This is my favourite book for the smallest room. Jeremy Clarkson, for most Britons and many others needs no introduction, he was the host of a motoring programme called “Top Gear” and is very opinionated and non-politically correct.
“I think this is a car designed for use mostly in America. It certainly looks that way with all sorts of unnecessary styling details and chromed bits and bobs – the sort of stuff simple people and children like. “ commenting on the Mercedes GL in “The Germans”.
Clarkson has got better and funnier as he has got older. This is a collection of his columns from Top Gear Magazine , spanning the years 1993-2011. He clearly loves writing and his observations can be very pithy and funny.
He observes for example:
“Yes, the Fiat Strada Abarth was a sensational road rocket but was it beautiful? Even if it were the last girl in the nightclub and you’d washed down a handful of Viagra with sixty-four vodka-Red Bulls, you’d still want to go home on your own.”
He is provocative and non PC but he delivers his rants with a lot of humour and sometimes with his tongue firmly in his cheek.
The book comes with a caveat:
If you disagree with what I’ve said, don’t worry. There’s every chance I disagree with myself.
He shoots at many targets but is also self deprecating.
“I’m rubbish at this. I change my mind six or seven times before I get out of bed. One minute, I think the only way to deal with disaffected Muslim youths is to drop a bomb on them. The next I think the solution is to drop a bomb on America.
I try on opinions like I try on clothes, standing in front of a mirror and wondering if they suit me. Sometimes, I take them home and realise I made a bad choice, so I throw them away and get new ones.
This gets me into all sorts of trouble because I can have a definite, firmly held view on, say, a new Peugeot and then, when I drive it again, I can’t remember what on earth that view might have been.” from the chapter on the Bugatti Veyron.
If you’ve seen his Top Gear programmes, (and who reading this hasn’t?) you can imagine him reading the lines with his distinctive delivery. The four page chapters make it easy to dip into (ideal for the smallest room, if like me you like reading while shitting). If you read it in one go you may find some of the accounts repetitive like his obsession with the fuel counter roulette (or fuel light bingo) where he tries to go as far as possible (ideally all the way home) long into the red fuel zone, without filling up. I bought this at Stansted Airport back in August 2013 and read it through all in one go, but have since been carrying it with me to the bathroom (ok toilet) to dip into again.
Some may be disappointed as the blurb may suggest the book is all about the Top Gear programme, it’s not, but there are some chapters about the programme, and the tone of the book is pure Clarkson.
You don’t even have to buy the book to access the material, Clarkson’s columns can be found on the Australian Top Gear site. For example:
But would you want to take your laptop into the smallest room, anyone you share a house with might think you were accessing porn? Better to stick with the book. A very funny read. Well, it made me laugh.
My rating : 5 out of 5