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Publisher's Summary

This is the full story of the unstoppable rise of Clarkson, Hammond, May and The Stig – and how they have transformed an ordinary programme about cars into one of the most famous and best-loved TV programmes of the 21st century.

Reaching a peak in the 1990s thanks to presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the original series then faced the axe in 2001 – but Clarkson and producer Andy Wilman successfully pitched a new format to BBC bosses and Top Gear returned to become the irreverent, funny and often controversial show we now know and love.

The addition of co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May completed the Top Gear dream team and ratings soared asviewers tuned in to see the latest Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, arguments over the Cool Wall and Power Laps by the mysterious Stig. Top Gear has long attracted criticism for its dangerous stunts and the presenters’ controversial opinions.

©2011 Martin Roach (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Thomas
  • BallyBay, Ireland
  • 03-12-12

I wish I had bought something else

What disappointed you about The Top Gear Story?

Just a written summary of top gear episodes nothing we didn't already know.

What could Martin Roach have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Gotten interviews with the members of the top gear team instead of relying on secondhand tales.

What does Jerome Pride bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The book was pure bilge and didn't finish it, this was no fault of Jerome Pride, probably wouldn't have gotten as far as I did without him!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Jerome Pride an excellent narrator.

Any additional comments?

Save your money or credits and don't buy this, watch Top Gear instead!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Nothing New

This is basically a big TG fan recounting various episodes and the presenters' articles and interviews.
Setting aside some facts he got wrong (Fisher is a cat; it's James, not Jeremy who is the same age as Oliver), this book lacks any kind of "insider" info. If you've seen the more popular antics, and have ever read about the presenters in a paper, then you're already aware of everything in this book.
I can't even consider it an encyclopedic type book to recommend as reference. In essence, it's not The Top Gear Story, it's just a bloke going on and on (and on) about his favorite show and his unbridled hero worship.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting, fun to know stuff.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Eh... only if they were a huge Clarkson, May, Hammond fan.

Would you recommend The Top Gear Story to your friends? Why or why not?

Eh... only if they were a huge Clarkson, May, Hammond fan.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Jerome Pride?

Perhaps.. English accents always make a bad story sound good.

What else would you have wanted to know about Martin Roach’s life?

Who?

  • Overall
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Entertaining and Informative

Although a true Top Gear fan will not learn a lot from this book, it is nevertheless entertaining and a Top Gear fan can never get enough top gear anyway. Well read and entertaining.

  • Overall
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Setting fire to my money would be a better choice.

Would you try another book from Martin Roach and/or Jerome Pride?

Not at all. A child could have written this same book by regurgitating information from Wikipedia. Martin Roach is a complete hack. When Jereme Pride "tries" to convey a quote from Jeremy, Richard, or James, his dialect would be better suited for Ozzy's next book.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Hopefully nothing from Martin Roach.

What character would you cut from The Top Gear Story?

Martin Roach.

Any additional comments?

As an American, I have two words for this tripe. Bloody awful.

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  • Tony
  • 10-14-13

Absolute waste of time and money

Would you try another book written by Martin Roach or narrated by Jerome Pride?

No

Has The Top Gear Story put you off other books in this genre?

Yes

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He didn't; he was ok

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Any additional comments?

This was a dreadful book. The author basically watched every Top Gear episode and read loads of stuff in the newspapers about the presenters, and then he wrote a book. <br/><br/>All he does is describe the episodes - he doesn't take us into how the three work together, what they do, why they do it.<br/><br/>So much of the book is taken up by the author just telling you what happens in each episode, with a knowing wink so you know it was a joke or satire - but what the reader wants is to hear loads of stuff about the way these things are made, the way the presenters make the show work etc. <br/><br/>There's none of that in this book. Nothing of value at all - if you want to find out the contents of this book, just watch Top Gear. For example, the book is full of stuff like a description of an episode and then a statement like "and Hammond apparently has a terrible phobia of insects", just cos we see a scene in which he says he's terrified of insects - you don't find out anything about it, whether it's true or part of his Top Gear 'character' etc - the author simply watched the episode and made a note "oh, looks like Hamster is afraid of bugs, I'll say that in the book". <br/><br/>That's not what I want - I don't need technical details, but I want more than just "this is what they did on the show, and Jeremy wrote about it in his column and then this is what he said on an interview".<br/><br/>There is nothing of value in this book to a Top Gear fan. And if you're a fan of the presenters, there's even less - cos you'll already know it all. You don't get anything new at all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • michael d porteous
  • 10-10-15

I could have written this better.

What disappointed you about The Top Gear Story?

This is just a load of stuff written by a fan, anybody could do it, and probably do it better!

What was most disappointing about Martin Roach’s story?

All of it

How could the performance have been better?

Someone else could have done it all of it

Any additional comments?

Rubbish

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  • Sam
  • 08-16-15

Vital Read!

one of the many books and biographies in the top gear franchise, a must read.

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  • Busterbutton
  • 02-01-15

one of the best

this is one of the best up there with fly and lewis Hamilton full story

  • Overall
  • Mr
  • 01-09-13

A good light listen

On the whole I really quite enjoyed this book. It wasn't the most in-depth, but it gave a good potted history of Top Gear and I learned quite a bit about the programme's development.



Some of the chapters consist of the author explaining what happened in certain episodes in much the same way an excited child would tell you about their favourite programme. As I'm sure everyone who reads / listens to this book will be a Top Gear viewer, I felt the detailed explanation of the episodes wasn't really necessary!



Saying that, the author delivers the book with good humour and made me smile a lot with the behind the scenes stories.



The only real bad point about this audiobook is that the narrator managed to mispronounce several names. I found a quick shout at the speakers with the correct pronunciation satisfied me!