Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

February 9, 2009
By Allison Haire BRONZE, Plano, Texas
Allison Haire BRONZE, Plano, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Traffic might be one of the worst books I have ever read; the intense cover draws you in, gets your hopes up, and then lets you down. When you open the book up, hopes still high, reaching the table of contents further tricks you into thinking this will be such a good book. With Chapters like 'Why You Shouldn't Drive with a Beer-Drinking Divorced Doctor Named Fred on Super Bowl Sunday in a Pickup Truck in Rural Montana: What's Risky on the Road and Why' its hard to imagine this novel ever going wrong.
Tom Vanderbilt takes a subject that everyone can relate to, Traffic, and breaks it down into reasons and explanations for drivers and how they interact with each other, things on the road, congestion as well as other things. He really does a great job of making his arguments against and about the things he is discusses without getting too dry or monotonous because really what he is arguing is all really appealing.
So where did Tom Vanderbilt go wrong? Although dry wouldn't describe the book, mind-numbing could. The first few pages really are interesting but then it proceeds to get tedious. It was an incredibly difficult read; I literally had to force myself into finishing it.
Tom Vanderbilt writes this novel in such an interesting way, discusses such fascinating things that it's hard to imagine it not being remarkable but somewhere it goes wrong and in the end you've wasted all of your free-time reading a book that is a let down.

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