Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Done: "Driven" by James Sallis

Done: Driven by James Sallis, 2012, 9781464200113.

Quick read. I checked this out today.

I suppose everyone sees books differently. To many people I suppose this is a skeletonized noir. There are only 147 pages. To me this a love/hate letter to Phoenix and the Valley. I spent five years there and Sallis boils everything down. Dirt. Beige and brown. Endless apartment complexes. Strip malls. Buildings with a different restaurant every year. Roadside garbage and sound walls on the freeway. Like Iraq, but with nicer weather and more Republicans and illegal Mexicans.

Driver left the first novel on the run. He stayed on the run until settling into a Mesa apartment and meeting a girl at the mall. Driver takes on a new identity but with no work history falls back into cars and builds a business hot-rodding and restoring cars. About nine years later he and the girlfriend are jumped one day. Driver acts quickly and violently, as he is wont to do, but his girlfriend is murdered.

Driver goes running. Driver ponders life and the universe. Driver's pal in LA pontificates on life and the universe. Driver kills the men sent after him. Driver catches one guy alive and starts tracing his way back to the source. Driver gets help from an old friend and a new friend. Driver finds the source. Driver's new friend ponders life and the universe. Driver does not find an end to his problems.

Violence is common. Violence is sudden. Driver has no qualms. Driver acts suddenly and decisively. Driver uses his hands and a hammer, not a gun or knife.

1. Driver walks a fair amount. Walking? In Phoenix? I guess there is some there but depends on where you live.
2. Impossible for me not to compare this versus the Drive movie. To see the actors in this novel.

No comments: