Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
On Wheels

On Wheels

Michael Holroyd

Farrar, Straus and Giroux




From the bestselling author of A Book of Secrets, a brisk, charming, illustrated account of a motoring life

As a child, Michael Holroyd spent his best hours in his family's cramped garage, which contained a wealth of magical, exciting objects. But the most intriguing by far was the one in the middle of the room—the family's eight-horsepower black Ford, which had found in the garage a permanent home and in Holroyd a dedicated caretaker. Sitting in the backseat—his own private castle—he began his love affair with the automobile.
On Wheels is the story of the cars and drivers that inspired and affected Holroyd throughout his life. Ranging from drives around the country with his father, a car obsessive, to the baroque horrors of his austere driving instructor, to the liberating pleasures of automatic transmission, On Wheels is an automotive autobiography—the story of times and places that mattered to the author, told through the cars that bore witness.
"My biographies," Holroyd writes, "became increasingly filled with motoring exploits—something of which I was unaware until recently," and so On Wheels is also a reflection on the author's many brilliant biographical subjects—Bernard Shaw, Lytton Strachey, and many others—and their own relationships to the open road.
Casually intimate and often riotously funny, On Wheels is a master biographer's miniature self-portrait—and an indelible reflection on his great passion.



Shortly before the Second World War my aunt manoeuvred the family's black, eight-horsepower Ford into the garage of our new house at Maidenhead. I didn't see...


Praise for On Wheels

“Written with the kind of elegance, ease, and simplicity possible only from a master.” —Toni Bentley, The New York Times Book Review on A Book of Secrets

“Brilliant . . . Holroyd is an impeccable writer and researcher, a man whose books are packed with intricate detail yet retain a buoyancy.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times on A Book of Secrets

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Michael Holroyd

Michael Holroyd is the author of acclaimed biographies of George Bernard Shaw, the painter Augustus John, Lytton Strachey, and Ellen Terry and Henry Irving; two memoirs, Basil Street Blues and Mosaic; and the bestselling A Book of Secrets, which was published in 2011. Knighted for his services to literature, he is the president emeritus of the Royal Society of Literature and the only nonfiction writer to have been awarded the David Cohen British Prize for Literature. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist Margaret Drabble.

Michael Holroyd

Michael Holroyd

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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