Richard Hammond will be familiar to many as one of three presenters for the popular English TV series Top Gear, in which off-beat stunts and challenges involving vehicles of all kinds (including combined harvesters!) are conducted amid much hilarity and fun. One of these challenges which went horribly wrong, is the main focus of this book.
In a move which seems more risky than usual, Richard Hammond decides to drive a rocket powered dragster (capable of speeds in excess of 300mph) at an airfield, to see how fast he can go. Having read this book, I'm amazed this stunt was permitted – it's scary to read how difficult to drive these cars are.
“On The Edge: My Story” details the build-up to him taking the controls of the dragster, minute by minute descriptions about the successful runs, the catastrophic crash itself which left him in a coma with a dangerously swelling brain, and his recovery and eventual return to the Top Gear series. It's sobering stuff, but interesting.
The introductory chapters give a bit of an autobiography establishing Hammond's early fixation with speed and vehicles, and the journey towards his dream job (being a presenter for Top Gear). Some of the later chapters are written by his wife Mindy, and I get the impression Hammond held back a fair bit regarding his post crash experiences, but I still found this a fascinating and at times moving read. A good one!