New York Times best-selling author and America’s preeminent political satirist, P.J. O’Rourke also has another side to him – a gear-loose gearhead, automotive devotee, and terrifying driver. Son and grandson of car dealers in Ohio, P.J.’s family has been in the motor vehicle business since before there were motors in vehicles. And P.J. has been writing about cars – for Car and Driver, Automobile, Esquire, Forbes, and other publications – for what seems like almost as long. In this newly collected anthology of spiels-on-wheels, O’Rourke celebrates cars and berates car haters, and chronicles America’s relationship with automobiles from love for a powerful chariot of freedom to tolerance of an oversized household appliance with an extra-long extension cord.
Driving Like Crazy takes the reader on a risible and high-speed tour of the world’s bad roads, from places that you wouldn’t want to be to places you wouldn’t want to go. There’s P.J.’s 1977 southern tour from the panhandle of Florida to the Oakie camps of California in a 1956 Buick that broke down every day, allowing the author to meet all the people in America who have missing teeth, hookworm, and use a .38 pistol as a bookmark in their bibles. There’s the seven-hundred-mile weekend jaunt through Indiana via a Harley-Davidson in the company of a bunch of other old, drunk guys who hadn’t been on motorcycles since they almost killed themselves in college. There’s the off-road trip down Mexico’s Baja peninsula, following the course of the famed Baja 1000 in automobiles specifically selected because they had absolutely no capacity to go off-road. And let us not forget the time that P.J. and some friends drove from Islamabad to Calcutta for no good reason only weeks after both countries had declared themselves to be nuclear powers.
Driving Like Crazy brings together thirty-some years of journalistic cornering on two wheels, none of which has been reprinted before. Or almost none of which. P.J. did include his classic "How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink." And he’s written an appendix to that piece of sage advices for those who, like himself, are thirty years older now: “How to Do Ditto While the Drugs Are Mostly Lipitor."
About the Author
P.J. O'Rourke is a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly. He has been a journalist for 32 years and has covered news events in more than 40 countries. Mr. O'Rourke is also a regular contributor to The Weekly Standard and Automobile. He is the author of 10 books, including Parliament of Whores, All the Trouble in the World, Eat the Rich and, most recently, The CEO of the Sofa. He was Editor-in-Chief of the National Lampoon from 1978 to 1981 and international affairs correspondent for Rolling Stone magazine from 1985 to 2001. He currently is a panelist on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
This book is paperback.