Car Park Life by Gareth E.Rees book review cover

Gareth E. Rees, Car Park Life – BOOK REVIEW #3

Gareth E. Rees’ Car Park Life (Influx press) joins Juliet Escoria’s Juliet The Maniac on the list of our 2019 favorite pieces of non-fiction.

Expecting at first a light read full of entertaining and easy anecdotes, we understood in the first ten pages how rich and enlightening our reading would become.

We do not drive, but Car Park Life immersed us in a scene that is even unknown to your typical retail store wanderer or to your classic car park daydreamer.

Gareth E. Rees’ third book is serious field research. Here begins your sociological journey.

Our review:

The Slow Culture team, always ready to parallel park to read a great book.


The major value of Car Park Life for the reader is the expansion of his attention span. In this era where busy is the new cool, this book is an invitation to notice. To enjoy the mundane, to notice the secondary, to give importance to the smallest move. Car-pe diem, in other words.

Gareth E. Rees also invites the reader to travel. No exotic locations here. Just locations, where the emptiest can be the richest, the newest and the most surprising. The combined sociological, historical and ecological approaches are relevant and coherent, caring but yet rightfully critical.

There’s always something to discover. As it turns out, this car park will surpass my expectations”.

– Gareth E.Rees, Car Park Life.


Without exaggerations, Car Park Life is rousseauist in its motives and construction. The author claims to be a convinced pessimist, but this position seems paradoxical given the general tone of the book. The subject is too wide to be developed here, but read the book and you’ll now! #marketing

Gareth E. Rees often refers to his reasons for writing and gives clever views of what such project (and in that case, monomania) involves. These personal statements are relevant and interesting, but some paragraphs tend to give a feeling of oversharing. That being said, it doesn’t spoil the pleasure of the book, but the most discreet readers might find it uncomfortable from time to time.

I persist in writing about that past (…) so that it pervades all my fictions and non-fictions.

– Gareth E.Rees, Car Park Life.

Portrait of Gareth E. Rees
Gareth E. Rees in his natural habitat.


Gareth E. Rees’ humor is one of the the finest because the funniest traits of the book appear like fulgurances and do not seem to be controlled. This book will make you laugh, and the fact that these laughs are not cheap doubles the pleasure.

The anecdotes are rich, the vocabulary is well-crafted and relevantly chosen. It cured most of our our subway afternoon depression and almost transmitted us the will the taste of driving.

You don’t get as much sense of community in the car park of a Lidl or an Aldi.

– Gareth E.Rees, Car Park Life.

Gareth E. Rees, Car Park Life.
Influx Press, 2019. Available now.
Gareth E. Rees journeys across the country, from Plymouth to Edinburgh, walking purposelessly through car parks taking notes, much to the horror of his family, friends  and, most of all himself. In this darkly satirical work of non-fiction, Gareth E. Rees presents a troubling vision of Brexit Britain through a common space we know less about than we think.

BUYInstagram / Influx Press Website

Instagram bonus:

Our December ’19 highlighted story features parts of the book. Take a tour!

Written by Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture.

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