Even if you have no interest in motorcycle racing, John Hopkins’ “Leathered” autobiography is a great listen. Yes, I actually listened. Although an autobiography, Hopkins opted for Canadian voice-over artist Matthew McFetridge to read for this Audible audiobook. For those of you who haven’t listened to an audiobook, I highly recommend “Leathered – A Life Taken To Extremes…On and Off the Bike.” The listening is so easy and yet so intense.
At a pace with a sense of urgency, we’re taken through the highs and lows of Hopkins’ upbringing, his Anglo-American family, and his racing life. The non-stop engaging stories of race strategies, negotiations within the race-world, love, injuries, and his major struggles with addiction are inspirational.
The telling exudes a stark honesty from Hopkins, and that hooked me in. I lived the experience of “Leathered’ whilst driving, and felt rudely interrupted if I had a break in my journey.
This is an engaging autobiography that draws you into the fast-paced world populated by young men skilled at racing motorcycles at very high speeds. Hopkins’ matter-of-fact writing style demonstrates more than gritty determination—I had a real feel of care and admiration.
Racing motorcycles and practical life skills do not necessarily come hand in hand, and you’ll hear sometimes harrowing tales of Hopkins’ seemingly randomly sensible and crazy choices.
I liked hearing how Hopkins’ personal relationships with his mother, girlfriends, and friends have hindered and helped him throughout his career. I cursed at the exasperation of his addictive personality. Hopkins exposes us to a young man possessing total self-belief and a driving passion to win, along with a couple of less desirable obsessions. We hear how he copes with injuries as his life plans disintegrate around him. Interestingly, I found no self-pity.
My own overall take was that John Hopkins has a true love story to tell, peppered with me asking, “Why the F did he do that?!” If you think you’ve cocked up in life, “Leathered – A Life Taken To Extremes…On and Off the Bike” may appease those feelings!
John Hopkins’ “Leathered” Fast Facts
- Title: “Leathered – A Life Taken To Extremes…On and Off the Bike”
- Author: John Hopkins
- Narrator: Matthew McFetridge
- Listening length: 9:33
- Publisher: Cassell
- ASIN: B0984PKCBT