Tag: James M Cain

The Seven Madmen by Roberto Arlt

Posted July 17, 2018 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Classic / 3 Comments

The Seven Madmen by Roberto ArltTitle: The Seven Madmen (Goodreads)
Author: Roberto Arlt
Translator: Nick Caistor
Published: Serpent's Tail, 1929
Pages: 323
Genres: Classic
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindleWordery (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Remo Erdosain is a typical middle-class man; that is until he finds himself going down the rabbit hole of conspiracies. The mysteries surrounding The Astrologer finds Erdosain going from a recently unemployed accounting clerk to a follower of a political fanatic. Under the charismatic sway of The Astrologer, The Seven Madmen follows the downwards spiral of Remo Erdosain, a path that could be fatal for the people of Buenos Aires.

One thing that really stuck out with this novel is the way Roberto Arlt wrote the character of The Astrologer. He could be a fanatic religious leader, a socialist revolutionary or just a fascist. No matter how you view this character, his vile thoughts are harmful to both Remo Erdosain and others. This opens the book to explore extremist behaviour without making a political stand. The political turmoil that has rocked Argentina during this time, lead to dangerous ideas from multiply parties or factions and I thought The Seven Madmen brilliantly explores the destructive nature without picking a side.

Written as an existential novel, The Seven Madmen is a realistic depiction of the social issues facing Argentina during the early twentieth century. While this is an early example of magical realism, using fantastical elements to explore myth and reality, the novel became a prophetic depiction of the cycle of violence that would plague the country for the rest of the twentieth century. The novel remains a modern classic today because of its ability to depict the political turmoil but also because it still remains relevant today. If this is not enough to convince you, this is probably one of the best apocalyptic novels I have read in a long time.

However The Seven Madmen is not a full novel, it is only the beginning. Still waiting for the second half of the story The Flamethrowers to be published into English. Fortunately The Seven Madmen does stand on its own. There is so much to explore in this book, and I will probably re-read it again before reading The Flamethrowers. There is so much to explore and with a little more knowledge about Argentinian history, this book just continues to open up. I love the political and economic turmoil in the novel and thankfully the afterword by Roberto Bolaño helped to understand so much more (seriously more publishers need to switch to an afterword instead of an introduction). Roberto Arlt has that 1920s style of written that reminds me of the great pulp writers like Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, which only served to add to my enjoyment of this book. Seriously, this is a must read.


Double Indemnity by James M. Cain

Posted June 29, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Book of the Month, Pulp / 0 Comments

Double Indemnity by James M. CainTitle: Double Indemnity (Goodreads)
Author: James M. Cain
Published: Vintage, 1936
Pages: 114
Genres: Pulp
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

When small time insurance man Walter Huff meets Phyllis Nirdlinger, her beauty quickly seduced him. The wife of a wealthy oil executive convinces him to help get rid of her husband, but not before a substantial policy was taken out on him. Accident insurance often causes suspicion but when Phyllis’ husband dies from what looks like a train accident, double indemnity kicks in and Walter’s bosses suspect foul play.

James M. Cain is the master at noir with books like The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce and recently The Cocktail Waitress was released posthumously.  Double Indemnity is one of his most notable pieces of work and was adapted into the 1944 classic film noir movie of the same name. The movies screenplay was written by fellow master of pulp Raymond Chandler and has been dubbed culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant by the US Library of Congress.

Double Indemnity is a clause often found in accident insurance policies where the issuer agrees to pay double (or more) if the accident happens in certain conditions. It is often used to make the policy more appealing but applies to low risk incidents. Death by train accident is one of these examples and when Phyllis’ husband died in these conditions the insurance company was naturally suspicious.

This classic pulp novel follows Walter Huff who plots the perfect murder all for the beautiful Phyllis Nirdlinger. What he didn’t count on was that he was seduced into helping a femme fatale and now he was under her thumb. In true James M. Cain style, Double Indemnity holds nothing back, both in style and plot. Everything you expect in a 1930s noir novel can be found in this thrilling novella.

