Cover Image: Gasoline Dreams

Gasoline Dreams

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Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley and its author Simon Orpana for providing me with an advanced copy.

What if the biggest barriers to responding to climate change are not technological or governmental but, rather, cultural? In other words, what if we ourselves could help to enact change through a deeper understanding of our petroleum dependency?

Back to the question that NetGalley gave us, yes. The story of Gasoline Dreams tells us that. What is the real situation and the biggest impact onto the climate change when we are using the biggest industry to get on fire our nature. Mostly it tells us about petroleum and its results in another products who come from petroleum.

It is kinda boring at the beginning. The rest of the graphic novel was good, though.

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An interesting look at how gasoline is held to be the responsible for pollution.  The author writes a thought provoking article on the destroying power of gasoline in our world.  He writes that our dependence on gasoline and fossil fuels is deeply entrenched part of the world’s culture in spite of its destructive properties.  The information is overwhelming.  He “texts” using handwriting at times.  There are pages that look “xeroxed.”  The drawings are descriptive.  Will you agree with his argument about gasoline?  

I think that it will take reader dedication to finished the “book.”  It is a book that will have you thinking of it.  It’s not a quick read.
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The content of this graphic novel is interesting and thought-provoking, but at the same time, the pages are too crowded with texts for my liking. It is not very aesthetically pleasing despite having some trippy visual elements. I would have liked to read about the ideas in it in the form of a book or academic paper better.
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I understand importance of talking about climate change, but despite this being a graphic novel, it felt like one big info dump with no plot.
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I am always a fan of being entertained while learning an important message and this book did both! I loved the artistry and comic feel. Everything from the cover page to the artwork inside was wonderful. Perfect for young adults! 

Thank you NetGalley and Simon Orpana for the chance to read a ARC of this publication.
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This book has pictures, all in black and white, and lots of writing and sayings in the pictures. The author takes on the issues we face with certain cultural issues such as climate change. We are urged to take a look at our habits and see what we can do to change. It's an interesting book with a lot to take in. It's a bit heavier than other graphic novels I read but very interesting. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC.
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The contents of Gasoline Dreams are great. The book is physically hard to read. It took me months to get through it because the woodcut style of the text and graphics gave me headaches. I became reluctant to pick it up because who likes headaches?

The cover is deceptive. It is brightly colored with the text and integrated into an interesting but easy to comprehend visual. The insides, though are all in black and white with text and images fighting for space. It was tough to figure out what I had read and what I hadn’t because there was so much competing for my eye’s attention. I reread some pages several times before I understood what he was saying. After all that effort to comprehend what was on the page, I’d come back to it and realize the only information I retained was the headache I had after reading a few pages the last time.

From what I remember, his ideas are interesting and I’d love to see it as a miniseries or listen to him on a podcast. Orpana is pulling a lot of threads together, maybe too many threads, but they all look interesting. My best guess is that Orpana’s theory is that our consumption of fossil fuels (petroculture) has become a part of our (Western/North American) culture and as such it has become a part of every part of our lives – political, religious, financial, and artistic. It has become so deeply ingrained with identity that people will become violent and irrational in defense of petroculture. I don’t think he’s wrong, and I wish the information had been presented in a way that was more digestible. I don’t mean dumbed down – I mean my eyeballs screamed at the page and my brain ran away.

I received this as an advance reader copy from Fordham University Press via NetGalley. My opinions are my own.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Fordham University Press for this eARC of Gasoline Dreams: Waking up from Petroculture by Simon Orpana in exchange for an honest review. This graphic novel is jam packed with research and direct quotes from climate scientists and activists. Orpana does an excellent job of arguing the inherent premise that American culture is completely entrenched in petroculture (i.e. the excessive use of fossil fuels and gasoline energy), even breaking down the impact of that relationship on popular culture (movies such as A Quiet Place). This is a DENSELY packed book to read. I am used to flying through graphic novels in no longer than an hour, but found it difficult to engage with this material, and it took me several sessions to complete reading. There was so much text and so many other neat tidbits within the graphics on each page that my eyes became quite distracted and overwhelmed. I also found the tone of the book to be relatively gloomy. Informative, yes. But this was not the book of hopeful solutions and proposed sustainable changes that was alluded to in the book synopsis. Overall, this is an informative book, I simply wish it was more accessible to a larger audience.
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I've just finished reading this book, and I think there was some excellent research shared within the graphic novel format. As an academic, I appreciated the citations within the reading, and I liked that the authors included research from a variety of fields. This book's nontraditional approach to our society's reliance on gasoline in a graphic novel featuring both the scientific impacts (esp. via climate) of our gasoline dependency while also spending substantial time investigating how gasoline usage has influenced our history and culture. was interesting and impressive. Examining the influence of gasoline on popular culture movies/books, politics, and our culture, the book provides a holistic view of our gasoline dependency, and the book encourages us to make changes to other energy sources.

That said, it often felt as if this book was both too much and not enough. There were so many academic areas that were explored (science, humanities, politics, etc.) in relationship to petrol that it felt draining at times. Yet, there were times when a deeper investigation into this material would have been helpful. It also seemed as if some pages had too much text for a graphic novel, and I found the random bolding/font changes to be distracting.
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This book is so hard to finish reading it. It's so academic. 
I think the whole book is a good idea and gives out good information.  All illustrations are in black and white, it's not my favorite kind of graphic novel.
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Gasoline Dreams does a great job finding a balance between entertaining and informative.  There is so much information packed into this little book but it doesn't feeling overly weighed down by academic language or endless complex facts and figures.  The information is presented in a very straightforward and accessible way which is so important at a time when information about climate change and the impact of humans is everywhere but also very hard to digest and put into practice.
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This book was very hard to get through, between the over written pages to the illustrations. I felt like I was getting a lecture (in a bad way) reading this.
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The topic of this comic is a serious one, I know, nevertheless the whole work comes out as very gloomy. The drawings are fantastic but the final result is very hard to read as a book. I was expecting some story behind, connecting the messages. One gets tired of reading pages that resemble bad slides, overfilled with text, even if what they point to must definitely be taken very seriously and hopefully trigger an action as soon as possible. I did not finish.
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*I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

2.5 stars.

