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Book Review: Against Death and Time

Book Review: Against Death and Time

Against Death and Time is an interesting look at the 1955 racing season on an international scale. For starters, 1955 was not a good year for racing.

James Dean was killed (in a non-racing accident), Bill Vukovich was killed at the Indy 500, and 83 spectators died at LeMans in one of the worst accidents in the history of motor racing.

Yates examines all of these incidents using a fictional narrator who attends the races, talks with the drivers and gains the inside scoop on all of the players involved. Personally, I enjoyed the hell out of this book even with its macabre subject matter. It is an incredible look at racing history with top-notch research and Yates does a great job plunking the reader into whatever area he is taking you.

France? You’re there. The 1955 Indy 500? You can smell the popcorn popping.

It’s a quick read as Yates’ writing style does not lend itself to Hemingway, instead it is a fast-moving book that will have you hob-knobbing with the likes of Parnelli Jones, Phil Hill, John Fitch, and an entire cast of characters.

Some find fault with Yates using the fictional narrator character, but personally I think it works brilliantly, although you do need to keep reminding yourself that the stuff on the track actually did happen and this is no novel where everything is fake.

A perfect book for a snowy winter.

Against Death and Time

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