My Twenty Years of Racing — Juan Manuel Fangio

I found this while doing my thrice weekly tour of my town’s charity shops.   As a life long Formula 1 fan, i simply couldn’t resist.   Especially since it was in the 50 pence box.

So yes, it’s a real paper and card book, made out of trees and stuff, i actually own one, a first edition hardback and everything!!!   Well, if you’re going to betray your life long vows to your Kindle then at least make it a quality book.

All that aside, what you really want to know is what the actual writing is like, isn’t it?

Oh yeah, it’s amazing.   Obviously, at 57 years old, i wasn’t following Formula 1 when Fangio was driving, up to this book all i really knew about him was that he was a 5 times Formula 1 world champion from the 1950’s, who people like Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart would always proclaim as the GOAT, whenever the topic of Formula 1’s GOAT turned up.

Oh yes, this review wouldn’t be complete without the GOAT thing coming into it.

The current debate always seems to be between Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, simply because of the 7 world championships each, but so many of the younger crowd following Formula 1 simply fail to put any of it into context.

When reading this autobiography one realises that modern Formula 1 drivers can never be compared to those of the early years.   Modern Formula 1 drivers are never seen getting on their hands and knees repairing the car between sessions, or at the side of the road during an open road race like the Mille Miglia (now not a race any more).   Modern Formula 1 drivers drive on sanitised, super safe, almost billiard table smooth, tracks; they have teams around them for their every need: they don’t even carry their own bags any more for fear of tiring their arms out unnecessarily.

When one goes back to Fangio’s early years, that of a farm machinery mechanic in Balcarce, Argentina, who would race in the most treacherous conditions with old cars bought with scraped up savings and donations that he would have to engineer himself into racing machines, one realises the difference between the past and the present.   Those drivers of the early years of motor racing had to face things that modern drivers would simply refuse to even contemplate doing.   Those early years were utterly insane in comparison to modern motor racing.

But more than anything else, this book is so well written, with Fangio telling everything straight from his own experiences of how it truly felt and how those young years of the Formula 1 World Championship truly were: from the highs of those world title wins all the way down to the absolute lowest of the lows in the history of motor racing as he was right behind Pierre Levegh’s car at Le Mans 1955 when Levegh hit Lance Macklin’s car.

The book is also full of the most wonderful photos of those cars and races, along with interludes written by Fangio’s close friend and manager, Marcello Giambertone, telling the reader what it was like looking in at Fangio’s career.

And right at the end of the book the reader will find a full list of all the cars Fangio raced and of all Fangio’s races, and if anyone reading this book is truly honest, then anyone reading this book would have no hesitation as to proclaiming Juan Manuel Fangio the Greatest Of All Time when it comes to driving and especially Formula 1.

So before you join in on any Formula 1 GOAT arguments ever again, do get a copy of this book and read it first.

Juan’s Page

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Complete Works of Alexandre Dumas — Alexandre Dumas

The Novels

Acté
Captain Paul
Captain Pamphile
Otho the Archer
The Fencing Master
The Conspirators
Georges
Amaury
The Three Musketeers
Twenty Years After
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Regent’s Daughter
Marguerite de Valois
The Corsican Brothers
The Chevalier of Maison-Rouge
The Marriages of Pere Olifus
Chicot the Jester
Joseph Balsamo
The Forty-Five Guardsmen
The Vicomte de Bragelonne
The Queen’s Necklace
The Black Tulip
The Mouth of Hell
Ange Pitou
The Comtesse de Charny
Catherine Blum
The Companions of Jehu
The Wolf Leader
Jane
Crop-Eared Jacquot
The Ball of Snow
The Neapolitan Lovers
Robin Hood the Outlaw
The Son of Monte-Cristo — Jules Lermina

The Short Stories

Monsieur de Chauvelin’s Will
Solange
Delaporte’s Little Presents

The Non-Fiction

Celebrated Crimes
The Juno
The Scourge of Naples
Prussian Terror

The Criticism

Extract from “Memories and Portraits” by Robert Louis Stevenson
Extract from “Letters to Dead Authors” by Andrew Lang
Extract from “Essays in Little” by Andrew Lang
Extract from “Views and Reviews” by W. E. Henley

The Biography

Dumas’ Paris — Francis Miltoun

Alexandre’s Page

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Complete Works of Seneca — Seneca

The Tragedies

The Madness of Hercules
The Trojan Women
The Phoenician Women
Pheedra
Thyestes
Hercules on Oeta
Agamemnon
Oedipus
Medea
Octavia

The Epistles

To Marcia, on Consolation
To My Mother Helvia, on Consolation
To Polybius, on Consolation
The Moral Epistles

The Essays

On Anger
On the Shortness of Life
The Pumpkinification of the Divine Claudius
On the Firmness of the Wise Person
On Clemency
On the Happy Life
On Leisure
Natural Questions
On Benefits
On Tranquility of Mind
On Providence

The Latin Texts

List of Latin Texts

The Biography

Introduction to Seneca – John W. Basore

Seneca’s Page

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Complete Works of Jonathan Swift — Jonathan Swift

The Satires

A Tale of a Tub
The Battle of the Books
The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers
The Swearer’s Bank
Gulliver’s Travels – 1726
Gulliver’s Travels – 1735
A Modest Proposal
An Examination of Certain Abuses
A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation
Directions to Servants
Minor Satires

The Sermons

Three Sermons
Brotherly Love and Other Sermons

Other Religious Works

List of Religious Works

The Political Works

Drapier’s Letters
List of Political Works

The Historical Works

The History of the Four Last Years of the Queen
An Abstract of the History of England
Remarks on the Characters of the Court of Queen Anne
Remarks on Lord Clarendon’s “History of the Rebellion”
Remarks on Bishop Burnet’s “History of His Own Time”
Note on the “Freeholder”

The Journalism

Contributions to “The Tatler”
Contributions to “The Examiner”
Contributions to “The Spectator”
Contributions to “The Intelligencer”

The Poetry Collection

The Poems of Jonathan Swift

The Poems

List of Poems in Chronological Order
List of Poems in Alphabetical Order

The Memoir

A Journal to Stella

The Biographies

Sketch of the Life of Dr. Jonathan Swift — R. Phillips
Dean Swift — James McGee

Jonathan’s Page

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