Born to Rumble by Jeff Scott
|Born to Rumble by Jeff Scott|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Speedway brings together speed, adrenalin and competitiveness so it's not surprising that the mix can be explosive. Jeff Scott takes a look at what happens and why.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 102||Date: July 2015|
|Publisher: Methanol Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Rumble. It's an odd word, isn't it, with that sense of a noise like thunder (or even of a motorcycle engine) and of a street fight between rival gangs. Author Jeff Scott has picked the perfect title for his journey around various speedway venues looking at those occasions when the combination of brakeless bikes, adrenalin, ridiculous speeds and not a lot of space explode into confrontation on or off the track. It's hardly surprising that it happens - in fact it's surprising that it doesn't happen more often given the competitive nature of the sport and the diva-like qualities of some of the top riders.
Scott's keen to point out that the book isn't a balanced view of the culture and values of what is a popular family sport, but simply a collection of some of the problems which occurred in the ten years he spent travelling the speedway venues of Great Britain. The confrontation isn't just on the track and between riders - although that does happen - but there's the security man who went violent (but was still seen in the job at another venue), fans having a go at other fans, mechanics taking on internet trolls, a track shop franchise holder freaking out (literally) and Channel 4 researching the possibility of a weekly speedway drama. It's a good (if such happenings can be good) mix and the stories are well told, with remarkably little use of bad language. I suspect some judicious translation - particularly with the track shop franchise holder!
When I began reading Born to Rumble I did wonder if it was going to be quite my thing. I'm averse to confrontation, even when I'm not involved, but Scott has the knack of putting what happens into context and showing the other side of the sport - the top rider(who would shortly be involved in one of the most violent confrontations) who was much in demand for autographs and photographs but who was still prepared to take the time to encourage a small child to 'smile for Daddy' so that Daddy could get the photograph he wanted.
I've one very minor niggle with the book and that's the size of the font used for the footnotes. The content of the footnotes is fascinating but I could have done with a magnifying glass to read them! I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Put a picture to some of the places Jeff Scott visits: Strictly Shale: Circling British Speedway by Jeff Scott and Rachael Adams
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You can read more book reviews or buy Born to Rumble by Jeff Scott at Amazon.com.
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