This is a re-read for me of Double Indemnity and I must admit I was so happy to return to the style of James M. Cain. Everything you expect from the pulp style and dialogue can be found within this classic story. I know I need to dive into some more of Cain’s novels, with some re-reads and completing his bibliography. I have no words to describe the feeling of returning to a much-loved author and I know I need to re-watch the movie. If you have never read Cain or anything from the classic pulp genre, then you can never go wrong with a book like Double Indemnity.


Five Decent Film Noir Adaptations

Posted July 20, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Adaptations, Top 5 / 0 Comments

top-5This might be the last in a series of film adaptation posts for a while. Recently I listed ten of the worst adaptations and then five decent adaption; now for Film Noir. I’m a big fan of Hard-Boiled and Noir fiction so it’s time to look at some of the better Film Noir adaptations from these classic novels.

5. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? by Horace McCoy

4. The Grifters by Jim Thompson

3. L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy

2. Double Indemnity by James M. Cain

1. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

 I’m not going to go into too much explanation about these movies; some of them are faithful to the novel and some very different but they are all decent books and film noir classics. I could have also added The Post Man Always Rings Twice, The Black Dahlia, The Long Goodbye and even The Maltese Falcon but I didn’t want to have too many of the same author on the list. Now if you are a fan of Film noir and pulp novels, let me know what I’ve missed.


ArmchairBEA 2013: Introduction & Classics

Posted May 28, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 54 Comments

armchairBEAIt’s here again for another year; while most book bloggers or book lovers in America get to spend the next week at BEA, we sit here being green with envy and wishing we were there. BEA is the Book Expo of America, held in New York, where all the bibliophiles of America get to be enticed with new books from publishers. While us poor Australian book bloggers don’t have this kind of opportunity we can still participate with Armchair BEA. This is a virtual conference for people that can’t make it to BEA. Over the next few days I will be joining in with this event and their daily blog post topic suggestions.

I participated in Armchair BEA last year and found it to be a great success for finding great book blogs and for my little blog which was only just starting out. Now I’m older (maybe wiser), I hope this will be another successful event for both me and my blog. Day one is a general introduction, like last year we are given a choice of some questions to answer as a way to introduce ourselves and our blogs. Also today’s genre discussion will revolve around classic literature which I will talk on quickly after the questions.

  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

I think I answered this question last year as well but I wanted to answer it again for any new readers and because I think I have had an interesting reading journey. My name is Michael and before 2009 I wasn’t a reader but then suddenly something clicked and I started becoming obsessed with books. I started this blog a little over a year ago as a way to document my literary explorations and talk about my new addiction.

  • Which is your favourite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

I think this would be My Experience with the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List, the reason I love this post so much is because it serves as a good introduction to me as a reader and blogger. I talk about starting out as a reader and my hunger to discover great literature and also talks about my long term goal of reading the entire list.

  • What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

I would love to visit the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and adopt a book just like Daniel Sempere did, and if you tell me this place doesn’t exist you are only shattering my dreams. In all seriousness there are many places I would love to visit but I think I would have to say Lake Geneva, the birth place of my favourite novel of all time. If I had a choice, it would be during that dark and stormy night in 1816; those romantics are nuts but they are also really interesting people.

  • What is your favourite part about the book blogging community?

I just love the community behind book blogging, I follow some great book bloggers and I hope to discover some more during Armchair BEA. I love reading new reviews and chatting to other bookish people via twitter and comments, it’s just the highlight of blogging. But there is a huge negative that comes with the book blogger community  and that is the way my TBR suffers, I think it grows faster than I can read, I have no idea how I’m ever going to catch up and get it under control.

  • Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

I’d love to see more male book bloggers; it’s hard to find them. I’m not sure if it reflects on the amount of male readers out there; I hope not but I would love to know there are more men out there that share a passion for literature. I’d also like to more bookish opinion posts rather than just book reviews and interviews; there are a lot of things we can talk about on our blogs and I think we fall into the trap of just writing reviews. I know I fall into this trap.

