman running around planting bombs might be crass and offensive?

    I will have to get the Crippen one.

  2. I’m not on a commission scheme but do have to say that The Grand Prix Saboteurs is a beautiful piece of work.

    The cast of characters is huge and when you consider that they were all real people you can really appreciate the years of research that Joe must have done to bring this story to the world.

    It is a challenging read because of the entwined plots and sub-plots and also because by it’s very nature, it is a very, very complicated story. Joe has made it very accessible.

    If you haven’t grabbed a copy and read from cover to cover then you’re missing out…

  3. I’d love to read them both. I keep hoping you will opt to offer an ePub version which I can obtain electronically sans paper, thus leaving you with more profit while leaving me with both a reduced cost and fewer things to tote about. Any hope of that?

    Anybody with the doc files and a laptop can make such a version. If you don’t want the bother, and if the gf doesn’t want to mess with it either, you can send me the files, and I’ll push a few buttons and then email the whole shebang back to you. (Really, no kidding. And I won’t tell anyone either.)

  4. Joe, are they available as eBooks anywhere? I clicked the “I’d like to read this book on the Kindle” on the Amazon UK website many months ago, no progress so far though. Pete

  5. Joe

    I have read both and particularly The Grand Prix Saboteurs is an excellent read. I actually read them both after finding this blog about 6 months ago.

    To all others readers of the blog, they are excellent reads.

  6. Joe,

    I spy your books on Amazon France as well, I presume they all give you roughly the same cut?

    I have piles and piles of books to read (including Jackie Stewart’s rather weighty autobiography) but might as well add two more to the stack.

  7. At first glance the figure on the front of your Crippen book looks like a young Michael Schumacher in naval uniform. Something your not telling us Joe! ; )

  8. Joe

    I’ve bought them all and highly recommended. I’ve even got you Grand Prix atlas as Geoff Collins will attest. Helped him out the other day with an obscure race track.

  9. Hi Joe.

    Last year I added the Grand Prix Saboteurs to my wish list for my birthday, and amazingly enough, since I am the only one of all my friends and family who are remotely interested in racing, my sister actually purchased it for me.
    A fantastic story and I got sucked in from page 1. Brilliant work.

  10. Hey Joe,

    Are either available anywhere as an eBook? I read everything on my kindle these days. Including GP+, which leads me to ask is there any chance of producing a text only version? I normally flick through and look at the pics, then convert to eBook then read on the kindle. It works but is a little clunky in the conversion, a text only version would be great for those of is who have not completely joined the cult of apple!

  11. Joe,

    These have been on my read list for a while. I keep hoping they will appear on the Kindle… any plans to do this or do I just need to read them the old fashion way 🙂


  12. Got both. GP Sabs was a great read, I also took it with me on a visit to Paris and looked up some of the places mentioned.

    The Henry Kendall book is a splendid story of a ‘ real man ‘ and makes amazing reading.

  13. How about e-book versions of the books? Shipping a chunk of dead tree in a small box halfway around the world tends to add a bit too much to the price. Happy to pay for the books, but international shipping costs are a bit high!

  14. Joe,

    Perhaps a kindle version would increase sales?!? I would have just ordered a copy of Grand Prix Saboteurs had there been.

  15. Joe, I have a copies of ‘Saboteurs’ and your ‘World Altlas of Motor Racing’ and have read the Crippen book (admitedly someone else’s!) and they are on my recommended reading list for friends and family! However, in the front of Saboteurs there is mention of a “Brock and Moffat on the Road to Spa” of which I have been unable to source a copy, despite looking on all the book sites. Can you expound a little about this – I am intrigued by the title!

    1. The author credit was given to someone called Naismith (I think) but I wrote most of the book and consider it as one of mine.

  16. Hi Joe,
    I have bought both of your books, and not being a big reader, (i once read Great Expectations and was very disappointed ) found both of them compulsive reading. There was talk of G P S being made into a film, any news on that front?, although both books would be must see films.
    Good luck at the Chinese consulate.
    Eric Latham

  17. I just want to endorse the plug – independently. I bought and have read both books and enjoyed them both. The detail in them is astonishing, but despite this, they remain readable – indeed it is the way that the narrative flows that makes the actual act of reading so much pleasure. It is not the fact that Joe’s writing is enlightening nor that it is meticulously researched (it is both), that make these books worth buying: it is the writer’s ability to provide the reader with an enjoyable experience at the same time as actually learning something.

    Read either book and you will be transported to a different era, with an insight and a level of detail that will keep your interest, however much or little you know of the relevant subject.

