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Build the Perfect Beast
Synopses & Reviews
Mark Christensen grew up with a simple dream-to build a 600 horsepower suicide machine able to accelerate from zero to sixty in less time than it takes to read this sentence. When a friend offers him $100,000 to realize that dream, Christensen enlists Nick Pugh, the best young auto designer in the country. An idealistic, charismatic, twenty-two year old star student from the celebrated Art Center for Design in Pasadena, Pugh shows Christensen his sketches of the Xeno I-drawings that are stunningly original and strangely familiar-"as if they were the best ideas I never had." Thus inspired, the author sets out to assemble a "best of the best" group of engineers, mechanics and fabricators.
But the dream becomes grander and the designs of the Xeno evolve spectacularly after the endlessly hard working utopian Pugh develops an ingenious method for automobiles to triple their driving range. And as new and wilder Xenos fly from Pugh's monster imagination, nothing seems impossible. That is until the author discovers that $100,000 may not even pay for the hubcaps that Pugh has envisioned.
Build the Perfect Beast is a window into 21st century technology and cutting edge design at its most relevant and bizarre-an epic odyssey about craft, cars, opportunity and ambition that sizzles like American Graffiti on acid. This is a classic tale of chasing down the American dream.
Book News Annotation:
Christensen has written a number of books and feature stories for a variety of publications. In this autobiographical account, he tells the story of his lifelong love of cars, his desire to build the "perfect beast of a car," and his eventual collaborative effort with an exceptionally-gifted young auto designer, Nick Pugh, to bring his dream to reality. No subject index.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Mark Christensen had a simple dream — to create a 600-horsepower suicide machine able to accelerate from zero to sixty in less time than it takes to read this sentence. When a friend offers him $100,000 to realize that dream, Christensen enlists Nick Pugh, a talented young designer who shows him some stunning sketches of the Xeno I. Inspired, the author assembles a "best of the best" team of engineers, mechanics, and fabricators.
But the dream becomes grander after Pugh develops an incredibly simple method for cars to triple their driving range. Suddenly, nothing seems impossible. That is, until the author discovers that $100,000 won't even pay for the hubcaps.
This classic tale of chasing down the American dream will remind readers of Tom Wolfe's The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby.
About the Author
Mark Christensen is the author of several books, including The Sweeps: Behind the Scenes in Network TV and two novels, Mortal Belladaywic and Aloha. A former media columnist for Rolling Stone, his feature stories have appeared in American Film, Connoisseur, The Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, Playboy, and Wired. He lives in Long Beach, California.
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