McSnottys Good Reads – Burt Munro – A Scrapbook of His Life.

You would think that with 2 books already published in the last few years about Burt Munro that not much more could be said. Not so! This latest publication titled The Worlds Fastest Indian was authored by the same person who produced the movie, Roger Donaldson.

Who better than Roger to publish a complete book about Burts life from all that information amassed that went into making the movie such a success. Personal accounts from family as well as the likes of Duncan Meikle, Allan King, Marty Dickerson, and Rollie Free make interesting reading and are written in such a way as to be short and concise, leaving you with no doubt as to the high regard that Burt was held in their lives. Stories (or accounts) are mostly kept to one page and as the book is more pictorial than text it is very easy to follow through.

Burts infectious smile evident in virtually all of his photos and some of his personal story telling will definitely convince readers that here was a man that loved life and that nothing was going to slip by him without having had his involvement. Like the story about his home made cannon!

The wide selection of black and white photographs start from the early 1910s with family and friends, continuing right through to colour snaps of his racing in the 1960s and 70s. Some are Burts personal ones but a lot have been supplied by family and friends. Such is, the people that surrounded Burt wanted to share their memories of him with the world.

A typical page from The Worlds Fastest Indian. And it just gets better.

The final chapter is a collection of shots taken during the making of the movie. A nice finish for the end of the book and a nice acknowledgement when some ones life has been captured in so many ways.

My only niggle about the book is that it is not a hard cover (pretty small gripe I know). Instead it is of a thick firm cardboard, and probably in Burts eyes where everything just had to be functional this cover does the job.

I could talk all day about the book, but best you purchase it and see for yourself. This would have to be ultimate final chapter of Burts life.

Finally the last word would have to go to Burt in his lead in comment about the book. It goes –

The Scrapbooks.

Why keep a scrapbook? Oh well, it brings things back to your memory that you forget. Most people keep a scrapbook of something or other, don€™t they? Before my house burned to the ground I had some other scrapbooks and photo albums€¦ This is mostly photos in this one €“ I put pictures of my American friends and stuff like that in it. With a memory like mine €“ I€™ve had so many concussions €“ helps bring the memories back €“ I remember when I look at the pictures €“ it brings it all back, in spite of all those haemorrhages of my brain (ha ha ha).    Burt Munro.

Title: The Worlds Fastest Indian €“ Burt Munro – A Scrapbook of His Life.

ISBN: 978-1-86979-207-7

Pages: 288

Bonus: Additional DVD (inside back cover) of 2 hrs viewing including the original €œGods of Speed€ documentary.

Price: $55.00 (NZ)

Where: Most good bookshops like Whitcoulls, Take Note.