Hammond, Richard "On the Edge: My Story" - 2007
Everyone in my whole family is a huge Top Gear fan. I have even read "The World According to Clarkson", both Volumes One and Volume Two.
Same as every other person who knew or had heard of Richard Hammond, I was totally shocked when I heard of his bad accident in a jet-powered dragster. We all were more than anxious to hear what had happened and how he was coping. Of course, everybody could understand that the press would not be allowed in his hospital room etc. but I know everybody's thoughts and prayers were with him and his family at that time.
Anyway, I found his memoir about this incident a while ago and finally got to read it. Richard and his wife Mindy tell the story of his accident and his return to life. And not only that, we get to learn a lot about both of them, Richard's childhood, their marriage, their children, and what a wonderful family they have.
What touched me, as well, was the huge friendship that was shown by everyone from the Top Gear team and how much everyone, his parents, brothers, neighbours, everyone who knew him, supported him and his wife in this trying period.
I think, even if you've never heard of Richard Hammond, this is a lovely story worth reading. And if you don't fall in love with this guy then and there, I don't understand you.
From the back cover: "Richard Hammond was an adrenalin junkie long before joining Top Gear. From the small boy showing off his bicycle stunts to the adolescent with a near-obsessive attraction to speed, he then worked in local radio before graduating to television. It was while filming for Top Gear, driving a jet-powered dragster at speeds of over 30mph, that a tyre burst and the car crashed leaving him hovering near death with a serious brain injury.
On The Edge is a compelling account of his life before and after the accident. His wife Mindy tells of the anxious hours and days of watching and waiting until he finally emerged from the coma. She and Richard then piece together the stages of his recovery as his shattered mind slowly reformed, culminating in Richard’s return home and his triumphant reappearance in front of the cameras."