Don't forget to write a Six-Word Memoir.
Early on in this eco-travelogue, mechanically-disinclined magazine writer Melville notes, "I simply needed to look at my reflection in the rearview mirror to realize that nearly anyone can operate and maintain a french-fry car." Indeed, it turns out Melville is easily able to convert a diesel-engine Mercedes into a vehicle powered entirely on fryer oil, collected (usually for free) from restaurant grease dumpsters. Joined by his college friend, Iggy, Melville embarks on the first oil-powered cross-country road trip. There isn't really much suspense to the quest, especially once it's clear that they can use oil purchased at the supermarket. Unfortunately, greasy restaurant backlots don't make for great anecdotes, and the duo's banter isn't as funny or insightful as Melville seems to think. What keeps it from reading like a padded magazine article are Melville's side trips: he learns how Fort Knox has converted to geo-thermal heating and cooling, investigates just how eco-friendly Al Gore's mansion really is, and talks to representatives of various "green" U.S. Government agencies. These insights, and the simplicity of his grease-powered transport, propel an otherwise slight read into a thought-, and perhaps action-provoking lesson in alternative fuel.
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