Wonderful, unique coming-of-age tale of 16-year-old Izzy, his Moby Dick-quoting father, and much later when Izzy is much older, his son Henry. One day when Izzy and his father are out in the car, his father decides to, as research, keep track of smoking drivers who throw their cigarettes out the window when they're done smoking them. His father also confronts the drivers asking them why they threw their butts out the window. Izzy starts following his father's example soon afterwards. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting an unusual read.
First of all, let me say that this book deserves a wider audience.
I entered Goodreads' First Read giveaway for this book (in which I was one of the lucky winners) because it sounded interesting: a coming-of-age story featuring a father-son team who study people who throw cigarettes from cars. When the book arrived, it had the look and feel of a self-published effort, something which I generally try to avoid. It's published by Ecphora Press (which is misspelled as "Ephora" on the back cover - not a good sign), but checking them out on the internet, it looks like Auto Flick is the only book they've published. So...essentially self-published. But unlike most self-published books, I found very few errors while reading (one use of "passed" instead of "past" if I remember right, and a few words at the ends of lines split incorrectly, but nothing too bad), which allowed me to concentrate on the story.
Three things about this story should have bothered me: several characters occasionally quote lines from Moby Dick the way others quote Shakespeare. I've never read Moby Dick - it's probably the biggest glaring hole in my reading of the classics. Secondly, the main character works as a caddy at the local golf course, and there's some description of golf games. I don't play golf and don't really understand or care about the game. And lastly, the author frequently describes in detail the cars that the characters follow. And I don't know much or care about cars. But despite all this, I was never bored or annoyed by the story. The writing is just that good. In fact, the writing is very good. I found myself chuckling every few pages, especially in the early parts of the book, at a description, some dialogue, or a turn of phrase. I keep an ongoing list of quotations that gets added to periodically. This book generated at least five additions to that list. Here's just one example of a sentence that jumped out and amazed me: "Her smile captured and gave me the sun." I mean, wow, right?
The story is a lovely coming-of-age tale about a 16-year-old boy and his quirky father set during one summer, 1968. And when the book jumps ahead 34 years (!) for the final third of the novel, it does so at a very appropriate moment. It comes off as less jarring and more logical, even as the tone becomes more serious; an adult in 2002 has a decidedly different point-of-view about life than a teenager in 1968, but it was definitely the same character. I was very impressed with this novel, and it deserves to be picked up by a national publisher. It would also make a pretty damn cool movie.
This was a little out of my normal genre, but i really enjoyed this book more than i thought i would. This book takes place way before I was born so it was an intriguing read for me. I think the best part of this book was the father-son relationship.
I never read 'Moby Dick' (and probably never will) but that makes no difference to the enjoyment of this book. A father and son spend several months on a very unscientific survey of why people throw their cigarette butts out of their car window rather than using the car's ashtray.
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway.