The Limit by Michael Cannell
Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 9 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

In THE LIMIT, Michael Cannell tells the enthralling story of Phil Hill-a lowly California mechanic who would become the first American-born driver to win the Grand Prix-and, on the fiftieth anniversary of his triumph, brings to life a vanished world of glamour, valor, and daring.

With the pacing and vivid description of a novel, THE LIMIT charts the journey that brought Hill from dusty California lots racing midget cars into the ranks of a singular breed of men, competing with daredevils for glory on Grand Prix tracks across Europe. Facing death at every turn, these men rounded circuits at well over 150 mph in an era before seat belts or roll bars-an era when drivers were "crushed, burned, and beheaded with unnerving regularity."

From the stink of grease-smothered pits to the long anxious nights in lonely European hotels, from the tense camaraderie of teammates to the trembling suspense of photo finishes, THE LIMIT captures the 1961 season that would mark the high point of Hill's career. It brings readers up close to the remarkable men who surrounded Hill on the circuit-men like Hill's teammate and rival, the soigné and cool-headed German count Wolfgang Von Trips (nicknamed "Count Von Crash"), and Enzo Ferrari, the reclusive and monomaniacal padrone of the Ferrari racing empire.

Race by race, THE LIMIT carries readers to its riveting and startling climax-the final contest that would decide it all, one of the deadliest in Grand Prix history.

 

About Michael Cannell

See more books from this Author
Michael Cannell has written about sports for the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Outside, and was editor of the New York Times House & Home section for seven years. His previous book, the critically acclaimed I.M. Pei: Mandarin of Modernism, was published in 1995 by Crown.
 
Published November 7, 2011 by Twelve. 323 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Limit

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Time spent as a Jaguar trainee spawned some accomplished racing of his own throughout his eventful mid 20s, a time when both of his parents died within months of each other and the racing enthusiast became plagued with anxiety spells.

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Limit: Life and Death on ...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The death in Las Vegas in October of Dan Wheldon, an English racing driver whose successes were mostly achieved in America, made headlines in British newspapers in part because it came about as the result of a particularly spectacular accident, but mostly because fatalities are relatively rare in...

Dec 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Limit: Life and Death on ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

(Just watching the races was so lethal—“the hood spun loose and sliced through the crowd like a giant scythe, decapitating a row of spectators”—that the Vatican denounced them.) The author revs the narrative with greasy atmospherics and colorful figures like the Bond villainish motor mogu...

Sep 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Limit: Life and Death on ...

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

Ferrari gave Musso's ride to Hill, and later that year, at Monza, Hill became the first American to lead a Formula One race.

Nov 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Limit: Life and Death on ...

The Telegraph

Ferrari team-mates Phil Hill and Count Wolfgang von Trips (known as “Taffy”) had been driving the dominant Grand Prix cars of that racing season, known as the “Sharknose” Ferraris.

Nov 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Limit: Life and Death on ...

USA Today

But what Cannell makes clear is that for a generation of young men for whom the decimation of World War II remained vivid childhood memories, racing's risks built character in a nuclear age with no dragons to slay.Or, in the words of Hill's fair-haired, high-born rival, the impossibly named and i...

Nov 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Limit: Life and Death on ...

City Book Review

How fortunate that is – during the years described in this book, at least once a year there was a stupendous crash which killed upwards of fifty spectators, not to mention the numerous drivers who stared death in the face—and lost.

Jan 17 2013 | Read Full Review of The Limit: Life and Death on ...

Bookmarks Magazine

It brings readers up close to the remarkable men who surrounded Hill on the circuit-men like Hill's teammate and rival, the soigné and cool-headed German count Wolfgang Von Trips (nicknamed "Count Von Crash"), and Enzo Ferrari, the reclusive and monomaniacal padrone of the Ferrari racing e...

Nov 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Limit: Life and Death on ...

News-Sentinel

A testosterone-fueled nonfiction book about auto racing in its bloody golden age, “The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit” (Twelve), by Michael Cannell, provides the drama and nostalgia of “Seabiscuit” and the body count of “Gladiator.” Its riveting, guy-centric story places re...

Nov 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Limit: Life and Death on ...

Reader Rating for The Limit
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 130 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review