Book Review: The Car by Stuart Larner

A sequence of twenty-eight illustrated Shakespearean sonnets describing the human condition in terms of the mechanical components of a motor car.
An owner’s workshop manual for servicing your life.
The text was previously published in a print magazine twenty-one years ago. Now revised, and published with illustrations.
‘The Car’ asks, and tries to answer, these kinds of questions:
If the arc across the sparking plug’s gap is an indication of love, can love’s bright spark be cultivated like the ignition timing management system?
What can be learnt about human relationships by studying the phenomenon of clutch judder?
Can we discern our path in life by the way we drive at night, and by how we use indicators, windscreen wipers and washers, and the horn?
Does automatic transmission mean our modern society has learnt to leave decisions to a box?
What does the differential bearing assembly have to say about the working of the parliamentary system?
Does studying suspension and damper arrangements have guidelines for child-rearing?
Can the process of tyre wear and braking systems inform therapy for addiction?
Is human depression treatable by learning from the fuel gauge mechanism, the radiator, and the battery?
Is there life after death in a scrap yard?

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Car is a book of poetry about cars. Each poem is accompanied by a related picture which I liked. This is definitely a different kind of poetry book, but I like different. The poems aren’t just about cars but are symbols of the condition.

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or not, if you like poetry and enjoy “different” you should check out The Car. One of my favorites:

Driving in the Dark

Driving in the dark, we move cocoons of light,
Carrying thoughts along in front of us.
Our vision is short in the cave of night,
Something small in the future darts across.
At a distant bend another car dawns,
Devouring dark with its dragon’s bright breath,
Lamps search the dim opening they have torn
Into the next world to find their best path.
I feel your light begin its probe of me
Searching for your own future in my dim past,
Yet both searcher and searched we cannot be,
The powerful light makes us both recast.
The dark side of each we try to assess;
What one saw quite well, now two may see less.