On Wheels by Michael Holroyd

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An entertaining personal essay, short and sweet, about the cars in the life of Holroyd.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.

 

About Michael Holroyd

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Michael Holroyd has written celebrated biographies of Hugh Kingsmill, Augustus John, and Bernard Shaw, as well as the acclaimed Basil Street Blues and Mosaic. He lives in London with his wife.
 
Published May 14, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 124 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Professional & Technical, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for On Wheels
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Gemma Kappala-Ramsamy on Nov 24 2012

This is a companionable book, made to be raced through in one sitting.

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by BRIAN SEWELL on May 31 2013

...it has given me much innocent pleasure; let there be other "retrospective journeys" with, perhaps, art and music as their threads.

Read Full Review of On Wheels | See more reviews from WSJ online

Kirkus

Good
on Mar 24 2013

An entertaining personal essay, short and sweet, about the cars in the life of Holroyd.

Read Full Review of On Wheels | See more reviews from Kirkus

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