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The Driver: My Dangerous Pursuit of Speed and Truth in the Outlaw Racing World Hardcover – October 16, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


“...this is more than a testosterone cocktail of a memoir. It’s a joy ride...” (Los Angeles Times)

“…highly entertaining insider’s look at the world of high-stakes, high-octane, high-risk road rallies…. Roy writes with enthusiasm and with a novelist’s sense of pacing and character. The book is so good, so filled with color and adrenaline, that it plays out like a movie in your mind.” (Booklist (starred review))

About the Author

Alexander Roy has been driving in international road rallies since 2003. He finished first in the 2006 Gumball 3000 and set a new speed record from New York to Los Angeles, making the nearly 3,000-mile drive in a staggering 32 hours and 7 minutes. When he is not on the road, he lives in New York City.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1 edition (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061227935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061227936
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By K. Bomengen on October 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There have been 3 books in my life that were so captivating that putting them down was unthinkable, The Driver just pushed that number to 4. Having been a long time fan of Alex Roy, it was intriguing to read about the details of what has only been rumored until now. Describing his early life, his reasons for following a life of driving, and documenting a truly remarkable accomplishment of the US transcontinental land speed record; this book keeps the reader engaged.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever stared at an open road and wondered what might be possible.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By M. Strong on May 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As much as I disapprove of what Alex Roy does (and I truly do), I couldn't help but get a guilty, vicarious thrill reading this book. Alex Roy participates in road rallies and cross-country runs for speed, often clipping along at speeds well into triple digits (how does 175 mph strike you?) on public roads. No matter how many safety precautions you take, that's putting the lives of non-participants at risk and there are plenty of legal ways to get your car onto the track if you want to drive fast safely. Lecture over, my immature half will now commence the review.

I stayed up late reading this book despite writing that is disjointed and frequently hard to follow because I just loved hearing about the antics of the guys who drive these rallies. I am always curious how these guys get away with driving the way they do, how frequently they get caught and what happens when they do. This book answers those questions.

What was unexpected for me was the level of technology and preparation that Roy and a couple other drivers put into these rallies and cross-country runs. Roy's penultimate achievement is setting the record for driving fastest from New York to LA in just 31 hours and 4 minutes. He uses police scanners programmed with the frequency of each state's highway patrol, infrared cameras for night driving, gyroscope-stabilized binoculars and a spotter plane - yep, a plane.

If you've harbored the same questions I have about how and why these guys rally, if you like technology and planning, if you have a kernel of resistance to authority in your personality, if you like cars a little too much, you too might find yourself staying awake too late into the night reading this book. Even if you do disapprove of what these guys do.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Best on January 3, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I managed to pretty much read the entire book in one sitting during a long haul flight. When I bought it I thought it was a true story, then when I started reading I was thinking 'there's no way this is true, did I grab a fiction title instead'. I was so glad when I could do some research and find that yep, it all did happen. Wow!

It reads like a Boys Own Adventure, an insight to a culture that only a few of us could ever be a part of. The term 'page turner' is something that is thrown around quite a lot, but the pace that this book sets compels you to read at the same pace as the cars. It not only looks at the technical side, but also the human element - the effect that such endeavours have on all those involved, not just the drivers and copilots.

As far as the story goes, it's 5 stars without a doubt, but I had to take one off for delivery. There were times that I wished a bit more detail was given or that the story continued a little longer - a prime example was when Alex was finally introduced to 'Torquenstein'. Other times I was left thinking 'what just happened' and found myself flicking back the pages to see if I missed anything.

So although the author isn't a professional writer, and there is some evidence of that throughout the book, he is a great story teller - and what a story. If you like a good go-fast book you can devour at maximum pace, I'd say go for it. If you are a literary pedant who likes everything just right - the story being secondary - then you may find some of the delivery distracting and might be better sticking with Jane Austen et al.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Don Pritchett on May 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this was a great read ... whenever I put the book(my Kindle actually) down, I was anxious to pick it up again and continue reading. While Alex Roy in his Team Polizei BMW M5 is engaging in activities that are illegal -- road rallies and cross-country runs for speed, often triple digit speeds on public roads -- I couldn't help but get a vicarious guilty pleasure in hearing how these guys do it, and was impressed with the detailed planning and considerable technology involved. I'm a fan of F1 and ALMS racing, and its the endurance and off-track nature of Roy's activity that adds the spice. I'm no more likely to try to drive non-stop cross-country in 31 hours than I am to get a contract with Ferrari to drive in F1, but that doesn't mean you can't get some enjoyment out of the activities of those who do.

If you're a gadget freak of any worth, you can't help but be impressed by the quantity (and high $dollar$ value)of the tech employed in evading traffic stops. I use a radar detector myself on long-distance trips, but Roy adds multiple scanners and CB radios, GPS's, cell phones, thermal and night vision imaging devices, night vision binoculars and even a spotter plane to his tech arsenal.

If you check You Tube, you can find actual video of many of the stories/events that he tells about in the book. There may be some embellishment in the book, but not as much as you might think.

The book is not Shakespeare but I think he does a good job of relating the story -- it made me feel like sort of like he was sitting across the table at the pizza joint telling me his tale. And for all those folks who are hung up on the police evading, illegal, dangerous nature of the activity ... do you watch any crime shows on TV, or any movies involving robberies?
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