About 2 months ago, my girlfriend started reading Richard Hammond’s On the Edge. She kept reading bits to me until I could take it no more – about 10 minutes – and went off an bought my own copy. Needless to say it took me awhile to crack the spine (figuratively… I like to keep my books as pristine as possible) even though she kept quoting bits to me. And then I read a bit, and then a little bit more not getting very far. So a couple of days ago I bought the audio version, only after checking to make sure the voice on the other end of the earphones was Richard. Unfortunately it is an abridged version. I have 2 problems with abridged version. 1) Bits are missing. and 2) if the author had wanted those bits missing he (or she) wouldn’t have written them in the first place. How do they know what I will think is important? So basically I get annoyed. And having read the 1st couple of chapters, I could see out what was missing right off the bat. Oh well.
In this case however, since I plan to actually read the book, I’m not annoyed. Well, not too annoyed. I would have like to have heard the entire book. It’s only 3 hours long so I could almost get the whole thing in during lunch (good). But it’s a 308 page book, so quite a lot is missing (bad).
This ”is his compelling account of life before and after the accident and an honest description of his recovery, full of drama and incident.” It starts in his childhood, pops up to his adulthood, moves on to when he gets his job on Top Gear and then goes to when he has a 288 mile an hour crash in a racer called the “Vampire”. This is where his wife Mindy takes over telling the story. She tells from after the crash until he starts to regain his memory. And this is part I truely like about the the audio book … Richard reads his part and Mindy reads her part. And then once Richard regains his memory they share the read of the last bits of the book.
I was blown away by Mindy’s part of the book. She had me laughing and crying and wanting to give her a big hug. WOW! What an amazing, strong woman! But the one thing the reviews seem to gloss over is this is a love story. It’s Mindy’s love and devotion to her husband. These two are truely soul mates and very much belong together. You can hear it in their voices when they speak of each other. He is so fortunate to have her in his life – of which he is completely aware.
I normally don’t like audio books. I do make exceptions when the books are biographies or autobiographies and are read by the person who is being written about. Another nice thing is when you are familar with the voice. I fell asleep the 1st night listening to the first part. This was a nice novelty as the book didn’t drop on my nose waking me up with a start. Nor did my Beloved have to pry the book from my hand waking me as he turns off the light. Richard just kept chatting on in my ear as I drifted off. I’m starting see the appeal of audio books.
I will say I did enjoy listening to this one. Now when I go back to read the book, I can hear both of the Hammond’s in my head.