Now that I’ve answered these questions, it’s time to move on to talking about classic literature. As part of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list I will be reading a lot of books that are considered western cannon and I’m looking forward to them most of all.  There are so many books out there I want to read and I feel like I’m still playing catch up with all the ‘must read’ novels. For people starting out with classics I would recommend picking which ever one looks the most interesting. There are classics in all genres and if you love Science Fiction maybe try Philip K Dick or Isaac Asimov, Fantasy try J.R.R. Tolkien or even mysteries I recommend Raymond Chandler or James M Cain.

It’s hard to recommend books to non classic readers, you just have to take your own reading journey and try books that interest you. I’m sure once you experience the joys of reading classics you will want recommendations and I recommend joining something like The Classics Club to challenge yourself to more classics. I don’t want to say too much about classics, I want to take to the conversation to the comments but I’d like to ask some questions of the readers to help the conversation along;

  • What is your favourite classic?
  • Which classic would you like to read but are dreading?
  • Are there any classics that you were presently surprised by?
  • Finally are there classics that just seem too hard and why?

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Banner by Nina of Nina Reads and button by Sarah of Puss Reboots


No Orchids for Miss Blandish by James Hadley Chase

Posted February 6, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Pulp / 0 Comments

No Orchids for Miss Blandish by James Hadley ChaseTitle: No Orchids for Miss Blandish (Goodreads)
Author: James Hadley Chase
Series: Dave Fenner #1
Published: Pan Macmillan, 1969
Pages: 188
Genres: Pulp
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Dave Fenner has been hired to find Miss Blandish, kidnapped three months ago; the police have not found her despite the ransom being paid. The suspected kidnappers have disappeared, but the heiress is in the hands of Ma Grisson and her scary henchman Slim, who has wiped out their rivals and taken possession of the girl. The closer Fenner gets the more horrifying the situations appears; in No Orchids for Miss Blandish.

James Hadley Chase has a written a very raw book with No Orchids for Miss Blandish and you can see the obvious James M Cain influence though out this book. But you can’t really fault Chase for that, Cain was a master at noir and it feels like he has taken the genre to a whole new level. For a book written in 1938 I was surprised to see how violent and sexualised this novel is. But on reflection there was no real mention, Chase just hints very obviously and leaves the rest to the reader’s imagination.

From the very start this book hooks you in and takes you on a very dark journey. Written in three viewpoints you get an interesting perspective of what is going on. This was a gruesome depiction of gang life that puts a lot of the noir successors to shame; James Hadley Chase knows how to hit hard with his disturbing characters, fast pace and realistic violence.

Sure, this book may travel into the realms of predictable but this book moves so fast you don’t have time to stop and think about that. Dave Fenner has the makings of a good protagonist and I can’t wait to see where Chase takes him. There are actually two versions of No Orchids for Miss Blandish, the 1938 version which I was lucky to have read and the 1962 revision, because James Hadley Chase thought the world of 1939 too distant for a new generation of readers. When I get a chance I plan to read the revised edition; I’ve heard that it doesn’t really lose any of the raw and realism but it does have the odd mention of televisions.


Guest Post: Brief Overview of Pulp Fiction – Part 1 (1930’s and 1940’s)

Posted November 25, 2012 by Guest Post in Guest Posts, Literature, Pulp / 11 Comments

In 1887 Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes and the success of his great detective spawned an entire genre of detective fiction that imitates to some degree or another to this date. The light-hearted and relatively straightforward approach towards solving crime reached its pinnacle in what has become known as The Golden Age of crime fiction, the 1920s and 1930s. The large majority of the authors writing in this popular style of fiction were British and this was reflected in the settings and general sense of manners contained within.

The inter-war years were a difficult time both socially and politically and this change in society saw crime fiction edge towards what was a more realistic, and more depressing tone with content that would almost certainly shock the characters found within an Agatha Christie novel. The pioneers for this movement towards realism were, perhaps unsurprisingly, Americans and this style became known as hard-boiled.

Taking its name from the style of preparing eggs that leaves the hard shell intact and the yolk fully solidified, the protagonists of hard-boiled fiction are tough skinned, street wise, sharp tongued and ready to solve a mystery with violence if necessary (and it almost always is.)

