Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New in Paperback: Farewell, My Subaru by Doug Fine

One of the things that’s struck me about the green movement: it can be a little dour. And, actually, I get it. Really, I do. There’s a lot of serious stuff going on, after all. Climates changing. Polar icecaps melting. Food supplies dwindling. It’s all enough to put you in a really bad mood. As a result, a lot of Earth save-related stuff is strident. Unsmiling. You get the feeling you better put up or shut up: the planet is not going to save itself. If you’re not going to do something about it, you’d better stand aside or get trampled in the angry green parade.

Farewell, My Subaru (Villard) isn’t like that. The first hint, of course, is that title. A perfect title, when you think about it. A little bit romantic. A little bit evocative (the whole fossil fuel thing). Certainly a little bit fun. The title hints at all the things this book is and means and accomplishes. But it’s not an idle reference either. In fact, you meet the late, lamented Subaru at the very beginning of the book. The car is dying. And it’s not dying well. And author Fine watches it happen while wondering how much he actually cares. The opening lines of Farewell, My Subaru:
As I watched my Subaru Legacy slide backward toward my new ranch’s studio outbuilding, the thought crossed my mind that if it kept going -- and I didn’t see why it wouldn’t -- at least I would be using less gasoline.
NPR contributor Fine’s print work has appeared in The Washington Post, Wired and Salon. His voice is gentle, his humor sharp, his message clear. Farewell, My Subaru is an easy, enjoyable read. And that’s a good thing, because this is a book that everyone needs to read.

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Anonymous Ian Kaplan said...

Doug Fine, Doug Fine... Yes, I recognize that name. He has indeed written in Salon. In the early days of the Internet he showed that he was entirely clueless, as I've noted here. I have not read his new book, perhaps he's improved.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 9:35:00 PM PDT  

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