Liberation, lust, envy, rage, power, thrill — our cars provoke enough emotion to jam a six-lane highway.
If you name your ride, reminisce about sex in the back seat or enjoy roaring down the open road, you know why we love our wheels. But if you hate traffic, curse the price at the pump or fight over parking spaces, you know why we hate them too.
Drive is a cross-continent adventure that explores where our fuel-injected dreams have taken us. Award-winning journalist Tim Falconer invites us on his road trip as he meets vintage car enthusiasts on Route 66, rides along in a police cruiser, kicks the tires at a Las Vegas auto show and takes a hydrogen-powered car for a spin.
Steering us along North America’s interstates and blue highways, meandering through small towns, sprawling suburbs and walkable neighbourhoods, Falconer shows us the growing collision of cars and people. In this complicated affair, who’s really in the driver’s seat?
Can smart growth, public transit and complete streets free us?
A spirited, front-seat view of quirky locals and locales, Drive looks at what auto-dominated life means to our health, environment and communities. Falconer also opens the door on British and Argentine car cultures, and considers the road ahead for China and India, nations with increasingly American attitudes. As billions grab their keys, can we avoid carmageddon?
PRAISE FOR DRIVE
“This will be the cheapest — and one of the best — journeys you will ever take. If, as they say, the best reads involve both actual and personal journeys, then Tim Falconer has written a classic on a topic that is a major part of our lives, our addresses, our politics, our literature, our music, our obsessions, our stupidities, our vanities — and even our sex lives. Just turn the page and head out. No key required.”
— Roy MacGregor, author of Canadians: A Portrait of a Country and Its People
“…this fascinating survey of the automobile and its effect on society… is a fun book about a serious topic…It’s written in an accessible, breezy style, giving the reader more than enough time to check out the scenery as the topics roll by: sex, music, literature, film, brand loyalty, safety, pop culture, racing, city planning, the freedom of the road, road rage and the entrapment of our car culture.”
— George A. MacLean, Winnipeg Free Press
“Drive is essential reading for any Canadian intrigued by the conundrum of finding better ways to get from here to there.”
“Drive, a thoughtful cultural history of the car, explores the manifold, sometimes contradictory, reasons why even a person with a non-essential relationship to his vehicle, such as Falconer has, might also feel attached to it.”
— Kevin Chong, The Globe and Mail
“Falconer brings humour and clarity to a perplexing problem that is devoid of utopian solutions. But despite the daunting challenges that we face in the future, Drive won’t let you forget what a hell of a ride it’s been so far.”
— MJ Stone, Montreal’s The Hour
“…an enjoyable and far-flung journey into our conflicted relationship with the car…:
— Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do
“Drive is a journey, an adventure and an odyssey. It’s also a cautionary tale about the high cost that we as a society and as individuals pay for the luxury of getting around on four wheels whenever the fancy strikes us.”
— Bob Blakey, Fast Forward Weekly (Calgary)
“Falconer says he didn’t want to write a book that was completely negative about cars. He wanted to figure out why the car was so important, and then take a look at some of the downsides such as urban sprawl, air pollution and traffic congestion.”
— Greg Williams, Calgary Herald | Full article here
By journey’s end, it’s not really any clearer just why people are so fascinated with cars, but it is certain that these machines have put our society, environment and health in a precarious position.
— Chris Robinson, Ottawa Xpress
“From pop culture to city planning to the psychological and emotional ties we have with cars, the author’s fascinating journey reveals why the clearest description of the connection between humans and automobiles is ‘it’s complicated.'”
— CAA Magazine
“Tim Falconer steers his 1991 Nissan Maxima on an engaging and therapeutic journey of all things automotive, en route from Toronto to LA and back. The book is one part travelogue, one part social commentary and clearly outlines why we simply can’t live with — or without — our wheels.”
— Driven magazine
“All in all, it was a fabulous read, and if you’re at all interested in car culture, I would highly recommend it!”
— Katie Gennaro, Superflash Photography Blog
“I really enjoyed the book – it was a good read, informative and thought-provoking while still being entertaining. Recommended!”
— Not Your Average Idiot Blog
“Somehow he manages to treat all the various viewpoints with great sympathy and doesn’t shy away from that word complicated in the title.”
— More Coffee Please Blog