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Drive: A Road Trip through our Affair with the Automobile Hardcover – May 6 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Canada; First Edition edition (May 6 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670065692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670065691
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 16.1 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #865,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
I'm one of those big-city dwellers who doesn't even own a car, but loves long road trips. So my first interest in this book was just to tag along vicariously on someone else's road trip. But there was a lot more there -- tons of research on all the ways cars affect us, both positively and negatively. The weaving together of those two threads was very smoothly done. In the end, my favourite part of the physical trip was the great description of the drive along the old Route 66 (which I've done myself). And my favourite part of analysis was the meeting with Donald Shoup, the UCLA researcher who studies the effect of free parking in cities.
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Format: Hardcover
Who among us isn't interested in cars? We all either love them or hate them, and most of us, like it or not, use them. (Whether we own a vehicle, rent one, take taxis or traverse the roads in public transit, we're driving -- or being driven -- somewhere in something.) In Tim Falconer's Drive: A Road Trip Through our Complicated Affair with the Automobile, I loved the unexpected details. A proven relationship between obesity and too-low gas prices in the U.S. (It's so cheap, everyone merrily drives. When prices rise, people reluctantly use their cars less. So pathetically obvious I didn't imagine it to be true.) Or the similarly sad reality that as technology makes cars safer, drivers become more careless and as roads get more crowded, drivers get more aggressive. The book is filled with marvelous ephemera -- a lovely riff on the glorious old Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, for example, where each room has its own garage, and a de rigeur visit to a classic drive-in. (You'd think they would be extinct, but they aren't... quite.) Well-researched and nicely-written, reading Drive is like taking a cross-country trip with a particularly chatty and knowledgeable companion at the wheel.
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