Title: Never Say Never
Author: Nick Harris
Hardcover, 378 pages
Dean rating: Would I buy this book again? Probably
I didn’t know Nick Harris at all when he worked in Grand Prix. In fact, for years I thought he and his colleague, Iain Mackay, were the same person. That said, a lot of people like Nick Harris, from riders to fans. For me, his stories and tangents, both written and voiced, have way too many European soccer references. I’m always suspect of anyone who talks about any ball sport with as much or even more enthusiasm than they do about racing. “It’s a ball” is how I usually reply to someone talking excitedly about golf or football when they could be talking about racing, or are at the races.
Harris worked in Grand Prix from the 1960s on with some seasons spent in car racing and in motocross. He was a writer and PR person before becoming a commentator for the BBC and then Dorna’s motogp web site. He writes from a perspective of someone who has spent a long time in the sport and saw it make many big steps in order to grow into what it is today. He can write a story and while I’d have liked to hear more of his personal stories–they kind of shudder to a halt about two-thirds of the way through the book, I enjoyed reading it. He covers the Rossi vs Ginbernau, and Rossi versus Marquez rivalries with not a lot of new information but they are told entertainingly.
It’s a bit of a sad book. Harris writes honestly about being completely blindsided by DORNA informing him he was going to retire from MotoGP when he wanted to continue working, and that most of his work mates knew the writing was on the wall long before he did. It’s a brave man who writes that story for the world to read.
It’s an honest book. Better an honest book than one tossed full of half-truths or sensationalism.