P. J. O'Rourke, 'the funniest writer in America', harbours a guilty pleasure – ever since growing up the son of a car dealer in Ohio, he has been crazy about cars.
In Driving Like Crazy, he reveals in his love for all things vehicular. From a thousand-mile expedition across Mexico, to a trek through Kyrgyzstan in the back of the Soviet army surplus truck, from an alcohol-fuelled weekend in North Carolina, to an eventful journey from Islamabad to Calcutta, and from Buicks to Land Rovers to Harley-Davidson's, P.J. O'Rourke gets behind the wheel to take us on a hell-bending tour of some of the world’s most scenic – and most treacherous – roads.
Along the way ,he muses on everything from the peculiar joys of NASCAR, to what type of car handles best, to the mind-boggling misdemeanours it is possible to perform in the front (and back) seat.
Spanning over 30 years, and combining O'Rourke's classic journalism with original, previously unpublished pieces, this is P. J. at his gonzo best: it is an inimitably humorous and pleasurable celebration of cars, speed, and the open road. Fasten your seatbelts; you're in for a bumpy ride.
PJ O'Rourke is a master of the comic sneer. At his best, he is a terrific deflater of puffed up egos and, he's far smarter than the rabidly right-wing, mid Western rube he pretends to be.
The problem here is that he loves cars and that, at bottom, he's a satirist. There's good stuff here - the opening piece (which appears in several of his other collections) is hilarious, even if he immediately disavows it in a follow up. And I quite enjoyed a piece on NASCAR in its heyday but really after - three separate articles on trips to the Baja peninsula and a real dud of a piece on motorbikes in the seventies, I began to feel that the bottom of the barrel had been reached. PJ might have been having fun behind the wheel but I wasn't enjoying hearing about it much.
I can only assume that the man himself has money troubles and that these explain this poorly edited selection. However, if you want to help out with the alimony or whatever it is, that is bothering the self professed "funniest American writer since Thurber" may I suggest that would be well-wishers might do better with Holidays in Hell, Republican Party Reptile or even Parliament of Whores than this, in which the narrator ends up sounding like the middle aged bar-room bore he has always threatened to become.
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P J O'Rourke is as genius of comedy and a character who deserves his title as America's greatest living satarist.
Some of the quotes in this book are almost too good. You feel like you're listening to something that comes from someone who is experienced in American culture and life, and who doesn't pussy foot around with small talk, yet has probably the best out look on middle aged life or what you perceive it to be (i'm not middle aged).
The first essay will make you fall over laughing. The narrator is excellent, a true professional who can deliver the lines and stories like the writer would have wanted.
Most comedians and writers these days are desperate to clamour to the youth, to be hot and young and all this bee ess.
I'm young and find him much better.
He's politically conservative in some ways but outrageously anarchic in others, making him dangerous, maverick and just an all round threat to Europe.
People who can't stand Republicans from America or conservatives in general must put that aside when listening to him, because, he is a different kind of Republican.
He is more of a libertarian; someone who prefers limited government and wants people to have maximum freedom possible.
He is like a conservative Hunter S Thompson.
The conservative part of him is essential to the humour, and heck, aren't all old farts like that anyway?
Classic in every way, I find this to be a great great book, and car stories in it are brilliant.
The work is excellent, you have no feelings if you don't find this funny.