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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outrageous Humor Aimed at Creating a Fictional "On the Road" through Articles with Social Commentary
"When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child;
when I became a man, I did away with childish things." -- 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NAS)

Beware of this book if you don't realize that there's a very large tongue in P.J. O'Rourke's cheek as he recounts these tales of wild youth, middle-aged fantasies, and crazy trips...
Published on 3 Aug 2009 by Donald Mitchell

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2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one
My goodness, this is a boring book. It's just a load of tired articles from years ago when oh-my-goodness-I-am-drinking-and-driving passed for quality writing and has now been regurgitated and packaged as a book because anything with PJ's name on it will sell. Save your money. Skip this one.
Published 22 months ago by Mark Hill


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outrageous Humor Aimed at Creating a Fictional "On the Road" through Articles with Social Commentary, 3 Aug 2009
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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"When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child;
when I became a man, I did away with childish things." -- 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NAS)

Beware of this book if you don't realize that there's a very large tongue in P.J. O'Rourke's cheek as he recounts these tales of wild youth, middle-aged fantasies, and crazy trips. You'll think that this book is all about encouraging irresponsible behavior. Actually, the book is about the nutty schemes that cars and motorcycles inspire in us, but rarely, if ever, do. Just in case you miss that point, he writes a new essay "How to Drive Fast When the Drugs Are Mostly Lipitor, the Wing-Wang Needs More Squeezing Than It Used to Before It Gets the Idea, and Spilling Your Drink Is No Problem If You Keep the Sippy Cups from When Your Kids Were Toddlers and Leave the Baby Seat in the Back Seat so that When You Get Pulled Over You Look Like a Perfectly Innocent Grandparent" that comments on his semi-famous comic paean to irresponsibility "How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink."

But if you are still in touch with the inner fantasies you once had involving tires, gear boxes, big engines, and throbbing exhausts, you'll alternate between feeling excited and laughing out loud. As a reporter, Mr. O'Rourke had a big advantage over the rest of the dreamers: He could occasionally talk someone else into giving him a free pass into car and motorcycle fantasy lands, trips, races, and experiences.

A lot of people will focus on the first two essays. I found them of interest mostly to explain the anthology's purpose, which is to have some fun with car fantasies. Where the rubber began to meet the road (metaphorically) for me was in the descriptions of the three Baja California trips he took. Those were worth the price of admission and then some. I also enjoyed the trip across India very much.

If you don't know old cars, some of the automotive references will be baffling. Don't let that bother you. It's not important. If you do know old cars, those details will bring back many memories of mysterious non-starting cars and weird situations (I still remember having a car that wouldn't go into reverse and having to call for help from the house of a man in whose front yard the car rested).

If you are a Kerouac fan, the obvious plays on that wonderful book will give you a literary perspective on these articles that will keep you thinking for days.

If you don't like broad humor aimed at those who are concerned about the environment, you might not enjoy this book.

Nice wheels, P.J.!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the funniest and most readable account of automotive adventure, 19 July 2010
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AK (London) - See all my reviews
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Let me start with a disclaimer - if you are somewhat sensitive about irresponsible behaviour and prone to taking things too literally, you will be well advised to skip the first chapter (the National Lampoon piece promoting the virtues of intoxicating dribing while copulating), at least till you have read the rest of the book. It is so massively tongue in cheek that in might have some readers throw the book away in disgust and thereby miss some really fine, engaging, funny and quite superbly observed travel writing, with a motorized mode of transportation being the common theme.

The decades of O'Rourke's motoring journalism experience (from which several of the pieces were drawn) seem to have been a very fruitful ground for some good adventure - as he stated expense accounts used to be more lavish, and can press departments I assume more gullible and forgiving. And while you might find equal doses of (perhaps even more fascinating) automotive adventure in Llewellyn's The Road to Muckle Flugga: Great Drives in Five Continents, O'Rourke really shines in bringing them to light and making the book a page turning read, where many of Llewellyn's adventures, in the politically correct way they are described, fall a bit flat.

Compared to someone like Jeremy Clarkson, PJ O'Rourke comes across as better read, occasionally wilder but generally more competent about the primary topic (cars) and will be a better read in my eyes.

While somewhat hard pressed to find a favourite chapter, the three trips to Baja California do stand out for me, as does the one on Rent a Wreck. And again, even if you are not of a Republican leaning, you are likely to find O'Rourke very funny, as long as you do not take everything written literally.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one, 30 Oct 2012
By 
Mark Hill (Aljezur, Faro, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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My goodness, this is a boring book. It's just a load of tired articles from years ago when oh-my-goodness-I-am-drinking-and-driving passed for quality writing and has now been regurgitated and packaged as a book because anything with PJ's name on it will sell. Save your money. Skip this one.
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