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Greasy Rider
Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future

by Greg Melville

      After reading two chapters of this narrative about "two dudes, one fry-oil-powered car, and a cross-country search for a greener future", I was totally hooked.

An account of a 3,900 mile car trek across the country from the author's home in Vermont to Berkeley, California, the book centered on not only the use of vegetable oil to power the auto but also the scrounging for that oil while in transit.

After converting his 1985 Mercedes diesel station wagon to a vehicle that would run on used oil collected from restaurants, Melville and a friend set out on this relatively quick journey.

Interspersed with the chapters that chronicle the author's misadventures is a discussion of a number of green issues. For example, there's a short section on wind power and another on how Fort Knox utilizes a geothermal system for both heating and cooling the facility.

The six "side trips" the author works into the story don't detract from the book and they do reinforce its "green" theme. Also, without them, this would have been a much shorter book.

Admittedly, this is a guy book. Curling up with a story that describes a cross country journey in an old car that leaves the smell of french fries in its wake is not something most females would willingly want to do.

The Book

Algonquin Books
October 2008
Travel / Green movement
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The Reviewer

Bob Walch
Reviewed 2008
© 2008