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In the Driver's Seat (Vintage Contemporaries) Kindle Edition

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Length: 192 pages

Editorial Reviews


“Witty, wise and stirring. . . . Simpson's stories sing.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review “Helen Simpson is mordantly funny and unafraid of life's big issues, such as love, aging, and war.” —The Atlantic “Trenchant yet tender. . . .There is a shrewd intelligence at play in these stories and a hip, articulate voice that snaps and crackles with bursts of quirky energy.” —The Boston Globe“Dark and artfully funny.” —Vanity Fair “Proof that the most domestic setting can lend itself to ferocious satire, fantasy and terrifyingly recognizable portraits of people's worst moments. There's no one as sharp, or as funny, as Simpson on motherhood's emotional costs and its pleasures. In the Driver's Seat is not to be missed.” —Newsday “This wicked little book dares you to laugh at dirty, serious things.” —St. Petersburg Times “Helen Simpson's short stories read like cautionary tales about the ravages of parenthood, harrowing dispatches from the front lines of middle-class family life. . . . Wonderful.” —The New York Times Book Review

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Helen Simpson is the author of three collections of short stories, Getting a Life, Four Bare Legs in a Bed (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award) and Dear George, as well as one novel, Flesh and Grass. She lives in London with her husband and two children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 261 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (December 18, 2008)
  • Publication Date: December 18, 2008
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001ODEPJ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,380,835 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on May 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Helen Simpson is an accomplished and awarded British writer. This is her fourth collection of short stories, and she has also published a novella. Her stories are enjoyable vignettes on the lives of ordinary British people - generally women. They are thoughtful and sometimes funny, wise and often witty. Simpson does a bit of tongue in cheek as her characters maneuver through their days or moments.

One of my favorites, "Early One Morning" describes a mother and her youngest son as they share time in the car on the way to school. They pick up a couple of other students and the mother chooses to let the kids talk to each other without adding her comments - thereby hearing things they might never think to say to an adult. While they talk, she also realizes that it won't be long before her son no longer needs these rides every day - that by age eleven he will be independently taking the bus. It's a sweet story and truthful to the way that kids act. The final moment is especially touching.

The title piece, "In the Driver's Seat," covers another ride in a car. This time the driver is the car owner's boyfriend-and he is driving too fast. The owner keeps asking him to slow down, but he is intent on showing off or showing power to both the owner and the story's narrator in the back seat. The narrator wonders if he is always like this - and wonders also about their relationship.

The original title piece, "Constitutional," is the ruminations of a teacher taking a walk around the neighborhood park on her lunch hour. She passes the same sights every day, but things change with the seasons. Different people are in the park each day, and she thinks about them as she walks by. She has it timed so that she can make the circle of her walk within her allotted time.
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By Coley on March 19, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a writer-what talent. Every woman should read her books-she captures all the angst and deep enjoyment of being a mother, wife and woman. Love her stuff.
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