These are cops, private detectives, ordinary citizens coming up against prohibition gangsters, organised crime, crooked cops, and looking to stand up for what is morally correct. One lone man against an entire system; grown cynical and expecting the worst of people but hoping for the best, he’s the kind of guy who’s seen every horror and will surely see worse before he solves this case.
Hard-boiled is a naturalistic style of writing combined with a cynical, world-weary attitude. This evolved in to Noir fiction, a genre that is if anything even darker; it’s protagonists are usually morally suspect at best and at worst are degenerates, psychopaths and cold blooded murderers.

The most succinct and accurate definition of the difference between the two styles is this:

Noir is the world. Hard-boiled is the character. You can have Noir without the Hard-boiled, but not the other way around.

Carroll John Daly is credited with creating the first hard-boiled story for Black Mask magazine in the 1920s and his first hard-boiled novel Snarl of the Beast (1927) marks the first of, what I shall deem, the essentials of the genre. At the time Daly was the most popular author of the genre he essentially started but he has since been unfairly labelled a hack (the writers opinion only) for simply not being of the same quality as the famous authors he inspired.

Hot on the heels of Daly was Dashiell Hammett, the former Pinkerton operative turned author, who between 1929 and 1934 published the only novels he ever wrote. At least two of which are widely considered masterpieces of the genre. Red Harvest (1929) featuring the unnamed detective known as The Continental Op and perhaps his most famous work The Maltese Falcon (1930); it’s PI Sam Spade is credited as being the archetype that all other hard-boiled detectives are based on, with his personal detachment from the case and unflinching devotion to ensuring justice his strongest characteristics.

The man who would follow in his footsteps, Raymond Chandler, said of him:

“Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse…He put these people down on paper as they are, and he made them talk and think in the language they customarily used for these purposes.”

A more obscure name with an essential of the genre crops up next, Raoul Whitfield; his debut novel Green Ice (1930) was described by Dashiell Hammett as “280 pages of naked action pounded into tough compactness by staccato, hammerlike writing” but he never seemed to live up to his early success and retired from writing fiction only a few years later.

There are three names that everybody mentions when discussing this period of early hard-boiled American fiction. Hammett is the first, his Maltese Falcon regularly winning polls for best hard-boiled novel also, but to his name you will also find added the words Chandler and Cain.

Raymond Chandler decided to try his hand at writing after losing his job during the Depression and in the process seemed to capture America the way that America wants to be remembered. His hero is Philip Marlowe, his beat is L.A., a brave warrior in the Sam Spade mould but with a softer underbelly. In his classic debut The Big Sleep (1939) we find a PI who likes to drink, is handy in a fight and cynically wisecracks his way through most situations but this is also a man who plays chess, reads poetry and has philosophical questions playing on his mind. The generally acknowledge highpoint in Chandler’s (and Marlowe’s) career would come later with The Long Goodbye (1953) and demonstrates the literary nature of the genre, author and character.

James M. Cain on the other hand was largely active in the noir category; in his major works his characters were not detectives but men corrupted by sex and money. Double Indemnity (1943) is the story of an insurance agent who plots against his employers to get a woman and some money. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934) features a mixture of sexuality and violence in a love triangle situation.

With the big names out of the way I will share two more important figures in the formative years of this genre that are a lot harder to find and therefore more obscure.

Cornell Woolrich, who also wrote with some success under the pseudonym William Irish, is virtually out of print today but his importance on the development of the genre remains. His work more often that not evoked despair and cynicism in the everyday life scenarios and as was the case with the bleaker examples of the genre was more popular in France than America. If you can find them, I recommend The Bride Wore Black (1940) and The Black Angel (1943) as good starting points.

Dorothy B. Hughes is another essential early noir author that few people have heard of. Her In A Lonely Place (1947) has recently been republished as a Penguin Modern Classic and quite rightly so, is a fine example of her tightly plotted and tense approach towards noir and features a truly heinous protagonist in Dix Steele. Amongst her other work The Blackbirder (1943) is a story of fear, paranoia and dread.

