I like automobiles. I was surprised when I listened to this book, thought back to the glowing reviews and surmised there must be a disconnect somewhere. While the book was interesting for the most part to listen to, it rambled on about barely Yugo related subjects like Yugoslavian politics. Yes, some political facts are necessary to present a full picture, but to blither on about country politics, for me, just didn’t add anything to the book. If one removes all of the excess detail that was provided about the people and places that Yugo touched, the book would be reduced by half and probably be a more interesting listen. Luckily, I have long drives with the patience to get through it all.
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
This book made me terrified to buy a car. The free wheeling, nonresponsive ethics here are really scary. What frightens me is that I don't really think there are more safeties now than there were then.
This book was an interesting look at the Yugo - a car I remember hearing a lot about at the time it was being imported to the U.S. It has an interesting back story involving the Yugo's promoter James Bricklin. The book is almost as much about James Bricklin's adventures in importing cars as it is about the Yugo. Jason Vuic places the Yugo imports in an historical context involving the cold war and the conflicts within the former Yugoslavia. While I found some of the historical context that Jason Vuic discussed in the book interesting, it wasn't always clear which events had a direct bearing on the Yugo and which ones didn't. There was a long discussion about Yugoslavia defying the Russian boycott of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angelos - I kept waiting for the tie in to the Yugo but it never came - other than to highlight how Yugoslavia was independent from Russia.
An interesting look at a car most of us have heard about but largely forgotten. A nice trip down memory lane for car buffs.
If you are looking for a Yugo jokebook, this is not for you. But if you have a passing interest in the behind-the-scenes story of how oddball cars are brought to market, this is well worth the read.
You don't need to be an auto enthusiast to enjoy this book, it is a fascinating mixture of world history, politics, and PT Barnum hucksterism at it's grandest. I've been a car guy since the '60s, so I already knew the basic story of Malcolm Bricklin and the Yugo, but this story went into great detail about Malcolm's many failed attempts at success, the political climate in Yugoslavia that led to them building an aging Fiat, and why the Yugo became first a national celebrity then a national joke in the time time it takes most auto companies to design a single car.
Caution: unless you are a car person who followed the industry in the '70s and '80's, what you think you know about the Yugo is probably wrong - it wasn't the "worst car in history", it was just an outdated design built in a communist bloc country on a shoestring budget.
Well worth the read, and highly recommended!
Other than hearing the Yugo jokes, and occasionally glimpsing on of these trophies of Serbian and Baltic engineering and craftsmanship, I had no idea how these cars showed up in the United States. This is a highly entertaining story of the process that brought Yugos to America and how they failed ignominiously.
But mostly this is a story of Malcom Bricklin - the serially failed entrepreneur - and how he was able to get millions of dollars and take over the company. As presented in this history, apparently the only person who ever makes a nickel from Malcom Bricklin companies (starting in the 1960's until today) is Malcom Bricklin. The shenanigans and outright deceptions are laid out in horrifying detail.
About half of this book really involves the Yugo, the rest is the story of Mr. Bricklin. But it is all very entertaining.
i would recommend this book to anyone. The specifics of the auto business aside its an interesting tale of Bricklin from Handy Man franchises all the way though the war in the Balkans. The story never gets booged down in details and even though at some points it goes down a questionable trail it is soon tied back into the Yugo and Bricklin story. Highly recommend, good listen.
No it was not that kind of a book but I looked forward to the times I usually listen while working out or cleaning the house.
Dang Interesting. I have heard of a Yugo, but being born in 85' i have never seen or heard much about them. Good insight into the 70s-90s car industry in general.
There's so much more to the story of the Yugo than most would ever expect It's a surprisingly riveting story about the automotive industry, marketing, international politics, high finance and entrepreneurship. I chose it because I'm a car enthusiast, but I got hooked into it for all the other areas of interest even more.
I was a new driver at the time that the Yugo came out, so I have some particularly sharp memories of it, and hearing the
Learning about the contrast in practices between the free market automotive manufacturers versus the state-run Yugoslavian Zastava's methods.
The number of times the Yugo/Zastava deal died and was resurrected and the entrepreneurship that it required.
A surprisingly interesting story that I actually had trouble turning off when I'd get to my destination because I wanted to keep listening to the next phase.
I might listen to this again someday, to relive the moments of promise and optimism of that time just after the Sarajevo Olympics when it seemed Yugoslavia was on the brink of transitioning from a second to a first world nation, when its natural and human resources seemed to be coalescing into something great and perhaps even lasting.
There'd always be a guy with a tray full of little glasses of this jet fuel -- plum brandy -- that everyone would partake of at all hours of the day at the Yugo factory. The way the Americans tried to eat the coffee grounds at the bottom of their Turkish coffee!
The narrator brings a lighthearted, yet earnest, tone to the book. He helps you believe in the charm and winsome nature of the little car at the center of the book. His pronunciation of Serbian names and words is very good. He's good at bringing an ironic, dark undertone to the Yugo gags sprinkled throughout the book. I would listen to more books narrated by him.
I cried at the end, at the lyrics of Yugo 45, about the window of peace and a sort of prosperity symbolized by the freedom to fill up the tank and drive over the border to Trieste to buy jeans. In a completely different vein, I was angered at how much wealth and luxury the entrepreneur Malcolm manage to glean from his huge salary and then his multimillion dollar severance package, while investors and Yugo dealers lost everything they contributed to his dream.
I remember when the Yugo came to America. I took one for a test drive, but I never considered actually buying one. This book explains how the car became a punch line, a longstanding laughingstock, a latter-day Edsel -- and why the reputation was and wasn't deserved.