Bugatti Veyron: A Quest for Perfection by Martin Roach (watch the trailer, too)

The Story of the Greatest Car in the World

In 2005, Bugatti launched a car that has single-handedly redefined the notion of a ‘supercar’. It was called the Veyron, was reputed to cost £5 million to build and yet only £1m to buy. It quickly became the most talked about and indeed coveted car of all time. Written with the full co-operation of Bugatti.

The Bugatti Veyron’s statistics are mind-boggling: 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds; a top speed of 267 mph; tyres that cost £20,000 a set and an engine with ten radiators and four turbos; a launch control system and even windscreen wipers that create sizeable downforce … all delivered complete with a high-end stereo system, luxurious leather seats and air-conditioning. It was a feat of engineering grandiosity that, in automotive terms, rivals the achievements of the great 19th Century industrialists.

In A Quest for Perfection, no. 1 bestselling author Martin Roach sets out to track down the mythical beast that is a Bugatti Veyron – and ultimately attempts to drive one. He traces the genesis of this remarkable machine through Bugatti’s long and glorious early days and then through its more turbulent modern era. Travelling to the top secret Bugatti Research & Development workshop in Germany, touring the factory and chateau in France where these stunning cars are hand-built, visiting racing drivers, meeting super-rich owners and celebrities, and pondering this mechanical whirlwind with world-leading car designers, the book is a page-turning study of a modern masterpiece.

Interviews with revered motoring names will personalise the book including conversations with figures such as David Coulthard, Dr Kerry Spackman (leading motorsport neuroscientist), Liam Howlett of The Prodigy (supercar fanatic) and a host of other expert eye-witnesses to this unique car’s many achievements.

Bugatti Veyron: A Quest for Perfection will discover and unravel the enigma that is this remarkable car. Part-history, part-personal obsession, part-travelogue, part-humorous quest, altogether a book that will appeal to both fans of cars, and serious petrol-heads, Top Gear viewers as well as anyone who has ever raised an eyebrow as a shiny piece of metal on four wheels drives past in the street. For the first time, Bugatti has allowed access to the Veyron’s Chief Engineer, designers, test drivers, archivists, the Bugatti factory, photographers and the President of Bugatti himself.

Powderfinger was here. How do we know? They left Footprints.

For the first time, Bernard, Darren, Ian, John and Jonathan look back and tell their whole story from childhood to their final farewell.

Few could debate Powderfinger’s place as one of Australia’s most loved bands.

2010 saw the end of an era in Australian music, with Powderfinger playing their last concert together, so this November Hachette Australia will proudly publish FOOTPRINTS, the official authorised biography of the band.

Written with journalist Dino Scatena, the up-until-now very private members of the band have opened up to detail the full history of Powderfinger.

From their early days at the Orient Hotel to packed stadiums around the country and multiple Aria awards, this illustrated edition will feature the never-before-seen photos of the local Brissie boys who became Aussie rock icons.

Order your copy of FOOTPRINTS from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

Of course, big, big, big fans of the band will want to get hold of
a copy of the limited edition of FOOTPRINTS –
Click Here for More Details

In the meantime, enjoy this Youtube playlist of some of the best loved tracks from the biggest rock band in Australia.

Matt Granfield, author of HipsterMattic: One Man’s Quest to Become the Ultimate Hipster, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Matt Granfield

author of HipsterMattic: One Man’s Quest to Become the Ultimate Hipster

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

For a second there I thought that read ‘Why were you born?’ and I was thinking that was a little deep for an author questionnaire, but given this is the ‘ten terrifying questions’ I wasn’t surprised. Then I realised I had my non-prescription hipster glasses on instead of my actual reading glasses. I’ve swapped them now so I can read properly. It’s suddenly a much less intrusive and less philosophical experience. I grew up in a little town on the NSW South Coast called Continue reading

Jessica Adams, editor of The Holiday Goddess Handbag Guide to London, New York, Paris and Rome, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jessica Adams

editor of The Holiday Goddess Handbag Guide to London, New York, Paris and Rome

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born on July 25th 1964 at 7.08am in London, with the Sun in Leo, Moon in Aquarius and Bacchus in Gemini. I’m the astrologer for The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Star Times in New Zealand and Cosmopolitan in England. I’m also a novelist, charity anthology team editor and now a travel book editor too…

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

I wanted to be a vet at twelve (and am now the patron of an animal charity called Dogstar in Sri Lanka, which it would be great if you visited – At eighteen I wanted to be a journalist. At thirty I wanted my own Continue reading

Congratulations to all of the Booktoberfest winners… There are still prizes to win. Order before 1 November 2011 to enter.


Booktopia Weekly $250 RRP worth of Books
Week 3 Winner: T. Morfea, Baulkham Hills, NSW

Random House – Prize 1 – Julie Goodwin
signed Breast Cancer Awareness Apron
Week 3 Winner: A. Balassone, Templestowe, VIC

Simon & Schuster – Prize 1 –
Becca Fitzpatrick Sydney Event
Double Pass + 1 Silence T-Shirt

Week 3 Winner: C. Craddock, Gumdale, QLD

Pan Macmillan – Prize 1 – Signed copy of
Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves by Matthew Reilly
Week 3 Winner: J. Wolhuter, Fairfield Gardens, QLD

John Wiley & Sons – Prize 1 –
ANZACS on the Western Front book
Week 3 Winner: J. New, Meadow Flat, NSW

Penguin Australia –Prize 1 –
Penguin collectible merchandise pack
Week 3 Winner: R. Andrews, Loftus, NSW

Click here to see the full terms and conditions, draw dates and entry eligibility and
of all the Booktoberfest prize giveaways.

