From Publishers Weekly
Plaut decided to become a New York City cabbie after getting laid off from a job as an advertising copywriter, then began posting about her interactions with patrons on a blog that forms the backbone of this memoir. The anecdotal structure has its weaknesses, repeating the cycle of passengers getting in the cab, engaging in conversation with Plaut, then leaving either a generous tip or a lousy one. There are also a number of scenes set at the garage, where she slowly develops a friendship with a 62-year-old transsexual driver while struggling to avoid another senior cabbie with bladder control problems. Plaut's growing dissatisfaction with the job provides the memoir with an emotional undercurrent. She has trouble shaking off the feeling that she's wasting her potential, and the drain of interacting with abusive passengers and a hostile police force eventually sets her to dreaming of dying in a car crash. In the end, however, she's grown more comfortable with her fate, ready to continue circling the streets looking for fares. Her storytelling technique may be uneven in this debut, but it shows promise. (Sept.)
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Getting laid off can be a door opened, even a golden opportunity, as Plaut found when her advertising job ended, freeing her from trying to plan the rest of her days and to concentrate on what would be next, driving a cab in the Big Apple. What with licensing and fingerprinting fees, a medical exam, taxi school, and a test, becoming a hack wasn't easy. Moreover, being a hack meant being, as a woman, part of only 1-percent of her profession, not to mention belonging to a cohort liberally salted with bizarre characters. While not the only woman in her For-Hire-Vehicle Driver class, she was the only U.S.-born citizen. Many other students had fallen from elevated standings in their native lands to a lowly one in a land of opportunity that offered them few options. The three-day course emphasized the basicshit the streets early and don't get lost, stuck in traffic, ticketed, or in an accidentand the real learning came strictly on the job, as Plaut's sad, funny, enjoyable account reports. Scott, Whitney