Greasy Rider

Take an Eastern liberal with no mechanical aptitude, pair him with his easygoing college friend who knows his way around an engine, and put them in a retooled Mercedes for an eight-day trip across the country while begging restaurants for fry-oil fuel – and you’ll have a laugh-aloud read that leaves you longing for French fries. Greg Melville & his pal Iggy travel from Burlington, Vermont to Berkeley, CA in the footsteps of cross-country driving pioneer H. Nelson Jackson, while searching for greener alternatives to everyday life. Not only do they glimpse Al Gore’s Tennessee mansion and visit Fort Knox’s geothermally-powered complex, they also encounter Hank in Nebraska (and his self-published Jesus screed), endure teeth-chattering cold as they climb the Rockies (the Mercedes’ heat stops working when the car exceeds 50 mph), and discover another college pal is gay. Combined with side trips to Google, Dartmouth, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a wind-turbine farm, and the world’s first green Wal-Mart, Melville delivers a funny and thought-provoking tale that not only splits your sides, but makes you ponder reducing your carbon footprint.

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