Although there is a lot happening out there in the Motor Racing World that I could have focused this blog on, I have decided to tell you about something different.
This is a first novel by a chap called Toby Vintcent called DRIVEN.
It is good, very good, actually but don’t take my word for it – our own Murray Walker said “A great read…a great plot… I couldn’t put it down” and whatever your politics are, Boris Johnson writes “Driven – It howls along like Lewis Hamilton round the streets of Monaco” (Ed, did you write this before he won or after? Good timing!)
We are all busy, busy, busy and spend too much of our lives under stress to be good for us, so a little light reading and escapism has got to be good for the soul. More so I would have thought if we can relate to it because of career or preferences. So when I was at the MIA Awards Dinner at the Autosport show in January (Ed, show off, I didn’t get an invite) and the goody bag at my place setting (I stress that we are not talking Oscars type goody bag with Rolexes and other monstrous freebies in) included a copy of this book with the compliments of the author I was very pleased and surprised.
Move on a couple of months and I got the chance to start the book – First page starts “Remy Sabatino’s heart rate held steady at a hundred and forty up the hill from La Rascasse and through the exit of turn nineteen as the Ptarmigan Formula One car entered the pit straight.”
Ok, you’ve got me; the description is correct, I understand what you are saying and you have set the scene immediately. Five pages on and the first chapter was over and frankly I was hooked and breathless; really!
The descriptions, the imagery and the accuracy are wonderful such that anyone who is involved in racing will know and feel, even if they have never been in an F1 car, what as assault on the senses a trip round Monaco is like.
Just like fishing, having thrown the bait out you must then attract, hook and land the fish, so the next couple of chapters must keep the atmosphere going to lure the reader in so deep that there is no escape.
Toby Vintcent does this with such eloquence and panache that I cannot believe that this is his first novel and that he has not been in racing all his life – he was an officer in The Queen’s Royal Lancers previously.
I won’t do “spoilers” and tell you any more about the book other than my version has 469 pages; these were demolished in days. I really could not get enough and incurred the wrath of Mrs Blog Post when I let my evening meal get cold because I got to a good bit…..and another….and
Our sport is made up of all sorts of trades and as we all know there have been many authors and film-makers that try to add some glamour to their works by including some F1 or Indycar snippets. They fail for the most part (Ed, I trust you are not trying to drop Steve McQueen and Le Mans in this area or you are fired) but I really do implore you to buy, beg, steal or borrow a copy of Driven because this piece of work is in a different class.
PS – I see that there is a second book that is published on July 1st called CRASH. “Kids, it Fathers Day soon, please can I have a book?”
Roger Grimshaw - NMA Tutor