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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  526 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
208 pages
Published 1996 (first published 1972)
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By this point, Crews isn’t writing novels so much as extended metaphors. No one ever accused him of subtlety, but Car loses whatever traction he gained in the right direction with Karate. I notice that in Classic Crews, this and The Gypsy’s Curse are included in full so I am forced to capitulate that what I quite profoundly like about the author is not what the majority of other readers do. Hand to Rod (Stewart): I’m no contrarian and find people who go against popular opinion just to differenti ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
(3.5) I've read: three fiction (now), one non-fiction and one biography about/by Harry.

One can say I enjoy his writing and his crazy life. This is Crews at his satirical prime. America's arrogance and consumerism kills is the theme in this absurd anecdote. With his usual cringe-worthy theatrics towards the end, I'd say this is one that will entertain the Crews amateur and enthusiast alike.
Graham P
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short novel occupies the spaces between JG Ballard's 'Crash', Paddy Chayefsky's 'Network' and an episode of 'The Waltons'. A disturbing, heartbreaking examination of car culture and fame. When the youngest of the Auto Town family decides that he's going to eat a Ford Maverick, inch by inch, consumerism and capitalism come knocking hard. 'Car' has the usual mix of Crews explicit and surreal material--balls-out and blue collar eloquent. If only the book were longer. And only Crews could have ...more
Aug 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
a simple compact story that bends your mind. Crews has a way of making the unexpected weirdness packed full of subtle heartbreak, as well as good old fashioned raw tension. A good book to grab and take out on the town: put it in your back pocket, bring a jacket, then take the book to coffee, on a bus, and finish it at a small bar that you never go to.
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who love Cars and America ha ha j/k
Recommended to Kirstie by: Zachary sort of
So I felt I had to search for this after work today after my friend Zachary rated in 5/5 stars. I found it at Myopic Books and was able to read it in a single workout, which definitely was one factor in it receiving only 4/5 stars...I tend to prefer my novels less like novellas and more like deliberate literary developments where I can grow attached to the characters over a period of time. 600 pages is about perfect for me, with 900-1,000 pages being an extra special value. I mean, have you ever ...more
Lukáš Palán
Jako správnej manažer sem si to dobuchtil do Levnejch knih a jak jsem viděl tenhle flák za 49Kč, vytáhl jsem z kapsy litr a nechal si pěkně vrátit 951 Kč, abych měl drobný na tramvaj. Začal jsem tedy záhy číst a byl jsem příjemně překvapen čím jsem si to rozměnil litr, protože knížka je doslova o tom, že se frajer rozhodne sežrat auto. To sice není tak šokantní, jako sníst třeba zelí nebo kapustu, ale i tak je to dost síla.

V návalu kadění, které způsobila svíčková, kuře a zmrzlina od mojí máti
Erik Wyse
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Car presents an absurd, disturbing and all too real America, marked by unfettered consumerism, vanity, and greed. The characters offer studies in both the small businessman, as well as a local hotel magnate. Passion and desire boils to the surface, Crews painting portraits of lives butting against the hardness of life, emerging fractured. Crews does all this with a gallows humor, Looney Tunes after dark.
Michael Whitaker
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funk, harry-crews
Such an interesting read. It read like a cartoon in its absurdity, but it certainly wasn't for kids. It was so funny, but while laughing at the cartoon, there was something earnestly, heartbreakingly real about it.

Remember, the car kills. Many may romanticize a joy ride, but no one thinks they'll die in a car wreck. And so America is a Cadillac. No matter how perfect it seems, it's not perfect. It never will be. And people are going to get hurt when they fall for it and eat it up like cake.

Dave N
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why Crews is revered by so many people - his writing style is neither too ornate nor too austere, his characters feel real, as do their reactions, and his humor comes through clearly without beating the reader over the head. But the issue I had with Car wasn't its somewhat overly satirical plot, or its less-than-memorable lines - it was that the characters, who were well written and interesting, were dealt such short shrift after grabbing hold of you. If this book had been twice as lon ...more
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crews
read this one awhile back. this guy gets it in his head to eat a car. big to-do about it, a stage is set up where he passes the parts that are wrenched off the automobile, view of him there set up high and it's understood that he is sitting on a throne, passing parts. clink!

sure, funny, you bet! toward the end you can hear the machinery clanking as one of ben hur's chariots is lowered from the ceiling. you can almost hear that sexy-voice, like in the day-time soaps?...voice speaking as all of th
Abe Something
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Not his best, but as a good a starting place as The Mulching of America, or Body. In here, you'll find many of the hallmarks of a good Crews book--strong willed outsiders, lovable freaks, people twisted by money, trauma, and their own single minded desire to mean something more.

