Collings’ book came out in 2003 and so it can’t tell the entire Jordan story – but there are plenty of other gaps it can filll in.
First of all, if you’re looking for detailed accounts of the most pivotal moments in Jordan’s career, you’re better off with his autobiography. Perhaps unsurprisingly, more detail about the Michael Schumacher affair comes out in that book than this early biography.
That isn’t to say the biography isn’t worth reading. Collings is able to use his detached position to tell us more about how Jordan’s celebrated personality helped and hindered him.
Those closest to Jordan provide a lot of the material and the book is built on a couple of very good first hand interviews. It does lean a little on secondary sources in places, but only ever the most credible and with a due sense of scepticism where relevant.
However it does lapse into jokey anecdotes a little too often and once or twice I felt the urge to skip on. There’s also more than a little repetition.
Collings expertly positions Jordan within the ‘Piranha Club’ of team bosses – the phrase comes up more than once and is the title of another of Collings’ books.
What it lacks in detail it makes up for by being grounded in a far better context than Jordan’s autobiography, as well as being a more compelling read generally.
In short, this book fills in a lot of what the autobiography cannot tell you – what those closest to Jordan really think of him, when he was lucky, when he was inspired, when he was foolish.
Together they paint a portrait of a man for whom undying passion and exhaustive labour took him to the beginnings of great
success – but not to the very summit.