If I could only praise Not on Fire one time, I would applaud its ability to make immediate and pressing a question that ordinarily feels naive and pointless: What if things had happened another way?
In college, I had a professor who urged us to interrogate a text by asking three questions of it, in order: 1) What is it saying? 2) Why is it saying that? 3) Why do I care? Christopher Boucher’s How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive may be the text to confound all three inquiries. Which is not necessarily a strike against it.
Luckily Boucher is a ___________ (adjective) ___________(noun) in many respects, possessed of a special skill to diagnose malfunctioning language by ear, to hear where words are misaligned or where a phrase is too worn to use.
“Moody renders the American West of the future as a place that has suffered massive socio-economic shock, a junkyard that gathers the dusty detritus of a once-great empire.”