I just finished reading Ben Collins‘ book The Man in the White Suite: The Stig, Le Mans, the Fast Lane and Me and wanted to jot down some thoughts. As a huge fan of the BBC’s Top Gear I have been looking forward Ben Collins’ book since his role as The Stig was confirmed last year (due in part to the law suit brought by BBC and the producers of Top Gear to keep Collins and his publisher for selling this book).
Should Collins have written this book? It seems that there is a group of very vocal Top Gear fans out there that are angry at Collins for revealing his role as The Stig and removing the mystery. Personally I don’t find it all upsetting. If I were the producers of Top Gear I would milk this for all it is worth (and they have actually, think The Stig Farm for starters). The book and the incidents around its release make for great publicity for the show.
So what about the book?
First off you should know that Ben Collins, as handy as he might be behind the wheel of a super car, is not not going to be confused for Shakespeare. The Man in the White Suit is not a work of literary art but it is a fairly tight, well paced read. Collins jumps around a fair amount (and some reviewers have complained about the disconnects) however I found the pacing and jumps to be fairly logical and tight.
The book is really aimed at someone who is a fan of Top Gear and high performance automobiles and auto racing. As a fan of all of the above I found Collins’ book to be very interesting. My primary complaint about the book is that I actually want more. I want more stories of his coming up through the auto racing ranks and definitely more behind the scenes stories from the set of Top Gear.
Verdict: If you are a Top Gear fan and don’t hate Collins for revealing that he was The Stig then you should get this book.