The Life Monaco Grand Prix

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

This book is a wonderfully illustrated History of Grand Prix Racing in Monaco.  The book begins with a short of history of Monaco and then begins a history of the Grand Prix. The book concentrates on racing in Monaco with little mention of other races.  There are also short biographies of many of racers even if they never won in Monaco.  The end of the book focuses on the celebrities and parties.  The text is accompanied with lots of historical photographs. I found the book easy to read and interesting. One comment on the format. I do wish there were captions on the photographs in the book and not in the back as an appendix. Enjoy the race and the armchair traveling.
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A book about the Grand Prix of Monaco. That is what I thought. The beginning of the book talking about the history of Monaco was ok because then the author went into the first race of 1929 and the races until WWII stopped them. They would pick up again after and by 1948 they would start racing again. They also began coming up with rules for the cars 1.5 liter super charged engines, no larger than 4.5. They did skip a few years in the fifties but by the mid-fifties, it has been going on since.  The part I like the most or the book was the one about the different drivers. Moss, Hill, Clark, Stewart, Braham, Rindt, Prost, Schumacher, Senna who posted the fastest time. I do wish he would have gone into more of the drivers like Nikki Lauda, and others. I have been following F-1 since 1970 and through the first part of the book was good the last part did not hold my attention. With parties night life, and other stories I did not get into that part. The racing part is what I enjoyed about this book.
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I was hoping for a book about the Monaco Grand Prix, and while there is some good information on the race that I, as a casual F1 fan, didn't know, I didn't expect that much information on the history of Monaco as well.  At times, this felt more like the book was about the latter instead of the former.  The formatting for Kindle, given that this looks like it is more of a coffee table book, was better than I expected.  Overall, I was disappointed but it may appeal to readers who are interested in Monaco.  I wish to thank Quarto Publishing Group for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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A stunning history of the great race in Monaco - possibly the best track in racing. Full of great photos, there's also a detailed history to read as well. Some books concentrate on photos or text, but this book strikes the right balance of both together.
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The Life: Monaco Grand Prix by Stuart Codling is an intimate history of one of the world’s most famous racing venues, and the picturesque landscape that surrounds it. Formula 1 racing is considered the top of the motor racing world, and the Monaco Grand Prix is it’s crown jewel. Raced on a tight little street circuit on the breathtaking waterfront of Monte Carlo, spectated by the wealthy and beautiful, the Grand Prix is luxury and wealth personified. Before all the opulence however, first: a bit of history. The Life starts with an explanation of how the principality of Monaco came to be, and more importantly how its role developed in the world of racing. Monaco was ahead of its time in many ways, and embracing the early motor car was the most significant. In a world and time before fuel consumption and horse power were given much thought, the people of Monaco were seeing the automotive future take shape right before their very eyes. Their Grand Prix wasn’t the first, but its charm and prestige have made the event a phenomenon for nearly one hundred years.

The book’s formatting makes for an overall pleasant reading experience. As with any book for the living room library, the details are accompanied by remarkably detailed photographs from the time period. There are countless stories from decades past of the cars, drivers, and characters worthy of posterity, and the author takes a “time line” approach in their curation. From the pioneering days, the rise of the German Reich, rebuilding after WWII, and through to the modern age, The Life gives rigorous detail to each era. The pioneers, through the beefy twelve plus cylindered monstrosities, to the works of modern art that race cars are today, it was fascinating to see the race facility shape and mold with the times as well. Unfortunately, for being the world’s center of fun for the exceedingly wealthy, the book doesn’t contain much of the glamour of the community or the people who pass through it. While I appreciate the in-depth knowledge of the internal combustion engine powered beasts that tore through the picturesque streets of Monte Carlo, there’s a still a little more mystique that’s yearning to be examined. Certainly, the book doesn’t ignore the legendary nightlife, or that celebrities and racing magnates make for interesting bedfellows, but the human elements of the track and principality’s history could’ve been fleshed out in greater detail. Perhaps a less dignified author could explore the closed door shenanigans of the James Hunt(s) and Ayrton Senna(s) of the world, but I can appreciate keeping the contents of this book high brow and directly on topic. 

Verdict: The Life: Monaco Grand Prix by Stuart Codling delivers on its promise to present the reader with a thorough re-telling of the landmark race communities history. While not heavy on the glitz and glamour of the beautiful backdrop, the author’s intimate research for the motorized accomplishments paints a wonderful picture of mechanical automotive artistry. If you’re a gear head with a passion for European motor history, this book is a must-have for your personal library. 

Special thanks to Quarto Publishing Group for an advance copy of The Life: Monaco Grand Prix provided to TehBen.com for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

(Review to be posted to TehBen.com on 4/11/2019)
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This book is really a history of the principality of Monaco, with the famous Formula 1 Grand Prix race as the centerpiece. It is more of a popular history than a very detailed history. The illustrations are great, but not all have captions.
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I am incredibly disappointed with this book

Firstly, the title is annoying me. Surely it should be "The Life of Monaco Grand Prix"? It just doesn't make sense to me, unless I'm missing the point...Edit: I have since Googled this and found that other sites are titling this "Monaco Grand Prix (The Life)". Now that makes a bit more sense if the author is planning on making a series of books, but still, Amazon and Goodreads and most other sites are titling it wrong (or right?). I suggest the publisher/author looks into this. 

As an avid F1 fan I was expecting a lot more from this book. Of course, I wasn't expecting to learn much as I already know a lot, but it would have been nice to have a few moments of "Ahhh, I didn't know that!", but that didn't happen here. 

This book is 50% about Monaco and 50% about Formula racing/and then later, the F1. Of course, this is all about F1's relationship to Monaco so I was expecting some history about Monaco but not that much. There was so much information about Monaco itself that you could have titled this "The Life of Monaco" (or The Life Monaco if you're this author?) and then just claimed that the added information about the F1 is just because it's an important part of Monaco itself. 

I think the fact that this was written by Stuart Codling (executive editor of the F1 Racing magazine, by the way) makes this disappointment a whole lot higher. Anyone could have written this book by piecing together already known information. Stuart didn't add any "new" information, or at least his opinions, which caused me to skim over text throughout the whole book.

Overall the whole book was well executed. It would make a lovely gift (if you can push past my points above) as it is laid out perfectly and has the right amount of images to text. 

I "wished" for this book on NetGalley and the publisher granted my wish, I have left a review because I wanted to do so.
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