Book review: The Perfect Car

It’s surprising when you find a book that you think will be interesting and it turns out being the total opposite, as was the case with this one. It’s not an autobiography, and would perhaps have been better if it was. This is a book about John Barnard’s career and achievements. 

So far all seems well, doesn’t it? Until you start reading. Page after page I was wondering when the book would start. Somehow the writer managed to fill the book with so many words and so little content, as it would seem. And I mean so many words. The book is 558 pages long. As far as I’m concerned it could have been half as long. My problem is that there is so much unnecessary dialog. It seems as though nothing was left out. 

The book is about the Formula 1 designer John Barnard. Yes, we share a first name, but no, that is not why I bought the book. Okay, maybe it was. He is famous for a lot of innovations in the sport such as using carbon fibre in the chassis, the semi-automatic gearbox and slim bodywork. Those are the things I want to read about, not endless dialog which isn’t bringing me anywhere but to sleep. 

With a title like The Perfect Car I was hoping for a read that I couldn’t put down. Instead, I had a book that I never wanted to pick up. It meant going for a mental marathon each time. I’m sure some of you wouldn’t mind it. But I sure did. There are however more explosive books if you want to read about people like this. Adrian Newey’s How to build a car, and Total Competition, by Ross Brawn, are so much more entertaining. 

And do you know what the best part of reading this book was? Deciding to put it down and not finishing it. Hopefully my next book review will be a little more fun. 

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