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Evel

The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel: American Showman, Daredevil, and Legend
Narrated by: Danny Campbell
Length: 17 hrs and 37 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Leigh Montville, this riveting and definitive new biography pulls back the red, white, and blue cape on a cultural icon - and reveals the unknown, complex, and controversial man known to millions around the world as Evel Knievel.

Evel Knievel was a high-flying daredevil, the father of extreme sports, the personification of excitement and danger and showmanship... and in the 1970s, Knievel represented a unique slice of American culture and patriotism. His jump over the fountains at Caesar's Palace led to a crash unlike anything ever seen on television, and his attempt to rocket over Snake River Canyon in Idaho was something only P. T. Barnum could have orchestrated. The dazzling motorcycles and red-white-and-blue outfits became an integral part of an American decade. Knievel looked like Elvis... but on any given Saturday afternoon, millions tuned in to the small screen to see this real-life action hero tempt death.

But behind the flash and the frenzy, who was the man? Best-selling author Leigh Montville masterfully explores the life of the complicated man from the small town of Butte, Montana. He delves into Knievel's amazing place in pop culture, as well as his notorious dark side - and his complex and often contradictory relationships with his image, the media, his own family, and his many demons. Evel Knievel's story is an all-American saga, and one that is largely untold. Leigh Montville once again delivers a definitive biography of a one-of-a-kind sports legend.

©2011 Leigh Montville (P)2011 Random House

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Some interesting parts but FULL of filler.

The life of Evel is certainly a fascinating story and the book contained some really interesting information, anecdotes and quotes. The problem is, it is so full of unnecessary waffle, it becomes painful having to wait to get to the juicy parts.

It is like the author had a minimum word count and, like a school kid, waffled on about irrelevant information just to get to the necessary number. For example a WHOLE CHAPTER on the history, dangers, risks and deaths of the mines in Montana, the premise of which was just to say that Evel didn’t fancy working in one - who cares?! It was utterly painful at times.

Equally painful was the author breaking to declare “A story” every half an hour to then tell a side story about Evel. The whole thing is a story! I don’t need you to tell me you are telling me a story whilst I’m listening to the story!

Numerous topics are discussed at length, the ancient history of Bute Montana, the Kennedys, the Cold War, Ali/Fraser - none of which are particularly relevant to the book/Evel.

I came so close to giving up on this on so many occasions. It could, and should, have been about a third of the size - which is a shame because when you do finally get to the bits about Evel, it is really interesting.


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Profile Image for Blake
  • Blake
  • 03-09-11

Evel

I enjoyed the book. The writing style was not great but I liked the story. I did have a small issue with the narration. The narrator pronounced the word motorcycle in an unusual way. It almost sounded like meutercycle. It would not have bothered me much except that the word was used many times. It just seems odd to me that the producers would not have corrected him. But it was not a big deal, just a little odd.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Edyanne
  • Edyanne
  • 22-06-17

it's great for listening than reading...

Narrator did great job reading this book. He'd maintained Evel's voice at a great constant.
I'd tried reading this in print, but kept wishing it get moving. Then I'd decided to listen to this book. Much better idea!!
There's a nice surprise at end... winks!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jeff
  • Jeff
  • 14-03-16

Mortarcycle? Mordecycle?

A fantastic book about a fantastic heel of a man. Must read. Narrator CANNOT PRONOUNCE "MOTORCYCLE."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • robert joe reynolds
  • 25-04-15

good book

Lots of things I didn't know about the evil Knievel and I thought I knew it all

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Profile Image for Bruno
  • Bruno
  • 21-03-15

Great book.incredible story.

Great book.incredible story. Evel was unique in many ways. Good or bad, nobody will replace him in the daredevil world.