Michael Giltz
October 17, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

This ode to the boyishly handsome driver of the Mach 5 reads more like a dutiful textbook than a fan’s reverie. Moran slogs through a thumbnail description of Japanimation, tracks down the actors who recorded the English-language voices of Speed, Trixie, and Spritle, and even includes a painfully dated readers’ poll from 1988 about who should play the characters in a feature film. On the plus side, her descriptions of the 52 original episodes include generous samples of Speed’s hopelessly earnest dialogue: ”But that would be cheating, and I’ve never done anything illegal in my life — ever!” Ultimately, though, this book skids off course. C

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