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Expect a younger, less opinionated Jeremy Clarkson, with a US focus and more love of cars
on 23 July 2013
Doug DeMuro comes across as a significantly younger, American and less opinionated Jeremy Clarkson in this book. You get a person in their twenties, who have had the good fortune (in terms of a car enthusiast value system) of having owned or driven many of what would be considered desirable or iconic cars of the past three decades, as well as a first generation Toyota Prius, or a current American Spec VW Jetta.
The stories alternate between road trips, car reviews and ownership experiences and are written in a style, which is amusing on the whole (but in my opinion works better if you read a chapter or two a day, than if you read it from cover to cover (again fairly Clarksonesque)).
Even if one could accuse the author of trying a tad too hard from time to time, the flipside of the coin - namely the relatively constant and somewhat infectuous enthusiasm about things automotive (mush less Clarksonesque this one) - in my opinion more than compensates.
In the end you get lots of material that a car enthusiast would enjoy reading but which would be seen with abhorrence by someone expecting a Consumer Reports type 'objective assessments'. The author is opinionated but thankfully less so than the Top Gear trio (it probably takes age to hone that skill to perfection) and will on occassion make small factual errors - LJK Setright he is not.
Still, if you would like to know more about drag racing AMG Estates, buying 1990s Range Rovers in the US, or operating Nissan Cube's with their dashboard shaggy carpets, you will probably find no alternative. Also, if the automotive writing of Jeremy Clarkson, or for that matter Boris Johnson (it does exist - see Life in the Fast Lane: The Johnson Guide to Cars for example) is starting to get a tad repetitive for your taste but you like the style generally, the book is certainly a good place to migrate to.