By Michael Holroyd
(Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374226572, 104pp.)
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
List Price: $18.00*
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From the bestselling author of "A Book of Secrets," a brisk, charming, illustrated account of a motoring life
As a child, Michael Holroyd spent his best hours in his family's cramped garage, which contained a wealth of magical, exciting objects. But the most intriguing by far was the one in the middle of the room--the family's eight-horsepower black Ford, which had found in the garage a permanent home and in Holroyd a dedicated caretaker. Sitting in the backseat--his own private castle--he began his love affair with the automobile.
" On Wheels" is the story of the cars and drivers that inspired and affected Holroyd throughout his life. Ranging from drives around the country with his father, a car obsessive, to the baroque horrors of his austere driving instructor, to the liberating pleasures of automatic transmission, "On Wheels" is an automotive autobiography--the story of times and places that mattered to the author, told through the cars that bore witness.
"My biographies," Holroyd writes, "became increasingly filled with motoring exploits--something of which I was unaware until recently," and so "On Wheels" is also a reflection on the author's many brilliant biographical subjects--Bernard Shaw, Lytton Strachey, and many others--and their own relationships to the open road.
Casually intimate and often riotously funny, "On Wheels" is a master biographer's miniature self-portrait--and an indelible reflection on his great passion.