Plato's Garage


A Note to the Reader

The Author's Intro

  • "Love Child "
  • "How I Didn't Learn to Drive"
  • "Paris When It Drizzles"
  • "Breakdown #1: Radio Play Cut"

    Letter From the Editor

    Editorial: Having Our Say

    New Releases

    Authors On Tour



    Gay/Lesbian/Feminist Bookstores Around the Country

    The Mostly Unfabulous Homepage of Ethan Green


    Plato's Garage Plato's Garage

    By Rob Campbell

    In a collection of essays that are often personal, occasionally journalistic, and frequently meditative, Rob Campbell takes a look at the world from a different perspective—through the reflective lens of the automobile in our car-obsessed culture.

    Campbell's exploration ranges from the Los Angeles he knows, where people are frequently defined by the cars they drive, to the Bakersfield in which he grew up, where the group you went cruising with defined your station in life; from the lives of the designers whose cars define our fantasies to the role that cars play in our continual effort to define our reality.

    Campbell's candid observations are informed by a sharp wit and a gift for the telling detail, the particular moment which illustrates a universal truth. Setting out from Plato's Cave in the Republic, Campbell takes to the highway and heads for the last exit—to Plato's Garage, where society parks its metaphoric cars.

    So get in and let him take you out for a spin on the Universal Freeway. We guarantee you a ride that is smooth, elegant, and the envy of your friends and neighbors.

    In a series of essays about car people and car culture, gay journalist and automotive aficionado Campbell cleverly interprets his own life story as a series of relationships between man and machine.

    He begins with an anatomy of the cruising rituals, gay and straight, in his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif., which he juxtaposes with those in his chosen home, arguably the world car capital, Los Angeles. There, he confronts a culture of people who are inseparable from their pink Corvettes and vintage Caddies, and for whom a car is a "flamboyant calling card" .... Plato's Garage offers a smooth ride.

    Publisher's Weekly

    Rob Campbell is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications. He lives in Los Angeles.

    Plato's Garage Contents:

    The Author's Introduction

    Sun Fun Stay Play: a Brief History of Hometown Cruising

    Love Child

    How to Make Brown

    How I Didn't Learn to Drive

    The Ragged Edge

    Paris When it Drizzles

    Gray Area Guru

    A Boy and His Cadillacs

    The Ghost Taxis of Kyoto

    Breakdown #1: Radio Play Cut

    Delta 88-A: Janet and the Land Yacht

    Breakdown #2: Extended 12" Remix

    Don't it Make My Brown Car Blue

    Reconnaissance '68

    Mystery Quilt

    Of Bottles, Whales and Bread

    The Kids Are Still All Right

    Sentiment and Sentimentality

    Delta 88-B: The New Fixation

    The Six-Million-Dollar Car

    Dr. Driving

    Postscript: The Ultimate Vehicle

    Also, read the author's online-only note to the reader.


    Copyright © 2000 St. Martin's Press.

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