Special Deluxe

Special Deluxe

Book - 2014
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Neil Young's first memoir, Waging Heavy Peace, was an international bestseller and critical sensation. The Wall Street Journal wrote that it was; terrific: modest, honest, funny and frequently moving, while The New York Times found it ;as charismatically off the wall as Mr. Young's records; Now, in Special Deluxe , Young has fashioned a second work of extraordinary reminiscences about his Canadian boyhood, his musical influences, his family, the rock n; roll life, and one of his deepest, most ebullient passions: cars. Through the framework of the many vehicles he's collected and driven, Young explores his love for the well-crafted vintage automobile,and examines his newfound awareness of his hobby's negative environmental impact. With his ferocious devotion to clean energy, he recounts the saga of Lincvolt, his specially modified electric car, and his efforts to demonstrate to lawmakers and consumers how viable non-gas-guzzling vehicles truly can be.

Special Deluxe captures Young's singular lyrical, almost musical, voice. Witty, eclectic, and wonderfully candid, Special Deluxe is an unforgettable amalgam of memories, artwork, and political ponderings from one of the most genuine and enigmatic artists of our time.
Publisher: New York : Blue Rider Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) ©2014.
ISBN: 9780399172083
Characteristics: 383 pages :,colour illustrations ;,24 cm.


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Jun 08, 2015

In my opinion, this book is superior to Waging Heavy Peace in that it has a consistent narrative framework that's a pretty cool conceit. (It also seems like he had an editor advising him a bit on this book. Not so much that you lose his unique voice, but it is SO much easier to read.)

Many of us can think back to what we were doing when we (or our parents) drove a particular car. That's how Young frames this book: he lets you in on his life story, as considered through the cars he (or his parents) owned at the time. He's passionate about cars, passionate about music, and passionate about the environment. It all works together nicely.

If you've read the other book, don't worry--he doesn't really cover the same ground at all. But, you'll come away with a fuller picture of who he is.

You'll also enjoy his watercolor illustrations.

Apr 15, 2015

I'm not sure how this mess earned more than a single star. It reads like transcribed tapes, dictated late at night in a haze of THC vapours, and adds up to nonsense.

Aside from the galactic digressions (eg., from a car trip with Mommy and Daddy to the intricacies of electronic modification of notes, decades later), a glorification of huge, clumsy, unsafe globs of iron might not be the ideal vehicle for a message on carbon awareness.

Neil tells us how many pounds of carbon were emitted on a car trip taken over half a century ago, in a vehicle whose carburetor at idle would have looked like a toilet flushing. A horror indeed.

But the problem is not that we failed to act THEN on what we know NOW.

Rather, the problem is our failure to act NOW on what we know NOW.

Electric cars just push the problem out of sight. And choosing one of the heaviest cars ever produced for a home conversion to battery is insane.
Sell the whole pile for scrap and buy a Prius.

And, Neil, you might want to dial back on the smoke. Or hire a coherent editor.

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