I wanted to love this one, I really did! Much like my affinity for the dopey little Yugo, I thought I could at least love this book ironically. Unfortunately, I found myself feeling like no Yugo customers found themselves feeling: bland pleasantness.
I love a good micro-history, and I love a good world-wide failure, and while this book is well-researched, it just could not hold my attention. Perhaps it was because I listened as opposed to reading, but I frequently felt like I had somehow put the recording on “shuffle”; for the first two thirds of the book there was a lot of jumping about in time and location, and many facts were repeated. I had extreme deja vu- especially when each chapter began with a corny Yugo-based joke. Do I love corny jokes?
Most of the jokes were already listed off in the introduction! I felt like I was going mad until I went back to confirm that yep, I HAD heard that joke before.
Something I had not heard about before?
The name Malcolm Bricklin.
The huckster king of designed-to-fail car enterprises. He has been wining, dining, wheeling, dealing, and fucking over dealers, workers, and entire COUNTRIES since the 1960s. He is the clear villain in a (true) story filled with some seriously bad dudes (Henry Kissinger and Slobodan Milošević both have parts to play here, too).
Did this man who made so many messes meet an ignominious end? NO! He’s still out here fucking about- he got $200,000,000 from George Soros for another fraudulent car adventure in 2002, was suing CHINA in 2008 after they caught on to another one of his schemes in 2008, and as of AUGUST OF LAST YEAR writers for automotive news websites were championing his “return” as the “Forgotten Hero of American Car History”. BARF. This guy has the lasting power of termites and Trump combined.
I need to go sooth myself with some James May’s Cars of the People – adjust my Bricklin-based raged down to the previously pleasant hum of “aw jeez, what a poorly planned car”.