In the car crazed youth culture of the 1950s and early 1960s, no figure was important than the writer Henry Gregor Felsen In my circle of semi Beatnik Southern California street racers, for instance, his novels were were read and re read until the paper covers literally disintegrated He was one of the few adult writers Jack Kerouac was the obvious other who understood the full desperation and elation of our punched to the metal generation At the same time, this tough ex Marine undoubtedly saved thousands of lives with his forensically sobering descriptions of the Friday night carnage on the crossroads of small Midwest towns In American cultural history, Felsen was to the 1950s as L Frank Baum Wizard of Oz was to the 1900s Mike Davis Professor Creative Writing U.C Riverside So far, Raccoon Forks had been a lucky school Its fads had been noisy, out landish, expensive, silly its leaders noble, flighty, and irritating But it had been spared the destructive, damaging crazes that had seized students in other high schools Indeed, the addiction to drag racing gaudy cars was almost something to be thankful for And yet, the current fad was doomed from the day Outlaw Galt transferred to Raccoon Forks He not only usurped Mike Revere s position as the best boy with the best car, and also the girl who went with it, but set off a struggle for prestige and leadership that was fought with cars Racing gave way to recklessness and heroes were measured by the depth of their road wounds Where would the new fad end That question troubled the principal of Raccoon Forks High But how to regain his leadership and the affections of his girl was all that mattered to Mike Revere He d find a way With Crash Club, Henry Gregor Felsen proves again, as he did with Hot Rod and Street Rod, that he not only understands teen agers and their problems but can also write a story guaranteed to keep their eyes glued to it from start to finish Felsen s children, Dan Felsen and Holly Felsen Welch, have republished these favorites for the fans who loved them as teens and for new generations, as well....
|Publisher||:||Felsen Ink 1st edition June 12, 2013|
|Number of Pages||:||206 pages|
|File Size||:||664 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Crash Club Reviews
H.G. Felsen has about 5 teen-age hot rod books, and they are all really good reading. I discovered Felsen at a young age, and still enjoy his work. His stories are well written, and he can create atmosphere that stays with you; some mature situations face his characters, forcing them to take a different view on the safe world their parents tried to keep for them. His writing is clear and direct, his characters believable. I started saving for my first car when I was 10yrs old, and totally understand the obsession and thrill some people feel when it comes to cars and driving. If you're one of those duds who could care less, and consider a car simply motorized transportation, well, you'll prob like his stories also; they ring true.
This was a fun way to revisit my early teenage years. Mr. Felsen authored so many fine books for young people, and for older teens, too. The car books for boys (mainly) were morality tales that often dealt with serious issues like the terrible injuries that car accidents can cause, and even death. These were wake-up calls for auto safety and responsibility. But they were also entertaining. They showed that life for young teenagers in small towns (as are so common around Iowa and the mid-western USA) needs an offset from dull routine. In those years (1950s & early 1960s) automobiles provided it. There were no video games; tv shows were in their infancy; forget about computers & social networking websites; cell phones; texting; and foreign cars were nowhere. Teens in these stories still had parent-issues, but sexual references and profanity are never mentioned, though often there is an unspoken sexual tension. It was a different world. But these books should be reissued so that they can be enjoyed by generations to come.
I first read Crash Club (and Street Rod, Hot Rod) more than 50 years ago, when I was an early-teen motor head. I remembered much more of it than I thought I would, and it was a nice sentimental journey. Great literature? Of course not, but I doubt that Felsen intended it to be. This particular edition, which looks like a private publishing job, is full of typos. And I could have sworn that Dave Galt's Impala was a '58, not a '57. But I guess my memory is going. It was fun to revisit.
This is a book I read in early high school, around 1959 or so. It is a typical story of teenage angst in the late 50's. The guys in school who owned the hot rods were the kings of the social strata, until a new kid came to town with a very ominous looking hot rod. Painted on the shield of the Continental kit cover was a picture and the words, "Aut Vinceri, Aut Mori." The daily ritual for the boys was the morning block-to-block drag races. When they saw the new kids car and wondered if he raced, one of the boys interpreted the writing. When they learned the translation was "Either to conquer or to die," one of the guys says, "He drags. He drags." Pretty good story for anyone, especially teenage boys interested in cars.
Compelling story, current circa 1957. The lessons are still relevant. Recommended reading for anyone who's just getting his driver license.
Great book. Brought back memories from when I read it as a you g teen....