Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Michael Cannell's "The Limit"

Michael T. Cannell is a former editor of The New York Times Home section, publisher of, and author of I.M. Pei: Mandarin of Modernism.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit, and reported the following:
The Limit primarily takes place in the late 1950s. The European racing circuit of that era was preposterously glamorous, like La Dolce Vita with car fumes. Many drivers came from wealthy or titled families. Wives and groupies sat in the pits wearing Capri pants and tight cashmere sweaters. But the glamour was closely accompanied by a dark aspect. The sport was dangerous to a degree that seems unthinkable today. For example, in 1955 a Mercedes sports car somersaulted into the grandstand at Le Mans, killing more than 80 spectators. The organizers didn’t even stop the race.

All of the glory and pain is neatly foreshadowed on page 99. As the page turns we find the German nobleman Wolfgang von Trips as a child mesmerized by the great German drivers of the 1930s who thundered around the Nürburgring track in powerful cars built with Nazi subsidies. His particular hero was the blond and buoyant driver Bernd Rosemeyer.

By the end of the page Rosemeyer lies dead by the side of the Autobahn. The school age von Trips has by now a full taste of the pageantry and pathos that will visit him in his own life.
Watch the trailer for The Limit, and learn more about the book and author at Michael T. Cannell's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Limit.

--Marshal Zeringue