This is a sequel to the author’s earlier work (with Alan Cathcart), “Ducati 999: Birth of a Legend,” which covered the evolution of the predecessor to the recent 1098/1198 sportbike leaders in the Ducati lineup, now superseded by the Panigale. The 1098/1198 was a radical step forward for Ducati in power, torque and weight, thus ‘redefining’ the sport motorcycle and creating the book’s theme. It was as radical a departure for Ducati as the beautiful 916, and replaced the 999, a machine that many considered an exercise in ugly that was completely atypical of the Bologna manufacturer.
Friends whose reading judgment I respect urged me to read Goddard and one of them lent me this book. I wish I had not wasted my time on it. None of us–I include myself–would like to be judged on the basis of one book, but if this is the best Mr. Goddard can do (and some of the more critical Amazon reviewers say that it isn’t), then he is greatly overrated.
The problem, to put it succintly, is that he is a careless writer who puts howlers on the page and drenches the reader in baffling illogic.
Howlers? One example, of many, will do (page 34), involving the book title itself:
“He . . . could not put a name to a face he felt disablingly certain he knew very well.”