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The Driver: My Dangerous Pursuit of Speed and Truth in the Outlaw Racing World Paperback – October 14, 2008
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“…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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Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever stared at an open road and wondered what might be possible.
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.
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.
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?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a wholistic approach to performance driving with emphasis on a lot of basicsPublished 1 month ago by M-Diddy
Alex's years long search for the Driver, inspired by his father, is a journey of self discovery.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Maybe it's directed toward a younger audience than those who have conscious memory of the Cannonball and Gumball movies... Read morePublished 2 months ago by WalterRohrl
This book is written sloppily, there are still spelling errors, and the conversation is a little difficult to follow. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Josh Lichman
great story read twice and will always keep book. although this book was written only a few years ago sadly times have changed with horrible violence being commited and police... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Roy has always been a great story teller and this recount of his record drive is no exception. I would also recommend watching the movie afterwards.Published 8 months ago by Russell Turnbull
Riveting. This is the kind of book that makes you find time to read.Published 8 months ago by R. Young