Friday, September 19, 2008

Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future

My college buddy Jonathan writes,

Greg is basically my younger brother. He's a great writer - well published (NYT, Outdoor, Conde Nast Traveler...) and this is his latest book about his "cooking oil powered car."

Curious to learn more, I clicked on the Facebook link Jonathan provided and from there I hopped over to Greg's Greasy Rider blog, and from there found this review of the book at Sounds interesting. You can buy the book as of October 7th for only twelve bucks on Amazon.
Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future
By Greg Melville
Algonquin Books, 266 pages, $15.95

Journalist Greg Melville and his college buddy Iggy are just a couple of regular (if quirky) guys on a cross-country road trip. Their goal: to drive Melville’s 1985 Mercedes, reconfigured to run on used fryer oil, from Vermont to California without stopping at the gas pump. It’s a mechanical challenge—breakdowns, while frequent, always manage to be just this side of catastrophic—and also a hilariously social one. Reluctantly, the pair begs (or, failing that, steals) waste oil from a string of fast-food restaurants, struggling to explain to observers and burrito-joint managers that their grease-stained clothes and French fry-scented vehicle are the wave of the future. Melville, who has written for Outside and Men’s Journal, has a breezy, unpretentious style as well as the ability to work in the occasional edifying digression—a brief history of wind power, for instance, or a discussion with a professor about cellulosic ethanol—without disrupting the book’s brisk, novelistic pace. At trip’s end, Melville explains to his pal that they have proven something important: “If two goobers like us can actually get in a car and drive across the country without fossil fuels or putting a lot of carbon into the air, the answers for sustainability are easier than people think.”—Alexa Schirtzinger

No comments: