Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Drive by James Sallis

There is so much about this character called Driver, that after watching the movie and reading the book it still bugs me. There is a movie adaption of the book (highly recommended to me by a friend) by the same name starring Ryan Gosling, Carry Mulligan and few more. The movie is an exception, the one you might have never seen before. It proves the statement, “Silence is so freaking good” true. Go and watch it yourself, and you won’t regret watching it.

I am here to talk about the book more, and yes that’s what I’ll do. Drive is a new novella by one of the nation’s most respected and honored writers of noir fiction, James Sallis. Set mostly in Arizona and L.A., the story is, according to Sallis, …”about a guy who does stunt driving for movies by day and drives for criminals at night. In classic noir fashion, he is double-crossed and, though before he has never participated in the violence (‘I drive. That’s all.’), he goes after the ones who double-crossed and tried to kill him.” The guy’s called Driver, he drives on special jobs and one of the few attraction a reader will find here is that the character’s specific name is not mentioned in the entire story. He’s just a driver. He loves to do that, and he can only do that.

There are not many characters and since it’s a novella, the language is in a beautiful flow. Detailed description of the stuffs like food and cars are the other best things this novella has got to tell it’s readers. The protagonist of this book, though I found him cynical, and fatalistic (which I quite liked), is one of the most conscious character I have ever dealt with in my reading life. With some twist and and ‘ninety degree’ turns, the book is a light, short read with a perfect length and perfect timing for the incidents it contains. It has a style of it’s own and the kind of a style which is very hard to get to be able to read these days. Rapidly satisfying. It is the skill that a pro-driver needs while driving a car. The book drives a reader in a similar manner, indulging him with in not time.  Sallis tried his best  to keep the soul of noir fiction through this book.

You will like this book but I will also suggest that you watch the movie too.

4 out of 5 from me.



10 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Drive by James Sallis”

  1. Loved the movie, which was watched almost by accident. Have avoided the book as a result but may reconsider reading it now. Have read another Salis though, Others of My Kind, which is also a really good read.


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