"Michael Cannell's narrative rides in the shadows of Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken in the way it introduces a fascinating cast while reviving a time and place in which death danced with glory... In often jaw-dropping detail, Cannell explores both Hill's triumph (he remains the only Yank to win Formula One's coveted crown) as well as the grizzly world that was auto racing in an age before safety concerns."―USA Today
"With THE LIMIT, Michael Cannell has given us a sports epic for the ages, as well as a memory of one the great eras of the American century. It ranks with John Milius's script for Big Wednesday and James Salter's Downhill Racer. As my father would say, it's not about a race. It's about life."―Rich Cohen, author of Sweet and Low
"Before I wanted to become a writer I longed to become a Ferrari race car driver. THE LIMIT dropped me into the driver's seats of the fastest cars in the world during the Grand Prix explosion of the 50's and 60's. The story here is compelling and fast...the characters are massive men breathing speed and chewing adrenalin. This is a V12 blast of a book."―Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead
"Vivid biography of a fast-and-furious competitor on the Grand Prix racing circuit . . . a passionate, ambitious work . . . Cannell doesn't lean on the crutch of exposition to convey Hill's intrepid, sporty story, demonstrating great talent as a biographer. A crisply written, effectively compelling chronicle."―Kirkus Reviews
"Cannell's full-throttle epic leaves you breathless."―Publishers Weekly
A roaring zip about an American who took on the 1961 Grand Prix... as Cannell recounts in this winning book, Hill would prove to be a groundbreaking figure in the history of international racing-even as his accomplishments were met with a collective shrug of the shoulders in his native country.... Racing diehards, of course, will know the outcome. But the rest of us will come to this story blissfully unfamiliar with the thrills and sorrow contained in the book's last 70 pages.―The Daily Beast
Exhilarating... Its pages are filled with tales of nationalistic ardor, devil-may-care bravura, and gallows humor. And there are wrecks. Grisly, spectacular, pyrotechnic wrecks.... The Limit reads like a thriller. And his breathless depictions of disaster will have you white-knuckling your armchair.―The Boston Globe
A testosterone-fueled nonfiction book about auto racing in its bloody golden age, The Limit provides the drama and nostalgia of Seabiscuit and the body count of Gladiator. Its riveting, guy-centric story places readers behind the wheel as two vastly different drivers compete for Formula 1 glory.... In prose as fast and unadorned as an early Ferrari, Cannell rolls out an entertaining and exciting story on the way to the finish line.―Associated Press
10 September 1961: at the boomerang-shaped racetrack at Monza, in northern Italy, half a dozen teams are preparing for the Italian Grand Prix. It is the biggest race anyone can remember. Phil Hill - the first American to break into the top ranks of European racing - and his Ferrari teammate, Count Wolfgang von Trips - a German nobleman with a movie-star manner - face each another in a race that will decide the winner of the Formula One drivers' championship. By the day's end, one man will clinch that prize. The other will perish face down on the track.
In The Limit, Michael Cannell tells the thrilling story of two parallel lives that come together in tragedy on a hot late-summer afternoon. He charts their careers from childhood and adolescence lived in the shadow of world war; through their gruelling experiences in such deadly road races as the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans; to their coming of age in the hothouse atmosphere of Enzo Ferrari's Formula One team of the late 1950s. The quiet and self-contained Hill was a pathological worrier who vomited before a race and enjoyed Bartok and Shostakovich - rather than Campari and debauchery - thereafter; the dashing von Trips lived life as fast as he drove his 'sharknose' Ferrari, and yearned to inspire a nation fractured and traumatized by war. Both men strove to attain the perfect balance of speed and control that drivers called 'the limit': to drive under that limit was to run the risk of failure; to go beyond it was to dice with death.
The Limit is a vivid and atmospheric recreation of a lost world of seductive glamour and ever-present danger. Michael Cannell tells a moving and unforgettable tale of high speed and burning rivalry - and of young lives lived in the shadow of oblivion.