John Birmingham, author of Angels of Vengeance, the third book in his mega-selling Disappearance Trilogy, answers Six Sharp Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

John Birmingham

author of Angels of Vengeance, the third book in his mega-selling Disappearance Trilogy

Six Sharp Questions


1. Congratulations, on completing your new book – what is Angels of Vengeance about and is it really the last book in the series?

Yes and no. The story that began with the Disappearance in Without Warning does wrap up in this novel All of the different threads I’ve been pulling together over the years finally link up here. But I got to the end of Angels of Vengeance and was already missing some of my fave characters, so I’m going to write some e-books with stand alone stories featuring them. They’ll sort of relate to the main narative, but spin off on their own tangents.

Order your copy of Angels of Vengeance from
Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

2. Time passes. Things change. What are the best and worst moments that you have experienced in the past year or so?

Didn’t enjoy watching Ireland beat us in the rugby very much. But didn’t really expect to win the Cup either. Finishing the book has been cool, and I did some radio this year which was great fun. But I think the highlight was talking to Steve Stirling about possibly collaborating on a new series of his Change novels set down here was the biggest fun.

3. Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us? It doesn’t need to be deep but it would be great if it meant something to you.

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I have a lot of faves. But I really enjoy this one from Caitlin. I like it because it reveals a bit about what sort of experiences went into making her what she is:


All Echelon field agents completed the organization’s version of Hell Week at the end of basic induction, and the eight days of brutalizing assessment were enough to break more than three quarters of each intake. But in Caitlin’s memory, the long, slow torture of the Yoshinkan Hombu Dojo was worse, even though formal training ran only four hours a day, and her humbling duties as a gaijin novice for two or three more – mopping floors, cleaning toilets, serving meals to the seniors when she was hobbling from a sprained ankle, or unable to raise her arms above elbow height thanks to training one block, repeatedly for two hours. Hell Week was a torment of hallucinogenic intensity, but it was limited. No matter what the assessors did to break her, she knew that endurance was a matter of degrees, of inches, of pushing herself for a few more breaths, or heartbeats. It would pass.

The dojo was life itself. Unyielding, unforgiving and inescapable.

Lying prone in decaying leaf matter, with insects crawling all over her and slick with sweat, Caitlin reached for the lesson of Yoshinkan Hombu. It was something she had learned only at the very end of her training, when her technique, her ‘jutsu’ or art, had been honed to a cutting edge as dangerous as a Sengo Muramasa blade, a weapon forged by the infamous Muromachi period swordsmith and reputedly imbued with his violent madness.

It was said that the steel of a Muramasa katana was hungry.

4. Writers have often been described as being difficult to live with. Do you conform to the stereotype or defy it? Please tell us a little about the day to day of your writing life.


Yes. I wouldn’t want to live with me.

My days are a bit different depending on whether I’m on deadline or not. If not, everything is sweet. If I am I get up early, exercise to two hours, smash out about five thousand words, throw furniture around, kicks holes in the wall, abuse dangerous Russian pharmaceuticals I bought off the internet, and mostly work nude.

5. Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).

I write what I like to read, but luckily I have an enormous appetite for mass market faff. I love hyper accelerated stories of the world falling apart. Luckily, they sell.

6. Unlikely Scenario: You’ve been charged with civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents but you may take only five books with you. What do you take and why?

How to Be a Man. By me, and my friend Flinthart. Need I explain? We consulted expert lesbains and bar tenders.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Because what the hell, maybe they’ll pick up a bit of the classics.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, might seem counter intuitive to a civilising mission, but Thompson rewrote every page as many times as Dickens. Let them get hooked on the madness, then spring that little factoid on them.

Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide. If you have to ask you’re already Zed’s tasty appetizer.

Aaaand maybe Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, to let ‘em know just how easy they got it, even with me yelling at their uncivilised arses.

John, thank you for playing… rough.

VINTAGE Books Celebrates its 21st Birthday with a Rainbow

VINTAGE Books have chosen a wonderful way to celebrate their 21st Birthday. They have produced a rainbow of colourful new editions of the best fiction in their impressive collection.

These are some of the best, most talked about and most lauded novels published in the last 21 years. It is an astonishing list. Novels by Jeanette Winterson, Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth, Ian McEwan, A. S. Byatt,  J.M. Coetzee to name but a few…

If you have ever wanted to be more familiar with contemporary literature then there is no better place to start. For just over two hundred dollars you could acquire a stunning library of the best of the best in modern literature. (Just think how cool your bookcase will look!)

How fun would that be to give the full collection to someone you love!?  You could surprise them with a gift that has the potential to change their lives for the better.

Of course, you can buy them individually, too.

Imagine spending the next 21 weeks reading one great book after another… and by the end of your reading you would be familiar with some of the best names in modern literature. I bet, once you’re done, you’ll want to read more of their books. You’ll never be lost for something to read again.

The Vintage 21st Birthday Rainbow:

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

American Pastoral by Philip Roth

The Gathering by Anne Enright

Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Road Home by Rose Tremain

Money by Martin Amis

Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

Possession by A. S. Byatt

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Click here to view the VINTAGE 21 on Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


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