    The life of Henry Kendall would make a good movie.

  18. Joe: You should be justifiably proud of these two books and I certainly would encourage everyone to consider them. Father’s Day is not far away!! Both are exciting and educational reads….thanks for putting pen to paper!

  19. And I’m going to add one more fantastic book of yours to that list, Joe (admittedly it is quite a bit older).

    Don’t forget your ‘The World Atlas of Motor Racing’ – I still consider that to be one of the best reference books for motor-racing circuits to have been written.

  20. i bought both of these, and I see other people did too as they are now sold out.

    Please publish your next books digitally as well though!

  21. I bought and read both, listed them on my blog and linkedin…. I enjoyed both books and the listed reference books as well!

  22. You can add me to those who are waiting for the ebook version of the GP Saboteurs. Having moved to ebooks a couple of years ago, I read much more, much faster and conveniently than before, even when I always was a very avid reader. And that not needing to expand my house to fit the ever growing library..
    I already read GP+ in my tablet or PC, I would love to read GP S. on the kindle.
    The day you get the ebook published, the day I buy it!

  23. Well with a bit of luck you might have your visa by now.

    This plug worked, I already have GPS but have just ordered …..Crippen from Amazon.

    Any hints on the other three you have as wip? Does Jericho feature? I can never work out how you have time to write books, never mind all the research.

  24. Having read the GP Sabs’ all I can say is that its a book that you ‘live – in’ as you read it.

    I don’t know if its the subject or the writer but at the end of the weekend that I read it I found myself looking over my shoulder as I walked through Paris, and wondering just why some of my friends were suggesting things that they were! Should I go ? Shouldn’t I go ?
    Took 2 days to get over it.

    Absolutely absorbing, heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure. Chinks of humour in the right place too.


  25. Looking at the cover for The man who caught Crippen, it would appear that one M. Schumaker posed for the cover photo!

  26. Joe, I was an avid reader of Grandprix.com for quite a while and saw the ads for Grand Prix Saboteurs and got it for Christmas. It was an incredible story and well written. I bought The Man Who Caught Crippen as soon as it came out and that was fantastic as well. Between those two times I stumbled across your blog and I check this website when I wake up, during lunch, and after work. I don’t read Grandprix.com as often now as I used to. I feel like about 3-2 years ago a lot of the “features” articles started getting updated more slowly and there seems to be less and less guest articles. Do you still work on Grandprix as much as you used to or are you now focusing more on the blog and the E-magazine? I can’t really complain since I get all the info I need from your blog and I like how it is usually very candid. I just miss some of the guest articles and features from the days when I read grandprix.com and f1-live.com (stopped when ESPN took that over).

    1. No, I stopped working for grandprix.com completely about two years ago. They would not announce that I had left because obviously they were terrified of losing all their readers, so I was forced to build up a new audience, using word of mouth. It would thus be very helpful if everyone could use every means possible to spread the word that the place to go for my content is http://www.joeblogsf1.com rather than http://www.grandprix.com.

  27. Joe, what a disgraceful shameless plug.
    Anyway, I had been meaning to get the Grand Prix Sabotuers for some time so this was a useful reminder – I’ve ordered a copy too.

    1. So, it is disgraceful to make some money from my readers, is it? Oh yes, of course, I’m supposed to do all this for free, I forgot.

      1. I think sometimes you miss humour in peoples posts on here – Rich2 does not come across to me as having a go at you – he has even said he is going to buy one of your books

  28. Joe, this bit of shameless self-promotion was a really good idea. For some time I was pondering how to send The Mole a small financial contribution for his exquisite writing. Now I’ve just ordered your Saboteurs and look forward to good reading. Following the Amazon’s shameless recommendation trick I have also ordered Perry McCarthy’s book. Sometimes I simply can’t resist some of the promo stunts. 🙂

  29. Noting the difference in price between, say, Amazon and other merchants, does it make any difference to the author’s piece of the transaction? Not talking used books, just alternate sellers. I’ve always assumed the author has been paid whomever I buy the book from.

  30. Joe, here’s a thought – why not do a new edition of your World Atlas of Motor Racing? There must be enough new tracks built since 1989 to justify an update (even if some of them are dull Tilke ones!).

  31. Wow, that totally explains the downturn in the quality of the articles on grandprix.com. Now that I know this I have no reason to go there again! I guess now I know why the mole isn’t on there anymore!

  32. Joe I bought both of these volumes via Amazon, have read GPS and may start Crippen this Easter weekend if weather forces me indoors. Looking forward to seeing your other works completed.

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