|James Hunt: Against All Odds, by Eoin Young with James Hunt – edited by David Hodges|
|© 1977 Hamlyn, ISBN 0600352501 (Hardcover)|
This is James Hunt’s story of the eventful 1976 Grand Prix World Championship, when he won the title by the narrowest of margins over Niki Lauda in the last race of the most dramatic series in the history of the championship. Written with the collaboration of the recently-deceased journalist, Eoin Young, it follows the build up of suspense through the 17-race series to its extraordinary climax at the slopes of Mount Fuji.
The 1976 story is set against the background of Hunt’s career — the mixed fortunes of his early days in racing and his meteoric rise to international fame with the Hesketh team. Throughout the book, there are rare and privileged glimpses behind the scenes of Grand Prix racing, and into the crowded life of an international sporting superstar.
Hunt discussed his approach to driving, racing and life, looks back on some of the cars he has raced and the personalities he has known, assesses some of his rivals in a series of excellent ‘Mental Card Files’, and frankly gives his views on some of the controversies which followed the 1976 championship series from track to track through five continents.
This wasn’t a book Hunt actually wanted to write until the end of his career, however Young does well to coax plenty of material out of his famous subject to make it an interesting read.
Heavily skewed towards the 1976 season and packed full of first-hand quotes, it’s not the best non-fiction piece on the Englishman – Tom Rubython’s Shunt: The Story of James Hunt is considerably better – and skirts around much of his drug-taking lothario habits for which he was (in)famous.
Now out of print, James Hunt: Against All Odds will probably be a lucky find in a specialty book re-seller or second-hand bookstore. We recommend our friends at Automoto Bookshop, who can dispatch and ship worldwide – click here to order your copy.