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Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future Paperback – October 21, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Greg Melville wants a new truck. His wife wants something greener. Way greener. So he decides to get an old Mercedes with a diesel engine and convert it to run on old cooking oil. Then he gets inspired to take a road trip, using nothing but free recycled oil in his car. He calls up his old buddy Iggy and the two hit the road.
The title alone is a hint that this is bound to have some funny moments. The two friends get on each others nerves and kid each other like teenagers. The car breaks down with alarming regularity. Greg gets peed on by a dog. Stuff happens, and it's pretty funny stuff.
I also enjoyed the 'errands' - side trips that Greg takes to discover what else is being done in the Green Movement to make life on earth a little more sustainable. I felt cheered to see that there are a lot of people dedicated to making a difference, and some of these ideas are practical and affordable.
This was just a fun book and a good read. Way to go, Greg! Here's hoping that everyone who read this is inspired to make a few changes in their own lives.
Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Take two men, a 1985 Mercedes diesel station wagon, a grease car conversion kit, and the first cross country automobile trip made by H. Nelson Jackson as inspiration, mix it all together and you have a funny, informative, and thought provoking look at the future energy independence of our nation.
One of the things I liked most about this book is that it did not preach any one environmental doctrine. There is never one answer to a problem as complex as the one facing our environment today. This book takes a good hard look at our attitudes and how they work to move us forward or hold as back in the "fossil fuel age". Not only does it give us a very humorous look at two men on a cross country trip and what it takes for them to make it without relying on anything but used fry oil. It also gives us a beautiful snapshot of out vast country and the way one answer in one region most likely is not the answer in another.
It looks at different philosophies from a place of inquiry. Finding the merits of each idea and trying to find a common ground and complete understanding of what a particular environmental philosophy is trying to really say.
The book switches back and forth from the actual road trip memoir to specific tasks designed to learn more about different ways to become more energy efficient. I liked this on the level that everything in the book was very interesting to read. On another level however I sometimes found this distracting and seemed to slow down my reading progress. Overall the information throughout was great. At the end of the book a comprehensive list of sources is offered to learn more about what was discussed in the book.Read more ›
The author weaves research and his agenda into stories about his road trip across the country in a way that makes it entertaining and informative.
He does get preachy at times, and definitely writes like someone who knows the people he is referring to (wife and friend) will be reading the book, but on the whole I did not dislike reading it.
While I thought the premise was hysterical, and had the "Odd Couple" theme song playing in my head for most of chapter 1, the real hero in this book has to be Iggy. Where does a 35-year old (plus) journalist/dad/environmentalist find a buddy who has the technical skills to make a Deisel engine on alternative fuels work AND install a high-tech sound system? The Kenyon Alumni directory, of course!
I loved this book for the real way the author breaks complex concepts in biology, physics, agriculture and economics down to terms a fellow English major can grasp. I love the way our beautiful country must look when you are myopically focused on signs for burrito joints. I love Greg's wife, and praise her for her restraint when blunt objects were around, as the idea was presented in the kitchen. I felt like I was in the room, and a little bit uncomfortable about it.
In an odd way, though, this is as much a book about buddies as it is a "man(kind) vs. nature" piece. Perhaps because in this one, we want nature to win. It is Nature's turn. Greg shows us how, without killing your television.
If you can't move to Vermont, buy the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It would have been better if the author knew more about his subject.Published 4 months ago by Alfed E. Newman, carrying on the good fight
Sorry Greg but you have done far better ..... also you are very p.... whippedPublished 21 months ago by Clev Landers
Easy, quick read. Melville's style and mission are noble. Book will make you question some of your practices and purchases.Published on April 1, 2014 by Teacher in MI
My 20 year old son loves this book. He really enjoys that down to earth way it is written as well as the adventurousness of it.Published on March 14, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Well written with information about the conversion as well as the efforts to find the fuel. The side trips were good too.Published on January 14, 2013 by dug
Vermonter & freelance writer, Greg Melville, tried to limit his carbon footprint by purchasing a second vehicle & running it on waste fuel. Read morePublished on May 23, 2012 by R. A. Frauenglas
Interesting story and I did appreciate the author's balanced thoughts. Being a more liberal East coast writer I thought the book might be a bit slanted but in the chapter where he... Read morePublished on February 5, 2011 by Ernest A. Mizell
this book is very interesting and it's an easy read. i thought i was going to hate reading it, but i actually enjoyed reading for once.Published on September 6, 2009 by Shelley M. Butler