Very good meta-romp of a novel disguised as a slasher film, chock full of nods to classic horror slashers, and some inventive verbs that movie fans wi...moreVery good meta-romp of a novel disguised as a slasher film, chock full of nods to classic horror slashers, and some inventive verbs that movie fans will appreciate (like: the killer "Hoddering" after his victim). The style is unique and rather like reading a screenplay, but that has its limitations in that the narrative seemed to lack characterization while also speeding a bit too fast through scenes. I had to re-read a couple parts to get the mental image. It took a bit to adjust to the style, which reminded me of reading Palahniuk's PYGMY, another novel with a unique voice/style throughout. But once you get the cadence down, and once you get to the bloody third act, you'll be hooked.(less)
Just a great, great book. JDO's Oklahoma setting is grimy and dirty and real and fantastic, as are the characters that inhabit the place, especially D...moreJust a great, great book. JDO's Oklahoma setting is grimy and dirty and real and fantastic, as are the characters that inhabit the place, especially Danny Ames.
I love Danny Ames. He's more than a simple badass strongarm. He's got a momma and a little brother. Thomas was the good boy in the family, and Danny takes so much pride in that. When Thomas goes missing, Danny is hellbent on finding him. It becomes just as much of a search for the only good part of himself. Danny put Thomas through school, and let people know that whenever he could. But now Thomas is involved in some shady dealings, and Danny knows that his own bad influence is to blame. That he's just as responsible for Thomas's disappearance as those behind it. His pain is as much over losing his brother as it is for being his mother's surviving son, the bad one that she failed at raising up right.
As the narrative goes on, Danny begins to lose teeth. One by one, they come loose and he nonchalantly spits them out. JDO doesn't bother explaining this, but he doesn't have to. For me, losing his teeth represents Danny's own rottenness. Danny's a violent man, so deep into drugs and their surrounding world that he can't see the other side anymore. And once Thomas goes missing, it's like the final piece of him that had any redeeming value is gone, and he begins to rot away.
J. David Osborne is in select company after this one. Sallis, Piccirilli, Donald Ray Pollock, JDO - all must-buys and must-reads from here on out. He's that good, and LDDRE is the proof. It reads like it was written by a young Cormac McCarthy who grew up in the age of cellphones. This isn't bluster, it's truth. I implore you to check it out and decide for yourself. (less)
I dug the tech but didn't give a shit about the main character, or really any of the characters at all. Wilson tries hard to show us how frightening t...moreI dug the tech but didn't give a shit about the main character, or really any of the characters at all. Wilson tries hard to show us how frightening technology without humanity behind it can be, but he forgot to give us compelling humans. Maybe he just prefers writing about robots.(less)
Can a sequel be better than the first book? In this case, I think so, though there's more to it. This might take a minute to make my point, but follow...moreCan a sequel be better than the first book? In this case, I think so, though there's more to it. This might take a minute to make my point, but follow me here.
This is the sequel to novel DRIVE, which was made into a movie starring Ryan Gosling. (hey girl, read the fucking books, too) I fucking loved that movie. I saw it before I read the book, and I'm kind of glad I did. After reading DRIVE post-movie-viewage, I found the book to be quite a bit more distracting and random, less focused than I had been expecting. The movie, of course, changes quite a bit while still maintaing the tone of the novel, but after being able to compare the two stories side by side, I preferred Hollywood's plot, which almost never happens. It was tighter, less random, more focused.
About a month after I finally read DRIVE, I got the sequel DRIVEN from the library. It's really more of a continuation than a true sequel. This isn't a new story that happens to be about the character Driver, it's a conclusion to one of the storylines from the original novel, giving it more of a focus than the first. But without the original, there would be no DRIVEN, so the two really go hand-in-hand. This book finishes what the first started and really gives more of a fleshed-out image of Driver.
So, I liked this book more than the first, but only because of the first and what this one carried to a conclusion. Therefore, my advice is read them both, back-to-back, then go rent the movie if you haven't seen it yet.(less)