Evel: The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel%E2%80%94An American Showman, Daredevil, and Legend

Leigh Montville. Doubleday, $26.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-385-52745-3
Best-selling author Montville (The Big Bam) takes on the controversial daredevil Evel Knievel revealing an intimate, often alarming, and ultimately sad portrait of a man who lived precariously, both on and off his motorcycle. Deemed by Montville the first reality TV star, Evel's career dates back to a stunt on ABC'S Wide World of Sports in 1967. A former insurance salesman and small-town criminal, Knievel became famous by advertising himself, often falsely; during a press conference to announce his jump over Idaho's Snake River Canyon, he accepted a $6 million check that turned out to be promotional nonsense. Montville's riveting journalistic style includes memorable scenes, many starring young women suggestively attired, Knievel's walking cane loaded with Wild Turkey bourbon and employees verbally trampled by the man's unpredictable behavior. The author recounts stories with eye-popping details, including Knievel's failed jumps over the fountains of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and over the Snake River Canyon. The combination of Knievel's rambunctious lifestyle and Montville's lively prose produces a page-turner almost as exhilarating as landing a record-breaking jump. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-73892-9
Ebook - 329 pages - 978-0-385-53367-6
Paperback - 398 pages - 978-0-7679-3052-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-73895-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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