The Top Gear Years, by Jeremy Clarkson
'The Top Gear Years', by Jeremy ClarksonPaperback, © 2012 Penguin, ISBN 9780718176860

Before I even opened The Top Gear Years, I did something I probably shouldn’t have done. I searched for other people’s reviews and comments on the book, to get a glance at what I would be reading, and I must say I was quite disappointed.

Now I’m a big fan of Jeremy Clarkson, so when I read people accusing him of money grabbing by re-selling all of his articles in book form, it put a bad taste in my mouth.

It is true that the only part of the book that contains new material is the introduction, where Jeremy states himself “One day, I may write an autobiography. But this isn’t it.”

This so-called flaw in Clarkson’s book only applies to you if, (a) you own every issue of Top Gear Magazine from 1993 where Jeremy has written a column or (b) you’re Rain Man and can memorize anything you read which would make owning this book redundant.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, I’ll go on to write what my opinions are on the book.

I love it.

You could put it down to my highly biased opinion on Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson that makes me look past the grumbles and moans that his book is recycled material, but I don’t care.

It’s a great novelty to have his articles in one book that you can carry around with you. Read with caution, however, as you will be smiling and laughing at his comical and witty experiences and anecdotes.

If you know Jeremy Clarkson you’ll have a pretty good idea on what the chapters are about. Complaining, criticizing his co-workers Richard Hammond and James May, and finding solutions to his own complaints.

In one instance, he solves Britain’s drink diving problem by introducing a ‘green light system’ where a person who has been drinking is allowed to drive home providing they place a green flashing light on the roof of their car, to warn others they are intoxicated.

A great attribute of the book are the pages that separates the years of his columns. They’re accompanied by the car of the year, top five singles and top five movie releases for that year.

This book is a must have for any Clarkson or Top Gear fan, and with the book not solely based on cars, it makes as a great gift for anyone who enjoys a combination of wit, stupidity and controversial opinions.

Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award The Top Gear Years


The Top Gear Years is available for purchase at major book resellers (RRP AU$19.95). Our review copy was kindly supplied to us by Penguin Books Australia.

CLICK HERE to view our other Top Gear media reviews.

Today’s review was written by Melbourne-based reader Josh Kruse, who has joined the team as a guest product reviewer. If you would be interested in learning more about becoming a product reviewer, click here.

Josh Kruse
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.