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Book Review: The Bostrom Conspiracy

24
August
2007
  Posted at 02:44:27 PM
  File under  Books Product Review Racing
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

I've have mixed feelings about this book. It's billed as "The true untold story of America's top motorcycle racers Ben and Eric Bostrom and their crime family". First of all, despite writing about international acclaim, the Bostrom's aren't really worldwide household names (not in the same category as Rossi, Rainey, Roberts et al).

Secondly, as for proof of any crimes the Bostrom brothers would have committed or were part off, it's kind of thin on the ground:- more a guilty by association. It's much more a conspiracy theory (with the accent on theory) than real proof. It reads a bit like the author had some axes to grind with the Bostroms. I've no doubt that in the world of junk yards and motorcycle dealers, there's a lot of shady deals going on, but to "hint" that Ben and Eric Bostrom were involved, goes a bit far.

The other thing I was thinking about when reading the book, was if the author worked for 20 odd years in this business, surrounded by mostly shady characters, why stay all those years if you had suspicions that something was going on?

On the positive side, it gives a nice insight in the daily happenings of an American motorcycle junk yard/2nd hand dealer. Buying salvage motorcycles and selling old spare parts is a world on its own. Also, J.Y. (Junk Yard) Johnny's writing style is not bad, it's an easy read. In the first three quarters of the book, he details his involvement in the junk yard, and the shady and often strange dealings that went on between his step father and some of the main characters. Many of the main characters are, what else can I say, "characters". Strange, junkies, shady, but all have one thing in common; they love motorcycles. He also writes about some interesting motorcycle rides, and quite a bit about the races, specially with the Bostrom brothers.

It's in the last part of the book, that he comes up with some "proof", but a lot of them are theories. One such a theory, is that of a French-made MotoGP motorcycle that was bought by one of the main shady characters after it had appeared in a print ad. The author considered that someone else, if they had read the ad, would have bought the bike (like the owner of the magazine, or a museum). It's a bit out of left field, it's not like everyone has a) the interest and b) the hard cash.

What I didn't like about the book, a nonfiction, is that there's not a single photo to be found anywhere. For a book detailing people's lives, dealers, and motorcycles, at the very least you'd expect to see some photos.

Anyway, it's still an amusing book, not to be taken too serious (but where there's smoke there's a fire), good for a read on a rainy day.

Click here to go to the book's website Open link in a new window





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