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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Drive - the novel by James Sallis

Yeah, but have you read the book?

In preparation for the new movie starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Albert Brooks, I re-read the novel, Drive, by James Sallis.

It was not a waste of time.

Published in 2005, Drive is a short, pithy noir story featuring a young loner with an extraordinary ability with cars. As is customary in these novels, the young man (already a denizen of a kind of underworld) soon gets mixed up with some truly unsavory types who want him dead.

What this book has going for it are its quick-moving plot, its hard-boiled aesthetic & self-aware style, and its brevity. It's decidedly unsentimental while also being utterly romantic (in the philosophical sense), and I have the feeling that the movie adaptation is going to be an entirely different animal.

Oh, well, to quote that old crank, Ezra Pound, "you can't hammer a nail with a mattress," and who the hell would want to, anyway?

Enjoy both the book and the movie, recognizing them as different liquors distilled from the same fruit. Or not.

I'm done here.



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