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Drive by James Sallis


An Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Fiction Book of 2005
A Washington Post Best Book of 2005
“Driver works as a stunt driver by day and a getaway driver by night. He drives, that’s all—until he’s double-crossed.

“One stark and stunning tale of murder, treachery, and deceit . . . [Drive] packs a wallop.”—Boston Globe

“A perfect piece of noir fiction . . . focus[ing] on those hollowed-out moments when a man’s moral landscape suddenly shifts and he’s plunged into darkness.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Imagine the heart of Jim Thompson beating in the poetic chest of James Sallis and you’ll have some idea of the beauty, sadness and power of Drive.”—Chicago Tribune

“Bottom line: Drive is a chopped and channeled, foot-to-the-fire-wall, hardboiled ride.”—This Week

James Sallis is the author of the Lew Griffin novels and over a dozen other books, including the biography Chester Himes, a New York Times Notable Book. He has been short-listed for the Anthony, Nebula, Edgar, Shamus, and Gold Dagger awards. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona
MY REVIEW
Driver did not want to know the details of the job he was on, all he did was drive.
He was on the streets in the beginning without a penny to his name then a fate encounter in a bar hooked him up with the stunt car driving world. You won’t find this great story telling but a biography of one man’s plight in the concrete jungle. He was not brought up with a silver spoon in his mouth but was street savvy and knew how to get by. He could out smart the players. As always the glamorous life of a stuntman by day and getaway man by night comes with it’s dangers and he finds himself a problem in the shape of a mobster and tries to stay alive. I found it enjoyable to have the written word describe stunts and driving in general, a change from watching it on the big screen. The movie adaptation is out so I had to read this novel first instead of his other titles. I hope to read more of his works in the near future.

Driver’d been out three days before to get a car. He always picked his own car. The cars weren’t stolen, which was the first mistake people made, pros and amateurs alike. Instead, he bought them off small lots. You looked for something bland, something that would fade into the background. But you also wanted a ride that could get up o its rear wheels and paw air if you needed it to. Himself, he had a preference for older Buick’s, mid-range, some shade of brown or gray, but he wasn’t locked in. This time what he found was a ten-year-old Dodge. You could run this thing into the side of a tank with no effect. Drop anvils on it, they’d bounce off. But when he turned the motor over, it was like this honey was just clearing its throat, getting ready to talk”

“Desperate times, desperate measures.
Well out of the city, out where the first of a crop of white windmills, lazily turning, wound sky down to desert, Driver sailed without warning onto an exit ramp and into a one-eighty. Sat facing back the way he’d come as the Mustang raced towards him.
Then he hit the gas.”

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 28 October 2011

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