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4.0 von 5 Sternen SHE revivifies newbie biker discoveries from HER perspective
If you're like me, you'll have fun, recalling through her writing, many of your first season's little discoveries (perhaps even a few, long-since forgotten.) She presents thoughtful, personal challenge motorcycling adventures, so if you're a boulevardiere, you may as well squirt your way on to the next stoplight; there's serious mileage and intellect here.
On the...
Veröffentlicht am 10. Mai 1999 von rayhull@aol.com

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1.0 von 5 Sternen Promise unfulfilled
After reading the foreword, I plunged into this book thinking I was in for a real treat... after all, Melissa described so well the experience of starting a ride - one that I have experienced myself for over thirty years. By the time I was half way through the book, I couldn't wait for it to be over, I was so disappointed! Melissa insidiously put down the Harley...
Am 27. März 1999 veröffentlicht


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1.0 von 5 Sternen Promise unfulfilled, 27. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
After reading the foreword, I plunged into this book thinking I was in for a real treat... after all, Melissa described so well the experience of starting a ride - one that I have experienced myself for over thirty years. By the time I was half way through the book, I couldn't wait for it to be over, I was so disappointed! Melissa insidiously put down the Harley Davidson owner (my chosen ride), stereotyping us all with her sophomoric, Psych 101 impressions, as working class, fixated individuals. I have 2, count them Melissa, 2 graduate level degrees and yes, I am still a biker and go on Hell's Angels' runs.
I was beguiled by her facile use of the language until I realized half the time she was not saying anything meaningful - except perhaps to herself. This was definitely a self-serving, rambling book and I am sorry I wasted time and money on it.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Intriguing Title; Disappointing Content, 20. Februar 1999
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John B. Dorgan (Smithville, Texas United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Perfect Vehicle: What It is about Motorcycles (Taschenbuch)
After an impatient wait to finally get my hands on this book, I started to read it with great enthusiasm, but soon became aware that there were far more agendae being pursued by Pierson than the one presented in the title. By the second chapter, I got the impression that the author was a female avatar of Woody Allen, and I was stuck following an off-topic nebbish tale that quickly became a chore to read. In the hopes of a late turnaround, I did stay with it to the end, and found that it managed to stay discursive right up to the very last page. It then occured to me that the author may very well have written this particular book as some sort of expiatory exercise suggested by her therapist. Not recommended.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Good title, bad book, 18. Februar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Perfect Vehicle: What It is about Motorcycles (Taschenbuch)
This thing must have gone straight from the author's word processor to the printing press without editing. Her autobiographical story reads like a sad search for companionship and an identity crisis rolled into one, disguising itself as being about motorcycling. She gets her first bike to spend more time with a boyfriend, not because she wants to ride. Even so, it can't just be any bike. The Moto Guzzi represents exclusivity bought, the ability to condescend, which she does with boring frequency throughout the book. The bike sits idle alot when there is no one to ride with her, it's lonelier than she is. She doesn't care to turn a wrench herself, or simply ride some anonymous road alone that isn't taking her to some special destination or must be there event. The used jap bike she passed over, the hogs and sportbikes she looks down her nose at, the dirt bikes she never considers, all are probably enjoyed by their owners far more than she could ever appreciate.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen good, but needed editing, 14. März 1999
I was eager to read this book, having read several enthusiastic reviews in motorcycle magazines. And there *is* a lot of good stuff in it -- it explains a lot of the stuff I've always wanted to be able to explain to non-riders about why we ride. But there's far too much irrelevant personal stuff. Pierson's love life is of no interest to me -- a decent editor would have made her cut that part out. And she really doesn't have enough riding experience -- the bio says about 35,000 miles -- to be able to write with authority about motorcycling. It shows in comments like one at the very end, to the effect that "the most dangerous thing you can do is to ride in the rain." This is patently false; as long as you have good tires, riding in the rain is no problem. She also overemphasizes the fear and danger of motorcycling. I've been on a racetrack (OK, I was the slowest guy out there) and have ridden under all kinds of conditions -- yet I've never felt fear on a motorcycle.
