There has been quite a bit written about Burt Munro over the last 60 years, his exploits in motorcycling appearing in early copies of the NZ Motorcyclist, then there was George Beggs book Burt Munro Legend of Speed, One Good Run by Tim Hanna, and of course Roger Donaldsons epic portrayal of Burt in his movie The Worlds Fastest Indian. For most this would be enough on Burt however the latest book available (actually it came out last year) would have to be the pinnacle of everything Burt.
The Lost Interviews are from author Neil Birss who penned these notes whilst talking to Burt in the late 1960s. Originally thought to have been lost forever when Neil started moving around due to family and work commitments they reappeared after a clear up following the horrific 2010/2011 earthquakes that claimed so many lives in Christchurch. Written, as spoken by Burt it is a easy read and paints a vivid picture of how Burt saw the world. From his early years growing up in Southland, the building of a cannon aged 14 years to protect his family from marauding Germans, through to his move to Australia and racing, then his return to New Zealand, Burts life was a lot more than what was portrayed in the movie. He was curious, inventive, and as we all know persistent. Find out about his trip to England, the I.O.M TT races and Europe, the tours through automotive factories, and the life long friends that he made along the way. Really it is Burt talking from beyond the grave.
I can thoroughly recommend it to people who like to turn a page. Readers will not be disappointed.
Burt Munro The Lost Interviews by Neill Birss.
Of course for those like Knobster who have a more limited reading ability there is another new book out titled –
Speed King by David Hill with illustrations by Phoebe Morris.
A simpler version of Burts life portrayed in script and illustrations aimed for ages 6 to 10 depending on reading ability. Or a good bedtime read for that little Master, or Miss, and at 33 pages they will be asleep before you know it.
No doubt available online but I purchased mine from a real bookshop. So best to trot on down to your local store and surprise someone with a book. Remember – Christmas is only 2 months away.
Knobster reckoned that the only thing that would have made Speed King even better was if it had come with a colouring in set. However from what I understand the last time Knobster had crayons he ate them all and pooped green for a week!!