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Driving Short Distances

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Sam is 27 and needs to get a job. Keith, who claims to be a second cousin of his (absent) father, offers him one. On Keith’s card it says he does ‘distribution and delivery’, which seems to consist of ‘a lot of driving around, getting out of the car for a few minutes and then getting back in’, Sam tells his mother. And so the days go by, Keith driving to a trading estate, ...more
Hardcover, first, 128 pages
Published August 24th 2017 by Jonathan Cape
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  187 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Harvey Molloy
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece. The depth of the characters, the careful observation of the finest details, the understated humour and the willingness to look into the absurd; all work together in this beautiful book. The illustration, lettering and colouring all give you the sense that you're in limbo. It's all so real and so dreamlike. No other work I know has thought so carefully about nostril hair or about the peculiar relationships you can find yourself in at work.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
First time for me to read a graphic novel. A fun read I have to say. Interesting plot. A wonderful combination of text and images, especially the end is fantastic!

Sam, 28 years old, is employed by Keith. Who is basically driving around in his Audi A4 from industrial estate to industrial estate. Something to do with distribution and delivery. The cover of the book speaks for itself. Sam sits next to Keith in the car listening to Keith' stories. Classic dialogues. It is not a spoiler when I say
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
My first experience of a graphic novel: a coming-of-age tale of someone who should have come-of-age years ago. With a cast of beautifully crafted characters and an original artistic style, Driving Short Distances has moments of laugh-out-loud humour and melancholy in equal measure. A wonderful book, blending the mundane aspects of everyday life (from meaty pasties to trading estates) with the universal human dilemma of finding your place in the world.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is wonderful.
Michele Brooker
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Normal, everyday life in all is mundanity. Nothing much happens on the surface but there's a lot simmering away underneath in the lives of these completely likeable characters.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Leanne Wain
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
edit: I'm bumping this up to 5 stars because it's been 4 days and I'm still thinking about the Reception Area Bingo spread and laughing.

I read this in about an hour and thoroughly enjoyed the sort of tragicomedy mundanity.

The artwork is a sketchy, watercoloury mixture of plain white spaces, browns and blues, with a whimsical eye for detail and the absurd. There was one spread of Reception Area bingo that had me belly laughing.

Sam is a 27 year old former art student, back home at his mum’s after
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it

3.5 Stars!

“A town of fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, uncles, councillors, garage-owners, newsagents, estate agents, possible freemasons, key janglers and coinshakers, tyre kickers, military memorabiliasts, card carriers and wearer of very strong aftershave…They’ve almost become celebrities to me.”

After a series of personal failures and setbacks and a recent stay in hospital, Sam has to retreat and revert back to a life of simplicity and baby steps, by living back at home with his mother. He
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
mul on tugev kahtlus, et see raamat räägib tegelikult midagi olulist meestest ja nendevahelistest suhetest, aga et ma ei saa sellest aru.

"I see them everywhere... these men. A whole town of men.

A town of fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, uncles, councillors, garage-owners, newsagents, estate agents, possible Freemasons, key janglers and coinshakers, tyre kickers, military memorabiliasts, card carriers and wearers of very strong aftershave... They've almost become celebrities to me."

minu jaoks
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very unusual book; a graphic novel about Sam and Keith, and about man’s identity in today’s world. Beautifully drawn, it charts the work relationship of the two characters, portraying their dreams, fears and vulnerabilities. The exchanges between the principal characters and the bit players are beautifully narrated, capturing the real essence buried in ordinary conversation. The background is full of men in a variety of roles: father, boss, grandfather, co-worker, shop assistant, all ...more
Joe Decie
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's set mostly on small town trading estates. I really like small town trading estates.

The beauty of this book is the quiet little story told through believable, well observed characters, with wonderful dialogue. It's a very rare thing in comics, but Joff does it impecably.

If you want fast paced action, this comic is not for you. If you'd rather a gentile suburban tale, one with nuance and substance, buy this book.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Did everyone else read a different graphic novel to me? Let's see - a twenty something recovering from a spate of ill health is offered a job by a bloke who drives an Audi. Most of the book is spent either in the car waitimg for the driver to get back in and go to the next place, or eating a pasty bought from the same awful bakery. Why is this funny? Why is it clever? If you want to be recommended a brilliant graphic novel, try MAUS. Sorry Mr Winterhart.
Brian Mulhall
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant book about failure and taking small steps to appreciate the small pocket of life we all originate back from. I loved this. The drawings are wonderfully detailed, the dialogue and thought process of our main character and his relationship with his boss is touching. The colours are often muted but come to life when they need to be.

Will read it again very soon!
Koen Claeys
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Following his excellent debut 'Days of the Bagnold Summer' Winterhart once again proves to be a master in making sequential art about life-as-it-sometimes-unfortunately-is. With a smile and a tear he zooms in on an intimate gray reality and conquers his reader in a penetrating way with his striking observations.
Mateen Mahboubi
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Somehow better than Winterhart's Days of Bagnold Summer which I loved. Not much happens over the course of the volume but at the same time you leave knowing the main characters so well. A joy of a book.
M Pereira
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this feels very very much like the story of my post uni life. I feel a special warmth about how utterly boring this book is. boring and mundane in a most beautiful and realistic way this text captures life and masculinity with great accuracy
Michael Norwitz
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
At first I was anticipating gentle Eddie Campbell-esque anecdotes, but after a while the story only seemed completely aimless, and by the end of it barely counted as a 'story.'
G Batts
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story was devastating. So minutely observed that you can feel yourself getting sucked into the sinkhole of restless low mood that comes from purposeless.
James Duffy
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Acutely observed, with genuine insight and warmth. Possibly my favourite book so far this year.
Chris Lilly
Exquisite story about nothing very much, but incredibly important nothing-very-muches. Touching, acutely observed, and really rather brilliant. Geoff Crozier would approve. Possibly.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this could have been my life had I have stayed in my home town.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I love the illustrations in this GN. Everyone just seems so real. And the story is great and relatable to anyone whose life hasn't quite turned out how they thought it would (yet).
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Deftly observed, occasionally touching, and gently amusing.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Sort of depressing graphic novel, largely about dysfunctional relationships.
Ji Le
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
La pudique description d'une relation fragile et étonnante entre deux êtres que tout oppose, et reliés par un mystérieux travail. Les dessins sortent du cadre et sont magnifiques. Une découverte.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny and insightful
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A true masterpiece which tenderly examines the frailty of male relationships and the absurdity of English life. I saw so much of my own upbringing in the acutely observed details that I couldn't help but feel moved by the quiet beauty on display here. Winterhart is also genius at using the form to set up and execute visual gags. More than once this had me howling with laughter. Funny, poignant, heartbreaking, clever. Loved it.
Rebecca Willison
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely perfect. I really want to know the joke that has the punchline 'two cold kebabs and a blow job' but I'm scared to google it!
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Melancholic graphic novel about a young man and an old man looking for meaning in their existence.
rated it really liked it
Jul 17, 2018
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Joff Winterhart is an illustrator, film-maker and plays drums in his band, Bucky. He lives in Bristol, where he walks his greyhound, Peep-Peep. He is the author of Days of the Bagnold Summer, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Award for Best Novel.