Blog tour: The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game by Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler
I’m ridiculously excited to welcome you to my stop on The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game blog tour. I’ve never been a huge Top Gear fan but the enigma of The Stig has always fascinated me, and this novelisation seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn a bit more about his back story.
Before I share my review, here’s a little bit more about the book to get your mouth watering:
An enigmatic racing driver.
A bunch of kids.
One hell of a ride.
Sam Wheeler is the new boy in town. And it’s a pretty weird sort of place. No one seems bothered that a kid recently went missing. Everyone is glued to a mysterious computer game. And the town appears to be in thrall to a dastardly billionaire living in a mansion on the hill.
Things look up when Sam meets friends Buster Mustang, Ford Harrison and Minnie Cooper – but danger has a habit of showing up wherever they do. Soon all that stands between the gang and disaster is a silent man in a white suit. Otherwise known as… The Stig.
If you’re interested in learning more about The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!
So, what did I think?
The first thing that hit me while reading this book is that it’s perfect for reading with your child. There are a lot of puns which are likely to go right over the heads of the target audience, but I found myself giggling like I was back in primary school at most of them. They’re silly, but very cleverly written: these aren’t the kind of jokes that make you roll your eyes, but ones which provoke genuine laughs. I’ll be honest, it even took me a few seconds to register some of them!
The pace of the book also makes it great for reading aloud. There are a lot of quick, witty exchanges between Sam Wheeler and the antagonist, Cabriola Cruiser, while the banter between Sam, Minnie and Ford is also very funny. Anyone reading this story will want to be a part of Sam’s crew (and I think it’s great that there’s a girl who’s as obsessed with cars as the lads, because Top Gear has always appealed to a wide audience).
The language is accessible, so children are likely to be able to tackle the book by themselves (even if they might need your help on some of the difficult pronunciations of car names). With illustrations scattered throughout the text is broken up into digestible chunks – I couldn’t read it in one sitting because I’ve been quite busy with work, but being able to pick up the book with a brief sketch showing me where I’d gotten to made it easy to slide straight back into the world.
It’s impossible to forget that this is a Top Gear book because the specific car references are constant, but they fit smoothly into the story and don’t feel shoehorned in unnecessarily. This means that it’ll appeal to Top Gear fans of any age – probably another reason that Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler made sure to pop in some jokes that will appeal to an older audience.
This is a very strong start to the series, and I’m looking forward to picking up The Stig Drives Again, which is actually released tomorrow. I’ve already pre-ordered a copy for my Kindle, and I’m planning on driving – sorry, diving! – straight into it as soon as it downloads. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this book, only hoping that it would be a fun read to break up some of the more serious titles I’ve been picking up recently, but it’s so well-written that I’d happily recommend it to anyone.
About the authors:
Jon Claydon wrote sell-out shows at Edinburgh while at university before plumping for a career in advertising and technology investment that has seen him because a fixture on the Sunday Times ‘Britain’s 500 Most Influential People’ list. One day, while attending to one of many sidelines – as a columnist for Top Gear magazine – Jon had a moment. Alone in a lift, he met The Stig, who non-verbally communicated that it was high time someone wrote a book for his many younger fans. Jon called Tim, they fired up their flux capacitor and returned, sliding-doors-style, to the career they’d always thought they should have had in the first place.
Tim Lawler wrote sell-out Edinburgh shows at university before spending many years in ventures such as building and filling a fringe theatre, performing stand-up poetry, living in various parts of the globe and working as an advertising brand planner.
I hope you enjoyed my stop on The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game blog tour. Huge thanks to Faye Rogers for inviting me to take part – I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of book two!