My Mercedes is Not for Sale by Jeroen Van Bergeijk
From Amsterdam to Ouagadougou...An Auto-Misadventure Across the Sahara

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?”
—Janis Joplin

A journalist’s intrepid endeavor to sell his used car abroad results in a high-spirited and revealing look at West Africa.

“Look, there’s my car,” I say, pointing at my Mercedes in the parking lot.
“Where?” a fellow desert traveler asks.
“There, that Mercedes,” I say.
He looks at me, questioning. “You want to drive that through the Sahara?”

Jeroen van Bergeijk came up with what seemed like a great scheme for making a quick profit: buy a clunker of a car in his native Amsterdam and resell it in the Third World, where a market even for jalopies still thrives. His chariot of choice is a rusted-out 1988 Mercedes 190D with 220,000 kilometers on its odometer; his route will take him from Holland through Morocco, across the Sahara, and into some of the least trodden parts of Africa.
My Mercedes Is Not for Sale is a rollicking tale of an innocent abroad. The author finds himself facing a driving challenge akin to the Dakar Rally but encounters obstacles never dreamed of by race-car drivers: active minefields, occasional banditry—mostly by the border guards—and a teenage, chain-smoking desert guide with a fondness for Tupac lyrics. Food and water are scarce, sandstorms are frequent, and all he has to patch up his many car breakdowns thousands of miles from civilization is a bar of soap, some duct tape, and a pair of women’s nylons. Then there’s the coup he survived.
My Mercedes Is Not for Sale captures more than the adventure—it vividly portrays the impact of globalization on Africa through a surprise-filled journey into its thriving car culture, while asking the question: is the white man’s burden really a used car?

About Jeroen Van Bergeijk

See more books from this Author
JEROEN VAN BERGEIJK is a journalist based in Amsterdam and has written for The New York Times, Wired, and many other publications in Europe and the United States.
Published July 15, 2008 by Broadway Books. 226 pages
Genres: Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Mercedes is Not for Sale

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

The romance of the desert may have faded since the advent of the motor car, but the inherent native penchant for patience and the avoidance of pressure remains.

| Read Full Review of My Mercedes is Not for Sale: ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In his travel narrative, Bergeijk chronicles his three-month trip along the Trans-Sahara Highway to sell his used Mercedes 190 D.

May 19 2008 | Read Full Review of My Mercedes is Not for Sale: ...

Reader Rating for My Mercedes is Not for Sale

An aggregated and normalized score based on 25 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review