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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Flat Out, Flat Broke: Formula 1 the Hard Way! Paperback – December, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Perry McCarthy does for Formula One what Bill Bryson did for travel writing. But beneath the black humor and wisecracks-funny enough to make you laugh out loud in public-lies an inspiring and at times poignant tale of the rarest kind of racer: one who never gave up and was, literally, prepared to die trying" David Tremayne, The Independent on Sunday.

About the Author

Perry McCarthy -- sometime actor (scheduling meetings by impersonating James Hunt) and pizza delivery man (to trick his way into the F1 paddock) -- is in constant demand as a motor racing pundit and after-dinner speaker. He lives near Billericay, Essex.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Haynes Publishing; 2nd edition (December 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844250180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844250189
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I read 15-20 motor racing related books per year, and this one has to be right at the top of the list in entertainment value & a general lesson in life. When I purchased it, I had little knowledge of who the author was; I knew from following Formula One that he had flirted with a drive in that category, and I knew he had some sucess in sports car racing, but I knew nothing else about his career or life.
Mr. McCarthy has a truely unique style of writing that lets the reader re-live all of the ups & downs with him. He writes very freely, just as if he were talking to you; much like the style of Niki Lauda in his autobiography. Parts are as funny as anything I have read in this genre, & parts make you wonder why he keeps going back to bang his head against the wall, literally.
Through the entire book, & it sounds like his entire life, he never looses his sense of humour, or sight of his goal. This guy has perseverance!
I was totally entralled from cover to cover, but I do admit I was surprised that he didn't go into a little more detail concerning his races. I then realized that I could go to one of the many racing annuals & read race detail, but he was giving me a behind-the-scenes look at the sport, not usually available.
This is a great book, & I highly recommend it to anyone who either aspires to a goal, or has driven a car, or wants to drive a car...or has seen a car...
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Format: Hardcover
Being an F1 fanatic, I had just finished the great book by Murray Walker. Looking for another �good� book about F1, I found this gem on Amazon. Mad Dog is among other things, a fighter and you have to give him credit; getting into the worlds most expensive sport with no cash is quite a feat.
The book is very well written in a Conversational style that makes you feel like one of the �rat pack�. Like F1, it�s paced at the speed of taking Eau Rouge flat out. After reading this story, you certainly wish you were one of the blokes lined up to give him money. He has a charm and whit that is infectious and translates well in print. I strongly recommend this book. Not to learn about F1, but to learn about Perry. To learn something of risk, gambles and the will to succeed at all costs. The parallel stories of his mates; Hill, Blundell and Herbert are equally entertaining. The overall story of his father, who was foreshadowing Perry�s own career choices and paths, is a welcome angle to this book as well. In short, this book was a total surprise and treat for anyone that just likes good stories of life and struggles in the motor racing world.
To Perry, I say good luck to you sir. You have had a difficult road to travel but what memories it has provided for you, and now me.
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Format: Hardcover
Many people are familiar with the stars of racong. In Formula One today, it's Michael Schumacher. Ten years ago, it was Ayrton Senna. This story is about the people on the other end of the grid.
Perry McCarthy knew very little about racing until a friend took him to a racetrack. Perry immediately became hooked and started on a quest to be World Champion.
You won't believe the hard luck that he has along the way. He does make it to the pinnacle of motor sports, Formula One, in a roundabout sort of way.
There was a baseball book called "Good Enough To Dream" that was written about minor-league players. This is a book about someone that is even closer than that, a fraction of an inch away from realizing everything that he ever wanted.
You might think that someone in that position would be bitter, but McCarthy displays a sense of humor that will keep you turning the pages! And along the way, you meet up with the like of Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert, and other familiar names.
A nice addition to your Formula One library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book for the insight into what it takes/took for McCarthy to try to break into F1. In fact the trials he went through to just be racing driver were amazing, he continually got knocked down yet picked himself up and pushed on. That was admirable, and I found it amazing his family/wife stuck with him. That part of this book was fun and interesting. But I found the writing boring and definitely not as humorous as other reviewers, there are some humorous moments at the beginning but I kept looking for all the "funny" that other reviewers talk about...and just couldnt find it.

I adopted McCarthy's ethic and pushed on, but I could have just as easily put it down and forgot all about it. Instantly forgettable is not a quality I like in a book. As for the author himself, what some interpret as tenaciousness I found to be more like entitlement. Maybe its a cultural difference but I found myself not really liking McCarthy the more I read. I dont find him to be a very good story teller or writer, but maybe he just needed a little editing help. I bought this because of all the positive reviews, but I disagree. As an insight into the politics and dog eat dog of the racing world its pretty good, but as a well written book and a good read...not so much. There is a difference. Steve Matchett's books are far more interesting and well written then this.
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