On the Edge: My Story

On the Edge: My Story

by Richard Hammond


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From the first ridiculous stunts on his tricycle to his increasing and near obsessive attraction to speed and the smell of gas, this is the high-octane life of TV personality Richard Hammond. A lively and intelligent communicator, TV soon beckoned for Hammond. He became one of the daredevil trio—along with Jeremy Clarkson and James May—who have made an enormous, world-wide success of the revamped BBC TV program Top Gear. Hammond describes the personalities, the camaraderie, and the stunts with which the trio entertains their weekly audiences, including the day of his 300 MPH crash that took his show off the air, put him into a coma, and plunged a nation into mourning. The stages of recovery as his shattered mind reformed are covered, as are the milestones in his slow recovery to full health and his return to Top Gear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780753823309
Publisher: Phoenix
Publication date: 05/29/2008
Edition description: Abridged
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Richard Hammond is the author of Can You Feel The Force? and Richard Hammond's Car Confidential. 

Table of Contents

Preparing for the North Pole     1
The Early Years of an Adrenalin Junkie     5
From Local Radio to Top Gear     20
What a Job!     43
The Jet Car - Just Another Day at the Office     55
20 September 2006     66
Mindy's Story     97
Leeds General Infirmary     119
He is Not Going to Die     128
Hello, Darling     139
A Waiting Game     182
The Move to Bristol     205
Did You Know Swans Mate for Life?     213
Escape to Scotland     249
The Cottage in the Highlands     269
Going Home     294
Afterword     301
Acknowledgements     307

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On the Edge 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a great lover of Top Gear, I knew about Richard Hammond's accident and I was quite interested in reading about what had happened. I was surprised at what an emotional and touching book this was. It is written by both Richard and his wife Mindy, and details what they both went through before, during and after the crash and I found myself as a wife and mother, sympathizing with their struggle and admiring their strength. I cried through a lot of it, and was touched by what a wonderful couple they are and how they dealt with such a tragedy. A great read, very gripping and well written.
World_Traveler13 More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book, detailing the troubles popular TV host (from BBC America's Top Gear) encountered when his jet-propelled car crashed. It describes his past as an adrenaline seeking young boy, his love of cars that led him to audition for one of the hosts of Britain's most popular car show, trouble with memory loss and muscle-use after the wreck, his return to the world of television, and life with his family after his close brush with death. Really, an excellent book.
marisfelis More than 1 year ago
I'm a Top Gear fan, that's why I bought the book and why I wanted to know more about the guys. This is well written, interesting and above all a constant reminder that while they do have the best job in the whole world, it is at a great personal risk.
stomps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fantastic and completely inspiring book that focuses on the Hamster's jet car crash in 2006 and his subsequent recovery from brain injury. He recounts the accident in amazing detail and then the book alternates between recollections of his extremely strong wife Mindy and Richard's addled memories of the weeks he spent in hospital. I literally could not put the book down because I wanted to know that he got better, even though I knew he did in the end. As I said, very inspiring, especially for me as I'm getting over a (much, much smaller) injury from a car crash.
Pferdina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of Richard Hammond's jet car crash and recovery. Half the book is written from his wife Mindy's point of view.
pepperashesnikki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Despite this being quite obviously Richard Hammond's story, what really made the book was the main section, as told by Mindy. Personally, I don't know how she managed to recap their struggle (his obvious one and hers to witness him doing it) in such a beautiful and yet accurate way, but she did, and I have all the more respect for her now because of it.
Jacqi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this a hard book to read because of my own recent life experiences on saying that i found it comforting to know others have similar struggles too. Brilliant read for anyone.
glamrockskisuit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It really helped me to understand what coma patients and their families go through.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a fan of Top Gear (though a new fan), I'd read articles about Richard Hammond's accident, but I had no idea of the details or his recovery. I picked up his biography on a whim, I haven't read a lot of bios, but I do tend to enjoy them. Hammon's biography was no exception. It was a fantastic, easy to read book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Written after the crash, the book is in three parts, though not really divided as such). The first takes place as Richard is a child, then growing up and working odd jobs and eventually Top Gear. The middle section is about the accident. It starts with the idea of driving a jet-powered car, the execution of said experiment, and then the accident itself. In the middle, we get a new point of view, that of Hammond's love and articulate wife, Mindy. The third part details the recovery and some life after the crash. It's a highly enjoyable and strong biography and you don't really need to be a fan of Top Gear to enjoy it.
AdonisGuilfoyle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I seem to be starting a collection of 'brain injury biographies' - first Martin Kemp, and now Richard Hammond - but the personal battles and bravery of famous men and women never ceases to amaze and inspire. And just as Shirlie Kemp's devotion and strength was incredible during her husband's illness, I found the constancy, love and sheer patience of Mindy Hammond to be the strongest thread of Richard's story about his recovery. She deserves her fair share of recognition for holding onto the man she married, even when he was barely recognisable to his closest family.Richard is just as brave - firstly, for struggling back to life and then normality, and secondly, for telling this intensely intimate account of those lost and dark weeks after his crash. No, he didn't have to get into that jet car, and then take a final run after three successful drives - to paraphrase what Jeremy Clarkson said on Top Gear, that's when he 'fell out of his tree' - but what happened was hardly his fault. I was shocked to read just how close to death he came, not being interested in the show or its stars at the time of the accident - his and Mindy's honesty is very emotional and scary at times, exposing just how fragile he was and how strained poor Mindy's nerves became in trying to look after him. It is reassuring to be able to watch him back on Top Gear again, his wit and enthusiasm restored.The real voice of this biography, though, really does belong to Mindy, and it's great that she is also able to write how she was feeling about what was going on - after all, Richard was out of it, in one way or another, for most of the time, but she was always at his side. The places where their versions overlap reveal much more than what is actually said - Richard's guilt and sadness, Mindy's loyalty and capacity for forgiveness - that at times, this simple but captivating journal is almost embarrassing to read. I admire both of them for telling their story, with relief that such a vibrant personality as Richard is still alive and strong enough to share the uncomfortable truth.
Konohage More than 1 year ago
An excellent, inspiring read! I recommend this to any Top Gear fan, or to anyone interested in reading about a truly lovely man and his family, as they rally together to face a life-changing trauma.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When reading, not only do you get a great love story and a message full of hope through a difficult struggle, but also a personal connection to Richard and Mindy that makes you want to run up to them and give the a huge hug for being so strong! I found it very touching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its was really good book that will make laugh and cry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is great for anyone to read. Hammonds direct way of recalling the terrible accident that led up to his very trying recovery and how is wife stood by his side is so moving and, believe it or not, quite funny. He doesnt hold back any punches, telling it just like it is. It has me laughing and crying each time i read it, and it has been a few times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great book!! My husband and I have recently become fans of Top Gear. Richard is our favorite host. It was actually his story that had us first tuning in. Once I found out about his books I could not order them fast enough. Once I started the book I was riveted. I finished the book in less than two days. Hearing the story told from Richard's perspective and then to hear it from his wife, Mindy, just made the story more compelling and the book flowed well. Several times during the book I found myself holding my breath. By the end I was crying. Even though we see him on TV acting fine, I hope that is truly how he feels and pray that he and his family are enjoying life.
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