Strengths: It’s Top Gear. It’s funny.
Weaknesses: Hard to get excited by Christmas when it’s February and hot.
Why I read it: 1. The comic was in the Top Gear Live programme. 2. I always enjoy these Top Gear books, they’re funny.
Publisher: BBC Books
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
If you liked this, try: The Big Book of Top Gear
The Top Gear ‘big books’ are always funny for both young and old TG fans (the annuals, in my opinion, are much better suited to youngsters, but more about that at a later date). I eagerly await each year’s ‘big book’ but disappointingly I couldn’t find one for 2011. Lo and behold, in the Top Gear Live programme there was a comic, with the tantalising phrase, ‘if you want to know more, get A Top Gear Christmas‘. Like the good little lemming I am, I immediately jumped online to buy it. Unfortunately, my parcel spent Christmas in transit and I received it in time for New Year.
What’s it like reading a Christmas book just after Christmas? Before I can answer that, I need to state that it’s rather difficult reading about cold, snow, fires and scarves when it’s 40°C outside and you’re sweltering in shorts. So in fact, the Christmas theme didn’t really seem to bother me quite as much as it could have. The Christmas carols (rejigged to relate to Top Gear) were a bit flat for me, but younger readers may delight in changing the words! The index was very witty and funny (one of the few indexes I have ever read from top to bottom), as was the characterisation of the three presenters, which could be categorised as:
- Jeremy: tall, loud and likes blowing things up
- James: slow and talks about boring things
- Richard: only eats certain foods, likes fashion
Whether that’s true or not is another thing! But it’s wittily done and would be a good book to read on Christmas afternoon or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s not quite as funny as the previous books, but I think that’s because the Christmas theme limits the topics somewhat.