DRIVE
BY JAMES SALLIS

Review by K. Robert Einarson


Driver has a straightforward life. By day he is an in-demand stunt driver for movie studios in California and by night highly in-demand getaway driver. He has one simple rule: He drives, that’s it. That is until his last job goes bad and a contract is put out on his head. Driver is then forced to become a killer.

Driver is a well-developed enigma. His character comes into focus clearly by the end of the book, yet you realize that you know him but don’t really know him. The plot develops in though a series of non-linear cut scenes that fills in the story in a masterful way.

Drive reminded of “The Wheelman” by Duane Swierczynski as I read it. But despite some obvious similarities in the main characters and the storyline, these books are quite different. But I am sure that a fan of the either book would greatly enjoy the other.

James Sallis, "…one of the best mystery writers that most readers have never heard of" (Knight Ridder Tribune), has created a book that at first glance of its 158 pages might appear to be a quick read but when I finished, I was surprised at how effortless such a sophisticated tale was told. Drive is about the human condition and how Driver’s past and his influences have made he who he is, yet without the heavy handiness or pretentiousness that a similar traditional literary novel would have.

Drive is an outstanding novella that is both enjoyable to read and crafted expertly. I would recommend that anyone not familiar with James Sallis to pick up this book. You will not regret it.


ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Kevin Einarson is the publisher of Spinetingler Magazine. His short fiction has appeared in Mouth Full of Bullets, Flashing in the Gutters and Spinetingler.


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