Author: Dave Gorman
Publish Date: April 2008
Blurb on the Cover:
The plan was simple. Go to America. Buy a second-hand car. Drive coast-to-coast without giving any money to The Man TM. What Could Possibly go wrong?
Dismayed by the onslaught of faceless American chains muscling in where local businesses had once thrived, Dave Gorman set off in search of the true, independent heart of the U S of A. He would re-fuel at dusty gas stations and stock up on supplies from Mom and Pop’s grocery store. At least that was the idea. But when did you last see an independent gas station?
Gamely, Dave beds down in a Colorado trailer park, sleeps in an Oregon forest treehouse and even spends thanksgiving with a Mexican family in Kansas. But when his classic coast-to-coast trip mutates into an odyssey of near epic proportions and he finds himself threatened at gun point in Mississippi, Dave starts to worry about whats going to break down next. The Car… Or him?
Well we bought an activity mat and some fuzzy touch cubes today so that means I need to oust something else from my back catalog. So next in line is Comedian, TV and radio presenter Dave Gorman’s Book America Unchained. Now I have followed Dave Gorman’s ever since I seen him and his friend and fellow writer/presenter/comic Danny Wallace on the BBC 2 show “Are you Dave Gorman?” (Since turned into a book which will be reviewed at a later date!) I find his writing style very amicable and easy to pick up and the diary like nature of the journey makes it very easy to get involved in the story.
Discarding the first few chapters which basically give the explanation that you find in the Blurb, Dave heads to LA to find an old style US Car (A Ford Torino)and to embark on his Journey east armed with his director/camera person Steph.
It’s impossible to outline the story without ruining the book so I won’t bother but suffice to say there is comedy moments, moments that will make you shudder and even some that will move you. it really is hard not to be moved as the style of the book is just one long chat by Dave. it feels that he could be telling you the story in the pub over a pint.
The thing is it reaches a point where you absolutely want him to succeed in his quest and the times when things are flagging or his resolve is waning, you want to urge him on to complete his task.
The reread value is where the book is let down, not quality as such but because it is a true story with a beginning a middle and an end. once you know how it ends there is little point going back to it, but reading it for the first time the trip through the book is totally worth it.
4 outta 5 on this one.