#VBB Book Reviews.

One thing I’ve neglected over the last couple for years is reading.  As a regular commuter from Portsmouth to London, I use to read all the time and I’m making a conscious effort to get back into the habit.  Mr. Warren Massey kindly struck at the perfect moment with his book review below.  Thank you Warren.

You can also listen to Warren’s podcast at The Dawg House, and you can follow him on Twitter.

If you’re reading, or have read a book, good or bad, scribble down your thoughts and we’ll post it here.  PLEASE don’t be put off by thinking ‘I’m not a journalist’, well here’s a secret, I’m not either!  So don’t stress, if it’s a little rough around the edges, we can give it the ‘treatment and it’ll be good to hear from you guys, our readers.  We love feedback, good and BAD! In fact, we prefer the bad feedback so we can do something ale to rectify it.

So, as it’s the weekend, we hope you enjoy Warren’s review and if you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, write a review yourself and send it it please?  You can send it to us here.

As I started reading “Shooting Star” I was not sure what I was reading.  It clearly was not a novel, nor a textbook.  It is kind of like a history book (very well documented) but in the end, I read it like it was a Discovery or History Channel documentary.  Why? Because it is written with what resembles the “jump cuts” that some of those documentaries contain.  Quick, sometimes 90 degree, turns in the discussion on how the British motorcycle industry came to an end as a major player on the world stage.

As an avid motorcyclist and a guy who enjoys history, I have a degree in History and Government BTW, I knew that the motorcycle industry was a major contributor to the English economy post WWII.  I also, kind of, knew that the US was a major contributor to that industry.  Heck Marlin Brando rode a Triumph motorcycle in “The Wild One”.  But I can truly say that I had no idea how important the motorcycle industry was to Britain or how hard everyone worked to kill the golden goose.

Many will claim the rise of the Japanese killed the British motorcycle, the truth is that it was very nearly a zombie even before the tide of Japanese bikes rose. By the time I reached the end of the book it was, to me anyway, clear that it was a perfect storm of dumbassery (is that a word) on the part of management, workers, unions, the caste system, socialist and the British government for the end of the motorcycle industry on the British Isle.  The “Peter Principle” and the “Not Invented Here” syndrome ruled across the industry. This book should be a must read for everyone in the industry of making motorcycles.

I am giving it 3 stars, primarily because of those “jump cuts”.  At times, it was an effort to follow the switch between subjects.

MORE ABOUT WARREN:
I Just Want 2 Ride.

I do this “blog stuff” because I like to document things. I have always enjoyed reading about what people do (I have a BA in History) and thought that I should do the same. While I never thought that this activity would go much beyond my immediate family, I have been pleasantly surprised by the attention the blog has received. It has resulted in thousands of views a month and a gig as a host on a weekly motorcycle internet radio show (The Dawg House).

The Dawghouse started as a regular, terrestrial, radio show on one of the most popular radio stations in the Washington DC metro area, WJFK.  But the radio station changed its format, motorcycle racing and culture was not part of that new formant and the Dawghouse was dropped.  After that the show moved to the internet and has never looked back.

Broadcast live Tuesdays from 6-8PM (Eastern Standard Time) the show’s podcasts are downloaded from the website, iTunes and other podcast sharing sites tens of thousands times each week.

The DawgHouse covers motorcycle racing of all types: MotoGP, Super Cross, AMA Daytona Sportbike, AMA Superbike, British Sport Bike (with its own reporter), Flat Track, Motorcross .  We also discuss new developments with all the major and minor manufactures as well as general motorcycle news and culture (or lack thereof on individual cases) from around the world.

One of the best descriptions of the show comes from the NTNradio.com website “A completely irreverent, totally biased, intellectually challenged and scornful study of the twisted life of the motorcycling world and those who inhabit our planet… all wrapped up in a disturbing weekly LIVE broadcast!”