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azul's avatar

Literature about cars - recommendations?

Asked by azul (386points) November 23rd, 2008

I’m doing a project for my college’s winter session that involves reading stuff having to do with driving and cars. Can you recommend any good novels or literature, or really any narrative form, that have a focus on cars/driving?

(I’m looking for serious stuff, not like, action movies. I enjoy action movies sometimes, but I don’t think my project advisor wants to see any on my bibliography.)

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12 Answers

basp's avatar

I’m not sure where to find this, but there is a cookbook for car drivng. Evidently, you can wrap up a piece of meat (or whatever) and place it somewhere in the engine. Then, as you drive the engine heats and cooks the meal. The cookbook has recipies and tell you how many miles you have to drive to cook different things.

azul's avatar

@basp That sounds interesting, however, I am vegan…

@jholler That doesn’t look like it’s going to be done in time :P

jholler's avatar

actually her book, veil, duster, and tire iron was published in 1961. Good luck getting your hands on it though, it’s become a bit of a collectors item.

gailcalled's avatar

On The Road, by Jack Kerouac.

tabbycat's avatar

A Motor-Flight Through France by Edith Wharton

Darwin's avatar

There are a few books at

There is also a list at Among the books on this list when I was younger I liked the books by Henry Gregor Felsen. Also, there is always Stephen King’s “Christine.”

Some other possibilities:

Sinclair Lewis, “Free Air”
John Steinbeck, “The Grapes of Wrath”
Henry Miller, “The Air Conditioned Nightmare”
Flannery O’Conner, “Wise Blood”
John Updike, “Rabbit Run”
William Faulkner, “The Reivers”
Tom Wolfe, “The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby”
Willam Saroyan, “Short Drive, Sweet Chariot”
John Steinbeck, “Travels with Charley in Search of America”
Vladimir Nabokov, “Lolita”
Arthur Haley, “Wheels”
Harold Robbins, “The Betsy”

There are also a couple of anthologies of automobile writings by assorted literary authors:

Jean Lindamood (editor), “Road Trips, Head Trips and Other Car-Crazed Writings”
Elinor Nauen (editor), “Ladies, Start Your Engines: WOmen Writers on Cars and the Road”

There are many other books about cars, driving, traveling by car, and so on – I suggest a quick Googling or even a search on Amazon.

basp's avatar

The cookbook I am talking about has recipies that do not contain meat as well. I only used meat as an example but any dish that requires bakng will work.

janbb's avatar

Darwin’s list is pretty comprehensive. I can only think of King’s “From a Buick 8” to add.

Oh, also William Least-Heat Moom “Blue Highways.” A non-fiction memoir of a road trip across the U.S.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Just for a bit of fun, check out the poem She being brand by ee cummings.

koanhead's avatar

I recommend Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig even though it’s to do with motorcycles and not cars.

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