Kicking Gas & Taking Charge! by Duane A. Leffel

Kicking Gas and Taking ChangeEight strangers from all across the world buy into one of the stranger’s vision to ride across America using various electrical vehicles. In the process they encounter the weather, the terrain, the personalities, the difficulties of charging all the transportation modes and oh yes, set a few Guinness Book records. They do this without much preparation, funds, sponsors or understanding from the general public they encounter.

I would recommend this book on a number of levels. As a travelogue, it is great. There are tons of pictures of the places and people encountered. As a source for where to eat in the US, it was informative. I would have loved to see a complete list (with star ratings?) of all the holes in the walls they stopped for lunches, etc. Those are always the best places. Maybe that could be included on the author’s website.

The author, Duane Leffel, is a good storyteller. As an essay on human nature, the book is revealing. Mr. Leffel is even-handed in telling about all the people they encounter during the trip. He readily will give praise to those folks who made a positive impact on him and the others on the trip. He also tells you those folks who went out of their way to make big and small troubles. And while he does not name those folks, it would very easy to track them down in the various towns. I was happy to see my home state of SC and especially Anderson get positive words from him.

When you throw eight strangers together you run the risk of personality conflicts. Again, Mr. Leffel does not shy away from telling some of those problems including those of his making.

As a book on sustainability, it was eye-opening. The last chapter was basically a text of why we should care and how we should achieve sustainability on a day-to-day basis. There were many facts and figures and while they were educational, it was the whole of the book focus on sustainability that was more educational. Facts and figures are good to know, but traveling along trying to find charging stations, getting to know what’s important to someone who rides an electric scooter as opposed to an electric car, and reading about how so many diverse groups across the US can be passionate about the same thing in different ways was the heart of this good book.

I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley and Clovercroft Publishing in exchange for my honest review. Thank you.

ISBN#: 1942550767 (ISBN13: 9781942550767)

Publisher: Clovercroft Publishing

Publication Date: 01.01.18