As I say, there *is* a lot of great stuff in this book -- but I was disappointed nonetheless. Pierson fails to "strengthen our case" in the eyes of non-riders, the way I hoped she would. It also doesn't help that she doesn't work on her own bike -- that's one of the essentials of being a motorcyclist. She goes into helpless-girl mode when things go wrong on the road. And she gets whiny at times. All in all, the book is rather spotty -- I can't recommend it to non-riders, as I'd hoped I'd be able to.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Not as bad, nor as good, as the reviews below indicate, 9. Juni 1999
Von Ein Kunde
As a memoir, I think this book needs a little work. At certain points, Pierson conveys her ardor and emotional connection to every aspect of moto-culture. I like the fact that she is able to give a sense of herself so that we can better understand her point of view. These sections are good. But her narrative hits some dead points too. I found myself simply skipping some of the history lessons because she tends to dwell on early rather than later motorcycle history. I also find it ironic that she claims that Italian bikes are sensual but Japanese crotch rockets are Mighty Morphin Power Ranger-esque. Personally, I prefer Ducati, but (with the exception of the new 'busa, which does look a little Power Ranger-esque) the aesthetic differences are not great enough to make such a qualitative distinction. Maybe its because she rides a Guzzi. Can you say "bias?" There was also a bit much of the feminist rhetoric. If you're looking for a vicarious, visceral experience, then some parts of this book will satisfy you, but the others can be a drag.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen SHE revivifies newbie biker discoveries from HER perspective, 10. Mai 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Perfect Vehicle: What It is about Motorcycles (Taschenbuch)
If you're like me, you'll have fun, recalling through her writing, many of your first season's little discoveries (perhaps even a few, long-since forgotten.) She presents thoughtful, personal challenge motorcycling adventures, so if you're a boulevardiere, you may as well squirt your way on to the next stoplight; there's serious mileage and intellect here.
On the obverse, it might have been leveled by a man's editing. By the time it's all over, her distaff screed wears like a long day in the saddle and an otherwise sympathetic solo rider might wonder if it's her intellect or gender that's rubbing.
In sum, it's nice to share recollections with a thoughtful, observant biker. If I didn't ride a Guzzi, would I be so charitable? Sure, she's got a knack for finding characters and revivifying their tales.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A womans search for self and self expression by riding bikes, 1. Juni 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Perfect Vehicle: What It is about Motorcycles (Taschenbuch)
A delightful story of how a woman comes to terms with her life by coming to terms with her beloved Moto Guzzi's. She broadens her outlook to include all rides and holds up to examination some old wives tales, some cliches, and more than a few real dangers.
While it is more than a story and less than an autobiography the author uses her riding experinces to attempt to bring logic to explain why we indulge in knowingly dangerous activities. In the end of course, she fails, but in that failure she conveys something of the basic lonelyness of being human, and how the spirit can be set free.
This is not another " How I Rode My Bike To xxxx " story. It is much deeper, and at times chilling if like Melissa, one rides.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen A real disappointment, 26. Juli 1998
Von Ein Kunde
I seem to have an opinion different from those of other reviewers of this book: I was quite disappointed with The Perfect Vehicle and I, in fact, almost didn't finish it. The book has an excellent, but inaccurate title. It should instead have been "What It Is About Melissa Pierson" since I felt it contained little about the spirit and feel of motorcycles and rather a lot about Ms Pierson and her various life issues, which I found at best boring and at worst irritating and self absorbed. One good thing did come of reading this book: a reference to Fulton's "One Man Caravan" that lead to a very enoyable read indeed.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A wonderful book, from start to finish., 22. November 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Perfect Vehicle: What It is about Motorcycles (Taschenbuch)
I liked Melissa's book so much I wrote her a letter. Here's what Isaid: "Your words had such an impact on me. I couldn't put the book down. The things you described going through, your epiphanies, are what I've been experiencing for the last 6 months (having become for the first time, at age 45, finally, a motorcyclist after a lifetime of denial, guilt, fear). But beyond the message, your command of language, of imagery, is astounding. Thank you very much for the inspiration and reassurance. And I hope you're working on number two...
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Motorcycling And Its Pleasures, 26. Dezember 1997
Von 
Ralph Hummel (Huntington Station, New York USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
I received this book today as a Christmas gift -- and read it non-stop. It is my vote for best book of 1997.
Melissa Holbrook Pierson is a female poet living in Brooklyn who's been riding a motorcycle for the past 10 years. In her book, she attempts to answer the elusive question: Why ride?
Her beautifully-expressed thoughts are original, deep and transcend their ostensible subject. She ventures into philosophy, sociology, literature and human nature. A fascinating read for bikers AND non-riders!
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The Perfect Vehicle: What It is about Motorcycles
The Perfect Vehicle: What It is about Motorcycles von Melissa Holbrook Pierson (Taschenbuch - Mai 1998)
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