Another Mark Wallington gem,
This review is from: The Auto Biography (Hardcover)
This is another gem from Mark Wallington, a much under-rated writer. In his best books he draws from events in his own life and in this, is latest book, he takes a humorous look at the cars that he and his family have owned during his lifetime. That may seem a little self-indulgent and of little interest to the average reader but, as with all of his books, he has written it in a warm and amusing manner that makes it an exceptionally good read.
Whilst I found it all to be very enjoyable I particularly relished the deeply nostalgic chapters in which the author writes about his childhood and his father's acquisition of his first car, probably because it struck a big note of recognition with my own early years,. Whereas nowadays we take car ownership for granted, when Mark Wallington was a boy it was very much a status symbol, an outward sign that you have actually "made it" in life. The book reminded me that the act of being a car driver was very different in those days too; for example, many people wore specially purchased driving gloves (can you still buy these?) and when you needed petrol it was bought at a garage where someone would actually fill your tank for you. I remember nagging my dad to buy petrol at filling stations that rewarded you with special World Cup coins or even a tiger's tail for you to hang on the car. Like Mark Wallington, I dare say my mum would have preferred a long strip of Green Shield stamps instead though.
This is a lovely book that made me smile most of the time whilst reading it.