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Driven Paperback – April 3, 2012

45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The enigmatic loner known as Driver, introduced in 2005's "Drive", takes to the road again after two thugs assault him and his fiancee on a Phoenix street in this terse, brutal, poetic, perfectly wrought sequel." --"Publishers Weekly", starred review"Imagine the heart of Jim Thompson beating in the poetic chest of James Sallis and you'll have some idea of the beauty, sadness and power of "Drive."..[it] has more thought, feeling and murderous energy than books twice its length."--"Chicago Tribune", praise for "Drive "

About the Author

JAMES SALLIS is the author of the popular Lew Griffin novels and over a dozen other books, including the biography ""Chester Himes, ""a ""New York Times ""Notable Book. He has been short-listed for the Anthony, Nebula, Edgar, Shamus, and Gold Dagger awards. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
""An ""Entertainment Weekly ""Top 10 Book of 2005
A ""Washington Post ""Best Book of 2005""

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 147 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; First Edition edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1464200114
  • ISBN-13: 978-1464200113
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Sallis has published sixteen novels including the Lew Griffin series, The Killer Is Dying and Drive, from which the Cannes-winning film derived, plus multiple collections of stories, poems and essays, the standard biography of African-American writer Chester Himes, three books of musicology, and a translation of Raymond Queneau's novel Saint Glinglin. Jim has received a lifetime achievement award from Bouchercon, the Hammett Award for literary excellence in crime writing, and the Grand Prix de Littérature policière. Recent books include the novel Others of My Kind and Black Night's Gonna Catch Me Here: New and Selected Poems. A new novel, Willnot, is due shortly from Bloomsbury.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David on April 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Others have summarized the plot well. This is hardcore noir--people either speak in extremely short, terse sentences or like university psychology or physics professors. Most of the living quarters are roach infested. Characters have, at most, one name. The bad guys are always able to track down the hero, without any explanation of how. The action begins immediately and the book is very short. The action scenes are exciting, but the characters are stick figures. There is a great deal of violence. Ryan Gosling did a wonderful drive bringing the hero to life in Drive--a better job than the author does on the page.

This is a treat for noir lovers and not bad for noir haters.

It is a terrible shame that The Driver never teamed up with Richard Stark's Parker.
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Format: Paperback
I have always regarded James Sallis as one of the most skilled writers in the US of any genre. Despite the darkness and the sometimes excessive violence of his latest noir thrillers, Sallis's ability to say much in few words and to convey tension without being melodramatic is awe-inspiring. His dialogue, usually terse, says all that needs to be said, and his ability to create perfect images in few words is unparalleled. "Minimalism" takes on new meaning in his hands.

His novel Drive, recently made into a hit film starring Ryan Gosling, precedes Driven, and both are short novels which lack the fully developed characters one finds in Sallis's other novels. Drive, the story of a man who works as a stunt driver by day and as the driver of getaway cars by night, is full of violence, and the body count in the book and film is extremely high, some of the deaths coming at the hands of Driver himself as payback for egregious betrayals. At the end of the novel and film, Driver gets into his car and drives, seriously wounded.

Driven begins six years later. Driver has been keeping a low profile under the pseudonym of Paul West in Phoenix, and he has been successful in avoiding trouble - and in falling in love with Elsa. The novel starts with a bang, however. On page one, Driver and Elsa are attacked on a Saturday morning, and though Driver manages to disable one attacker, the second one fatally stabs Elsa before Driver can take care of him. He has no idea who the attackers are or why he was selected for attack, and even more attacks follow, but as a friend tells him, "Those you seek are wolves. Wolves do not wish to be found, they are themselves the hunters...They survive, they thrive, on their cunning." Ultimately, the book's body count equals that of Drive.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
After Driver killed Bernie Rose, he felt remorse for the first time (see Drive) since he began his obsessed revenge vendetta. He decided the time was right to move on and end his vengeance killing spree.

Seven years later, thirtyish Paul West enjoys his middle class life in Phoenix. His dream shatters on a Saturday morning while walking with his fiancée Elsa. Two men attack them; killing Elsa before he can kill them. Driver is back as Paul dies when he sees Elsa die. His friend former Ranger Felix helps him temporarily hide, but his enemies keep on coming. This time two vehicles with hit men wait for Driver who is more Driven now then he was seven years ago.

The return of Driver will elate fans especially with the movie of the first thriller coming. The antihero fights back against his adversaries with renewed feral vigor fueled by his watching Elsa take her last breath. He knows one thing: those who arranged the hit will die. Action-packed from the opening assault on a Phoenix street, the accelerator never breaks even at the finish line as Driver is Driven by his new mission.

Harriet Klausner
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on April 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you made it to the Cineplex to see Ryan Gossling in Nichols Nefn's neo-noir masterpiece, "Drive," don't wait to see if there's going to be a sequel - you can read in now. "Driven" is James Sallis' brilliant follow-up to his dark tale of Driver, a 26 year-old reclusive Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a robbery wheelman. Driver is now 32, living as Paul West in Phoenix, having gone-to-ground to escape the mobsters he dispatched in the first episode. Or so he thought. Sallis wastes no time getting to the action and violence; the first page hasn't turned before Driver leaves two would-be killers broken and dying on the pavement. From here out the formula is straightforward - Driver, with some assistance from the shadowy Gulf War vet Felix - brutally retires a seemingly endless parade of thugs send to kill him, while he soups up an inconspicuous Ford Fairlane and hunts down those behind the repeated attempted hits.

This is a simple story, a fast read that could be mediocre were it not delivered by James Sallis. Despite its brevity, the talented Sallis packs more imagery and power into 140 pages than the average crime writer could muster in 1,000; that rare brand of prose that is atmospheric without being bloated. This is lean, stripped down fiction, reminiscent of Jim Thompson or Raymond Chandler, but more elegantly told in sentences that, despite the grisly fare, read more like poetry than pulp fiction.

Like its predecessor "Drive," "Driven" is American crime writing at its best, and James Sallis is the unsung master of the genre. If you haven't discovered him yet - with or without Ryan Gossling - this quick pair of novels is a great place to make the acquaintance.
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