Crews is the Ballard of the American South.

“Why would I want . . . to . . . eat . . . a . . . car?” Herman said the words very slowly as though he might be tasting them. “I can tell you. The car is where we are in
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-grit
(written 12-03)

Well, I've read this short novel before and I really enjoyed it the second time around, too. Even though it is depressing. Herman tries to eat a car... then there's Easy Mack, Junell & Joe, Mister, Mr. Edge, and Margo. I can't imagine loving a car enough to do what Herman did. And all of the sexual encounters occur in the backseat of a car. I guess we Americans have a thing for cars. But sometimes the cars turn out to have more power over us than we do over them.
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I read this so long ago I had forgotten about it, completely. Which I am grateful for because it is hilarious. I'm sure that I appreciated the humor far more this time around. I don't remember bursting out so often. It was an important satire when written and even more so now, considering everyone's obsession with the car this ridicules America to its core. what the hell I'm 5'n this one.
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People that like books with different perspectives
I read Car way back when and loved it then. I've read most of Harry Crew's stuff like The Gospel Singer, Karate is a Thing of the Spirit and his more recent essays. Most are out of print but can be found occassionally in weird book stores. Definitely worth the hunt. His take on the world is very direct and bare boned. I found it cathartic.
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
This was an interesting read for me particularly because I enjoyed how Crews worked out how exactly Herman would eat the car considering how impossible something like this would be. It focuses a lot on different obsessions with the usual like money and sex but also on the unusual like cars which was something I enjoyed watching unfold throughout the story.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
The four stars reflects merely a comparison to other Crews books. Car was a tad too easy to read. It seemed to lack the emotionally confusing mystery for which I love everything else I've read by Crews. It also lacked the absurd, almost comedic macabre present in most of his other books. All in all, however, still fun and well-written.
Rick Sanders
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This didn't relate to me as well as Gypsy's Curse, but it has everything (gore, sex, tragedy, absurdity, humor both muted and wacky), all of it in a tight package. I guess if you get carried away about cars, you'd get carried away by this book.
Brian Fagan
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a one of a kind book. An entire novel about a character who attempts to eat a car. The car metaphor is a brilliant one and is exploited very well with the characters drawn up. I only wished for an extra 50 pages.
Patrick Wensink
Dec 27, 2010 rated it liked it
This was an early one for Crews. He hadn't yet perfected his Faulkner-by-way-of-the-National-Enquirer style of later works. A man tries eating and entire car and thinks hella deeply about it. Still a good read.
Vaughn Fritts
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a dark comedy about car culture in America. Some real laugh-out-loud moments here! The characters are stereotypes of consumerism and the corporate-driven capitalist society that defines our country. Published in 1972, its message is as relevant as ever.
marie monroe
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is "contemporary" southern gothic gone mad. If I believed in post-modernism I might mention it here, but I don't. It's a one-sit read for a faulkner, welty, even tennessee reader. Lot's of fun for faulkner's heirs.
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Herman loves cars so much that he tries to eat one.
Connie Jo
Excellent. I am not allowed to share my copy of this book, but if you find it somewhere I suggest you buy it or check it out.
Matt Phillips
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
So rad. Read it.
Edward Sullivan
Herman decides to eat his car, a Ford Maverick. Bizarre and funny in a Kafkaesque absurd kind of way.
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
The only book I've ever read where someone eats a car.
As if Kafka wrote Metamorphosis in the context of twentieth century american car culture.
Nov 25, 2007 marked it as to-read
I love Crews. I can't wait to get my hands on this one.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Spot-on characterization turns into an incredible premise, turns into a wildly escalating plot, turns into a psychedelic nightmare. What a book.
Athen Zachary
rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2009
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Interesting...The Car 1 7 Nov 15, 2012 11:16PM  
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Harry Eugene Crews was born during the Great Depression to sharecroppers in Bacon County, Georgia. His father died when he was an infant and his mother quickly remarried. His mother later moved her sons to Jacksonville, Florida. Crews is twice divorced and is the father of two sons. His eldest son drowned in 1964.

Crews served in the Korean War and, following the war, enrolled at the University of
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