Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Goddess of Apathy’s #CBR4 Review #7: Drive by James Sallis


the fans get up and they get out of town.
the arena is empty except for one man,
still driving and striving as fast as he can.
the sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
and long ago somebody left with the cup.
but he’s driving and striving and hugging the turns.
and thinking of someone for whom he still burns.

he’s going the distance.
he’s going for speed.—-The Distance, Cake

Drive by James Sallis

I am heavily influenced by pop culture, movies, and music. Additionally, a pretty face can sway me into investigating a movie or listening to a song. When the Nicolas Winding Refn movie, Drive, was released, it had a lot going for it: excellent reviews, gorgeous cinematography, fast cars, and one of my imaginary husbands, Ryan Gosling. I read the review posted on Pajiba, and knew I had to commit to seeing this movie. Now,  I have watched it many times and it is a fascinating piece of cinematic beauty. I learned later that the movie was based on a novel of the same name, written  by James Sallis. In most situations, I read the book first, then watch the movie, and invariably, express my disappointments. In this case, I saw the movie, then sought out the book. I suppose it was o.k. to keep my image of Driver firmly focused on resembling Ryan Gosling as I began to read.

Drive, the book, is a sparse narrative. The main character is just as solitary and singularly focused as he was portrayed on the big screen.  Driver is a lonely man who is neither a reader nor a movie fan. He is a stunt driver who rarely sees the movies he drives for but sometimes reads the books the movies are based on. Driver spends some nights as a getaway driver, using his skills to drive, and only that. “I drive. That’s what I do. All I do.” It’s easy to think he can just drive, but he’s working with criminals, and even though he’s not committing the crimes, he’s on the wrong side of the law. Driver doesn’t mind taking the next step into violence when he is betrayed.

The book is a quick read, and the text was suspenseful. It’s fast paced and violent, but every word counts and has meaning. I would recommend reading it just to take yourself away from your usual everyday life and ride shotgun for a brief moment with Driver.

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