In Part Two I’ll be taking a look at the second generation of authors who worked during the boom in paperback fiction of the 1950s.

This is a guest post by blahblahblahtobyYou can find him discussing books on Goodreads, discussing movies on Letterboxd, tweeting nonsense as blahblahblahtoby and on his blog blahblahblahgay, feel free to say hi.

There are literally dozens of great authors and great novels that could have been suggested as essential reading for this guide. The writer of the article went through agonising decisions over who to leave out and is more than aware that your favourite author probably hasn’t been mentioned but feel free to start a discussion in the comments.

This post is part of a four post series exploring the history of Hard-Boiled and Noir Fiction, for recommendations check out each post;

The 1930’s – 1940’s

The 1950’s

The 1960’s – 1980’s 

The 1990’s – Onwards

 


Return of the Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Posted November 4, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Pulp / 0 Comments

Return of the Thin Man by Dashiell HammettTitle: Return of the Thin Man (Goodreads)
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Series: The Thin Man #2
Published: Mysterious Press, 2012
Pages: 320
Genres: Pulp
My Copy: ARC from Netgalley

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Dashiell Hammett is often referred to as one of the ‘Big Three’ when it comes to pulp fiction along with Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain. He is known for his hard-boiled novels turned film noir classics including The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man. Return of the Thin man is a collection of two previously unreleased novellas featuring Nick & Nora Charles from The Thin Man.

While “After the Thin Man” and “Another Thin Man” have been promoted as two never before published novellas, these are basically glorified screen plays by the pulp legend. The cynical ex-detective is back along with his very cleaver wife for some more drinking, flirting and crimes. But you really need to have read or seen The Thin Man before reading this because they are sequels that relay heavily on the character development that has already taken place.

The main problem is there are no stories here; nothing to demonstrate the power of Hammett’s pulp styles. These are just scripts for cashing in on the success of The Thin Man film adaptation. I think they would have worked a lot better if they were made into movies in the 1930’s. It reminds me of the recent movie release of Taken 2; all the plot and character development was in its predecessor, it is just cashing in on the success by trying to continue the story.

As a pulp fan I was looking forward to reading this and I really wanted to love it, but I was very disappointed. This is a gimmick release, not recommended for people new to Dashiell Hammett and Nick & Nora Charles. But if you loved The Thin Man there is a slight pleasure in seeing what Hammett had planned for these characters. The Thin Man was never a favourite of mine, I do really like Nora but for someone interested in trying the author I would recommend The Maltese Falcon or my personal favourite, Red Harvest.


Monthly Review – October 2012

Posted October 31, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

As October comes to a close, we have a quick look back at the month of the book club on Goodreads and our book of the month, The Satanic Verses.  This book got some mixed reviews from the group, there are some unique aspects to the book but it was a very difficult book to read. I’m sure most people are glad that they have now read the book and it does offer some interesting discussion points. I know some people weren’t able to read the book because of the controversy that has kept this book banned in some countries. But that was the risk we took when we decided to support banned book week.

Next month we will celebrate Halloween by reading the creepy and unique book House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. This is part of the Horror theme and while I’ve read some horror novels I don’t think I’ve read a book that would be considered purely horror. So it’s going to be good to read a literary horror book (when it gets here).

For my reading this month I’ve had so much fun reading some great novels and talking books with everyone that listens. Highlights include The Cocktail Waitress; finally James M. Cain’s last novel has been released. Everything you love from the Noir master you will find in the amazing story of the young widow Joan Medford. Also the book that I wanted to win the Man Booker, Swimming Home by Deborah Levy; the Daily Telegraph called this book ‘stealthily devastating’ which pretty much sums up this beautiful book, perfectly. What have you read this month?


