Tag: modern noir

Driven by James Sallis

Posted July 22, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Pulp / 0 Comments

Driven by James SallisTitle: Driven (Goodreads)
Author: James Sallis
Series: Drive #2
Published: Poisoned Pen Press, 2012
Pages: 158
Genres: Pulp
My Copy: eBook

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

I really enjoyed Drive, the writing, style and non-linear story, so I was interested to see where this story would go with the sequel. The first major issue with Driven is that it tries to continue a story that really didn’t need to be continued. Now, Driver seems different. Driver’s campaign against those who double-crossed him has ended; now seven years have passed and Driver has a new life and a successful business. One day, he and his fiancée were attacked by two men and while Driver can defend himself, his fiancée is killed. Driver finds that his past is catching up him. Will he face it?

I feel let down by this book, like this was more of a gimmick to follow the success of the movie adaptation of Drive rather than a continuation of Driver’s story. The noir voice is still there but the non-linear story has disappeared and the book ends in an unsatisfying way. Even though Driver has undertaken a transformation, his personality doesn’t seem to suit the character I got to know in the first book. The plot never lived up to its predecessor and this just made this book a weak attempt of a sequel.

I’m not going to lie, I did enjoy this book but having recently read Drive, this book just can’t live up to it. Personally I think there is no real reason to continue the story of Driver; he is a great character but trying to tell the readers what happened to him after he got his revenge seems redundant and unnecessary. The new characters weren’t that great and the shady Felix had so much potential. I wanted to enjoy this book so much more but I continually compared it to Drive and in the end that was this book’s downfall.


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.