Abandoned by both his parents, 14-year-old Terry Anders decides to assemble the pieces of a car kit. The name of the car is a Blakely-Bearcat in which he takes off in. Then he meets Waylon Jackson, a 45-year-old Vietnam veteran who has spent most of the past 20 years trucking around the U.S., after he hopped in the car during a rain storm so that he wouldn’t get wet. Their cross-country adventure had great impact on Terry: They go and visit an old man who recites history as if he were a participant, dine at a religious commune, and tour the site of the Battle of Little Big Horn. Waylon is a well-developed character in the book. Flashback memories reveal that a traumatic incident in Vietnam has left him mentally unstable, and references to government checks suggest some kind of permanent disability. Although the trip works well as a metaphor for Terry’s journey toward maturity, not all the story’s elements are as well developed. Terry’s parents seem to exist mostly as a plot device rather than a source of real conflict, and Waylon’s homosexuality is mentioned but never explored. Despite these flaws, The Car is a well-written, thoughtful coming-of-age novel.
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A fourteen year old boy named Terry is on a quest. He needs to get from Ohio to Portland, Oregon with two old Vietnam Veterans. Terry ends up with no parents as a result of them not liking each other. He was left all alone. When he found out he was alone he started building a kit car that was given to his father. He plans to drive to an uncle in Portland who he barely knows. Along his way he picks up Wayne and Walon. Both were in the Vietnam War. They wanted to show Terry America, it’s wonders, and its people. I think most people would enjoy THE CAR if they would sit down and read. I highly recommend this book to people who especially like Gary Paulsen or who are interested in cars. I hope you will want to read this book after reading my review.
The Car by Gary Paulsen is a great novel about growing, rebellion, and America. The book begins in Cleveland, Ohio with a 14 year old boy named Terry. His parents, who spend all of there time arguing, decide to leave one another, coincidently at the same time – leaving Terry at home by himself. In his garage there is a little kit car of his fathers that he was forbidden to work on. Now that he has no supervision he decides to put the car together. Terry decides to go west with his new friend, he calls the “cat” since the car is a Blakely Bearcat, to see his only relative, his uncle. On the way he picks up a hitchhiker named Waylon, not by choice, a Vietnam veteran. Waylon is a “child of the sixties and seventies” and tries to teach Terry about “learning”. They head to Wayne’s house, who is also a Vietnam Vet and together they all three go “trucking”. While “trucking” they learn all sorts of things about America, themselves, and each other. Gary Paulsen who also wrote The Hatchet, along with many other celebrated novels is an excellent author. He explains just enough to give the idea of what is going on, and leave the rest to the reader. Unlike some Authors who detail everything so much you don’t even want to finish reading. For this reason I think that Gary Paulsen is one of the best authors ever. His books feel so realistic, probably because he writes from his own experience and has an excellent way to describe it. A possible alternate title that might have been better would have been The Cat, but that might not have caught to many peoples interest.
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