The Cocktail Waitress by James M. Cain

Posted October 28, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Pulp / 0 Comments

The Cocktail Waitress by James M. CainTitle: The Cocktail Waitress (Goodreads)
Author: James M. Cain
Series: Hard Case Crime #109
Published: Hard Case Crime, 2012
Pages: 270
Genres: Pulp
My Copy: Hardcover

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Joan Medford is a young beautiful woman in an unhealthy marriage, but when her husband dies in a suspicious car accident, does that mean her life will improve? No, she now has to take a job as a cocktail waitress to make ends meet and somehow make enough money to finally be able to take her son back from her mother in law. On the job, two men take a special interest in her, one really gets Joan’s blood racing and the other is a very wealthy older man who tips very generously if she gives him her attention.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge James M. Cain fan; The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity are two classic noir novels that I highly recommend but there is another side to this author. Cain wrote a very emotionally charged noir novel called Mildred Pierce which makes up the top three essential Cain novels. The Cocktail Waitress really reminds me of Mildred Pierce, you have all the noir elements plus the female protagonist not to mention the emotionally charged plot. This is a previously unfinished novel by Cain but don’t let that worry you, he did finish the novel but he had not finished the revisions before he died, but it took over thirty years for this book to finally come out. The editor, Charles Ardai used Cain’s notes to finish the revisions of this book and it still reads and feels very much what you expect from a book by this Noir master. He was even quoted in saying; “Together with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain is universally considered one of the three greatest writers of noir crime fiction who ever lived, and for fans of the genre, The Cocktail Waitress is the Holy Grail. It’s like finding a lost manuscript by Hemingway or a lost score by Gershwin – that’s how big a deal this is.”

Joan is everything you want from the protagonist; strong, witty and beautiful. She knows what she want (her son back) and she is determined to make her life better on her own. But the drama of working in a cocktail lounge might be a little too much for her. Her mother in law is now convinced that cocktail waitress is just code from something more. Joan’s on a mission and won’t let anyone or anything stand in her way; which makes her a great femme fatale.

The Cocktail Waitress is a fast paced, hard hitting novel with complexity; a well-crafted book that was just a joy to read.  I loved the sinister elements that transported this from just an emotional journey to a classic James M. Cain style noir novel. I’m so glad that Charles Ardai took the time and effort in finishing this book so we can all enjoy it. If you liked Mildred Piece then you are going to love reading The Cocktail Waitress.

“Here, long after anyone would have expected it, is the voice of James M. Cain, as fresh and as relevant as ever. The Cocktail Waitress will involve you, and then shock you with an ending you’ll never forget. This is a true rarity: a reader’s novel that’s also a literary event.” – Stephen King


Drive by James Sallis

Posted May 24, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Pulp / 0 Comments

Drive by James SallisTitle: Drive (Goodreads)
Author: James Sallis
Series: Drive #1
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006
Pages: 168
Genres: Pulp
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Amazon (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I’ve been thinking about this book a bit lately and I’ve put off reviewing the book for a week because I wanted some time to collect my thoughts. First of all, most people who know me know how much I love the old hard-boiled and noir novels. But modern noir has been a little off putting for me simply because I never feel they can get the tone and style right and for the most part, they don’t. Now when I think of James Sallis’ Drive, I don’t think this at all. To put it simply, I love and adore the way he went about writing this book.

Drive tells the story of a man simply known throughout the book as Driver; a stunt driver for Hollywood and a getaway driver on the side. This book is so non-linear that I do worry if I tell more about the story I might be giving away something that should be discovered by reading this book. This is a short novel that is jammed pack full of a fantastic noir story that could hold its own against Noir greats like The Postman Always Rings Twice or The Killer Inside Me.

There was so much to like about this book but there were also some things that really bugged me as well. Driver is a mysterious protagonist but I felt he talked far too much for something that would have been more suited as the strong silent type. I’m not sure if he was supposed to be written that way but for me, the impression I received from the character and whenever he spoke, didn’t seem to fit my image of him. There has been a recent movie made about this book and I’m keen to see it but I have a feeling there will be a huge difference between the book and movie. I can see a linear story (which I’m ok with) but I can also see them doing the Hollywood thing and try to make a romantic connection between Driver and one of the women from this book. All in all, this book is well worth reading and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel Driven.