Thursday, April 2, 2015

DRIVE by James Sallis


*Re-Read in 2015 (originally read in May 2011)*
I've been on sort of a casual James Sallis binge lately, so I decided to squeeze in a re-read of the first book I read by him. I liked it a lot more this time, which might be due to the fact that I'm more familiar with his writing, or I'm in just a different mindset. In Drive, Sallis tries his hand at a hard-boiled, Parker-style heist story. And while being true to all the conventions of the genre, he still infuses it with his own trademark style: minimalist but effective prose, a non-linear structure, and HEAVY emphasis on character over plot development. 

Our main man (only known as Driver) is a skilled stunt driver for the movies by day and still manages to hold a part-time job as a wheelman for thieves. As with Sallis's other work, this is more of a character portrait, and Driver is definitely an intriguing character, tough but still private and introspective.  He wouldn't hesitate in stabbing a hard-ass in the throat, but also wouldn't hesitate to walk to a local payphone and call a screenwriter friend whenever he needs help understanding a difficult word he reads in the used paperbacks he buys at the cut-rate store. And the book also has an awesome first chapter, and one of my favorite opening paragraphs in fiction:
Much later, as he sat with his back against an inside wall of a Motel 6 just north of Phoenix, watching the pool of blood lap toward him, Driver would wonder whether he had made a terrible mistake. Later still, of course, there'd be no doubt. But for now Driver is, as they say, in the moment. And the moment includes this blood lapping toward him, the pressure of dawn's late light at windows and door, traffic sounds from the interstate nearby, the sound of someone weeping in the next room.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be respectful