Tony Viardo's Reviews > The Car Thief

The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner
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May 18, 12

Read in May, 2012

The Car Thief is about a teen with so much angst, it brought me straight back to high school. Alex Housman is a kid from Flint, Michigan who steals cars but wouldn't be able to tell you why. I can imagine James Dean at his best trying to play this guy's pain, but not quite capturing it. He loves his father, but can't express it. His alcoholic, blue-collar father loves him, but is just as inept. They've both been abandoned by mother/wife and it pains them in ways they can't talk about, but obviously comes out in their daily movements. And then there's the girl that Alex is addicted to seeing, but can't bring himself to really show affection. (Again, right back in high school for me)

I thought I was going to sit down with a deep, literary tome that I'd have to struggle through. But no, Car Thief reads like a thriller... really, because Weesner has a way of getting you engrossed in the characters, that you care about everything they do.

It's very rare that you find a book that rises to the level of enduring literature, yet is written in such plain, simple, honest language, that it stays true to the blue collar world that it describes so well. This book is gripping in that way. So much humanity you derive from the relationships in this story, without even consciously knowing your absorbing it. That's great literature. The very best kind in my opinion, the kind that can touch anyone, whether they're English majors or factory workers; whether they're high shool students or baby boomers. A beautiful read, whether you're in the mood for deep literary thought, or a simple family story. I couldn't recommend this book more.
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