The Limit

  • by Michael Cannell
  • Narrated by Fred Stella
  • 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Phil Hill, a lowly California mechanic who, defying all expectations, became the first American to win the Grand Prix championship. In the tradition of Seabiscuit and The Right Stuff, Cannell’s high-octane narrative evokes the lives of the daredevils who tempted fate each Sunday by driving well over 150 mph without benefit of seat belts or roll bars.
Written with the pacing of a novel, The Limit pits Hill against his Ferrari teammate, German Count Wolfgang Von Trips, as they jockey for the top spot throughout the 1961 season, culminating in one of the deadliest races in Grand Prix history. The Limit captures a distinct moment when men the world over were driven to push the boundaries of the possible.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Intro to F1 History

Even though I have followed Formula 1 fairly closely for the better part of two decades, I must admit to having known very little about the sports golden age. I'd heard the outlines of course, about a time when the glamour and glory to be had was only heightened by the danger and sense of fatalism that colored racers' outlooks. This was, I'd heard, a time when racing legends were as likely to end up in an early grave as on a championship podium, and where things like safety measures were a far distant consideration next to performance on the track.
So I was very happy to find in this book not only an account of an iconic American driver's life and times, but a vivid portrait of a world long lost in which death and fame were the fruits of success on the Grand Prix circuit. The author rather dramatically paints in the details of the 1961 rivals' lives, highlighting their contrasting upbringings and sketching in the careers of the drivers and other people who influenced their development. Along the way, there is a long series of tragic stories of men's demise after pushing the limits of their abilities and those of their fragile race cars, or simply being unlucky. By the end, as the author suggests his subject did as well, the reader is left in awe and dismay at the spectacle of this great era in motor sport and the terrible toll it took in lives destroyed.
This book fills a rather specific niche. If you like me knew very little of the details of the early days of Formula 1 racing, it is very much a worthwhile listen. If you are well acquainted with the period however, aside from a few stories here and there with which you might not be familiar, I'd expect you'd get very little from this production.
As for the narration, it is good enough but by no means outstanding. Also, the reader notably employs uncommon pronunciations of several foreign names and racing terms.
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- Aser Tolentino

Fine story, marred by so-so performance.

What did you like best about The Limit? What did you like least?

Hill's life was loaded with contradiction... This was captured well.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

Correctly pronouncing names and places takes a beating. Michael Schumacher is not pronounced Mikhail Schumacher......


Do you think The Limit needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No.... However, Hill's subsequent career was largely skipped over. It was just as interesting as his early career.


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- Corey C. Jordan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-06-2011
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books