This is a non fiction graphic novel focused on a necessary purpose creating awareness about the excessive use of petrol based energy that's destroying our planet at a staggering speed.

I loved the fact that it mentions and goes deep into every aspect of how this usage is a huge problem for every form of life within this planet and the multiverse itself. It also shows there are other options and illustrates his arguments with clear examples of the aspects that are problematic about excess and the use of non-renewable sources of energy. 

There are, however several objections I have towards how this graphic novel was done. 

The first of these is that I found the density of illustrations and text to be constantly overwhelming. This was probably intentional given the aggressive attitude towards the so-called Petroculture the author shows, but I believe regular readers would not appreciate it as positive, given that it makes the reading experience too heavy. It even gave me anxiety at times. 

The writing style gave the impression to be more appropriate for a dense non fiction book, being full of citations of formal texts and investigations at a rate of one or more per page, which also took it further from being a graphic novel. 

Regarding certain topics, I have to say that the arguments given at times were not exactly scientific. With this I do not mean to state they are invalid, but that to prove a point it is rather preferable to choose arguments that have scientific validity, which in many occasions they did. 

An example of this is the explanation of Sigmund Freud and his definition of Thanatos or death/destruction drive. This is the same evolution theories explain in the mention of humans being a dominant species and this translating into the fact that we tend to our own destruction and that of our environment. Even if Freud talked about this (long after Darwin, by the way), having the support of science would certainly make it stronger. 

This 'undead urge' Simon takes from psychoanalysis is the excess that is not at all strange, but normal in dominant species, who just believe they can do as they please and dominate their environment without major consequences. Least can an example of this behaviour be given through a psychopath with PTSD. Does he have any idea how a person with PTSD feels? I mean, it is not pleasant or even voluntary and the feelings of a sufferer of this disorder (I am a psychologist) are far from suitable to explain or illustrate the abovementioned behaviour. Even a person with Antisocial Personality Disorder (what he should have mentioned instead of 'psychopath') does not feel empathy towards others, but the reason is the structure of the brain in charge of making this happen are not working properly, mainly as a result of neglect, abandonment and/or abuse as a child and/or adolescent -I recommend checking scientific articles and the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders on its fifth version-.

Another issue I had with this work was that, instead of making a certain parallel, he affirms certain films, such as Aliens, Taxi Driver, A Quiet Place and The Shining have direct references to Petroculture when they're not even obvious. The author assumes that the type of energy used has something to do with Petroculture or the dialogue itself. Well, I consider it closer to the truth to state that he sees or can give examples from and not assure the reader they are references to a topic that is not even mentioned in them.

The typography was too hard to read sometimes -at least for me- and I found it to be quite a Baroque graphic novel in a way, if it makes sense, as it is too overloaded and dense either on images (rare), text or both. Sometimes the language is also too complex.

The topic, don't get me wrong, is essential to discuss and many people need such a shock to start grasping the very basic ideas of this topic.

Finally, I would love to point out the author's ideas seem to be congruent on every field and properly portrayed on every aspect of this graphic novel. 

You could decide this book is for you and I would actually love to hear different perspectives if you have or are planning to read it.
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Gasoline Dreams takes readers on a journey through "petroculture," discussing how some parts of society became so reliant on fossil fuels. It goes into detail on some of the very serious consequences of that dependence. It reads rather like a highly-illustrated college essay, bringing in a variety of sources and visual examples. There are frequent references to films and media sources that help showcase the way that petrol is deeply woven into every aspect of life. 

I am of the opinion that, in many ways, this is the book we need. It is emphatic, informed and specific. However, I couldn't figure out why it was so heavily illustrated. The font style was consistent with superhero comics, but it was difficult to read. Since a good deal of the text was written for highly educated individuals (with use of advanced vocabulary and complex themes and sentences) it felt like an awkward juxtaposition to have caricatures with illegible quotes covering the pages. I appreciate what this book is going for, but I don't think it's approachable for a wide audience. It is too advanced for any of my students.
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DNF: I did not like the art style; too much was going on, it felt too busy. The story seemed dry to me.
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Gasoline Dreams covers an important topic in a very unique formatting. Unfortunately, I don’t think the graphic novel format worked very well in this case. There were so many words on the page that the drawings did nothing but make it difficult for me to read. I think this would have worked better if it had been a traditional book with pages dedicated only to the drawings. 
I also wasn’t a fan of the writing style in general. While the author made some good points, much of this felt both preachy and confusing. I especially didn’t understand the lines being drawn between petroculture and the movie A Quiet Place. Having never seen the movie, I don’t have much to say here but I thought the comparisons felt like a reach. Overall, not terrible but it didn’t work for me.
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Thanks to Net Galley for the copy of this book. Not a bad book, just not the book for me at this moment. There was a lot of good information and I really enjoyed the illustrations
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I don’t read a lot of graphic novels so it took me a few pages to get into they style and graphics of “Gasoline Dreams.” I found the facts interesting to read, the art work was dreary and set the mood for the topic. All in all this graphic novel was an informative and important read.

**I received an electronic ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review of this book.
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This was a wonderful use of the graphic novel medium and a book I would gladly share. The words and images combine to form a very effective text.
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