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Long Drive Home

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,234 ratings  ·  428 reviews
A riveting second novel by Will Allison, author of the acclaimed What You Have Left. A happily married suburban father makes a mistake that results in a teenager's death and sends his own life into a devastating tailspin. Written as a confessional letter, the book is a fascinating and moving cautionary tale that explores the moral ambiguities of personal responsibility as ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Free Press
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Average rating 3.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,234 ratings  ·  428 reviews

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Peter Derk
Aug 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
The premise is pretty good. A guy is driving his daughter home from school, and as they head into the neighborhood they come across a maniacal driver, a guy who cuts them off, nearly bashes right into their car, and then speeds around the block. As he's coming back around at about 80 MPH, the father driving his daughter decides to jerk the wheel towards the other driver and then back the other way, an aggressive driving move to try and slow the guy down.

Well, it works, slowing him down from 80 t
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
"Long Drive Home" by Will Allison may be a relatively small book of only 224 pages, but it packs a huge punch for the reader. Undoubtedly this novel will leave a huge impact on any one who is lucky enough to pick up this book. The beauty of this novel lies in the simplicity with which the author has tackled an immensely complicated and intricate subject. The premise is clear, and the question is: What happens when a single mistake, made in an unknowing and angry moment, causes your world to impl ...more
Cindi (Utah Mom’s Life)
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
This review originally published on Utah Mom's Life Blog :

Will Allison's second novel Long Drive Home is the story of one bad decision. One second. One reaction. And the many consequences that follow.

It could happen to any one of us and perhaps that is what makes this novel so powerful. Get behind the wheel of a car and suddenly many of us seem to forget that there are other real people driving the other cars on the road. The dangerous driver speeding and
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a YA book without a YA character, unless you count the victim. Told from the point of view of the father, the story begins innocently enough with a drive home with Glen's 6 year old daughter Sara in the back seat. Confronted by a reckless driver, Glen jerks his car in the direction of the seemingly irresponsible kid to scare him. The other car goes off the road, hits a tree, and the young driver is killed instantly. Glen's first impulse is to lie about his actions - even though Sara saw ...more
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Glen Bauer would consider himself a pretty good driver. He always stopped at red lights and used his turn signal. Though that all changed all day. A young man talking on the phone and driving a Jag cut in front of Glen, nearly missing hitting him and just kept driving. Glen decided to let the incident pass and take his six year old daughter, Sara home. Glen is approaching their driveway, when he spots the young driver again. This time Glen decides to teach the man a lesson. Glen steers the car t ...more
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011, won
It sure was a long drive home for Glen Bauer! Too bad he wasn't carrying a four leaf clover or a rabbit's foot, poor man! What seemed to be any ol' day became a nightmare ... all because he gave into road rage.

After being accosted and emasculated by a stranger in front of his six year old daughter, Glen was understandably left hot under the collar and it spilled over to the rest of his drive home. Which eventually lead him to decide to teach another driver a lesson that consequently ended
Diane Chamberlain
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I wanted to shake this guy to make him do the right thing, and he did the wrong thing at almost every turn. Yet I understood why, and that's the sign of a good storyteller. I like characters who are neither black or white but shades of gray, and Allison gives us a couple of flawed all-too-human beings in this story.
Donna McBroom-Theriot
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Sins of the father and the innocence of a child; oh, what a tangle web we weave, when at first we do deceive. I read this book in one sitting. It was a book that I could not make myself put down. It held me spellbound. It brought back thoughts of things I have done that could have taken a very wrong turn. I guess that makes this confession time.
I live along a bayou going that runs to the gulf; one road in, and one road out. Due to a bridge closure, the traffic has been very heavy. I was on my
May 30, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tina Peterson
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - although I'm not quite finished with it yet. Glen Bauer is a father on his way home from picking up his 6 year old Sara. During the drive one thing after another happens and what turns out to be a very bad day happens. On the way home he is involved in a traffic accident in which a teenage boy is killed. What ensues is a first person account of Glen's story, the guilt he feels, the soul searching and the decision he makes about what could of been his role in the ...more
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
First, I do not know how anyone could rate this book with one star?

Allison's characters were all very believable to me and I thought the plot was very well thought out.

If you are honest with yourself, you will admit you could easily be Glen.

I felt angry and sorry for Glen. His wife Liz's line was drawn in the sand indicating just where she stood in the situation and relationship. At first I thought her reaction was a bit over the top, but then after finding out she grew up with an attorney for
Mary Chrapliwy
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This well thought out tale by Will Allison was spellbinding, nearly impossible to put down. It's a story about how the actions of two people behind the wheel, can alter the destiny of both of their families. We know at the outset that Glen is the cause of a fatal car accident ... but is he really? We all know that the driver who was killed was guilty of reckless driving ... but was he really? You ponder these questions as you read Will Allison's tale and the fact that you are pondering this, and ...more
judy-b. judy-b.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readandloved
All you need to know about Glen Bauer you learn in the first few pages of Long Drive Home, but it takes the rest of the book to believe it. Will Allison distills Glen's life to a single day and also tracks how the choices Glen made that day reverberate through to the present. Glen is as honest with the reader as he is with himself, which is to say: not. He may fool himself, but the honest reader will see Glen's ultimate deceit.

Glen causes a fatal accident, then lies about it. His daughter was w
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is one of those stories that reminds us that we are all interconnected, and every decision we make can have far-reaching, and sometimes tragic, consequences.

Glen, an ordinary man, drives his daughter home, flips off a cop, succumbs to a moment of road rage, and changes his life and the lives of his family and of strangers, forever. He never intended to hurt anyone, just to vent a little frustration. But after one thoughtless deed his life moves forward on a course he cannot correct. The la
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a story about a guy, Glen Bauer, who decides to teach a young teenager a lesson and ends up causing an accident that kills the kid instead. Glen decides to protect himself and his family by lying to the police. From here, you think the story is going to focus on the lie and the legal consequences. When, in fact, it does focus on the lie but the impact on Glen himself and his family is more apparent. This is why I like this author. There is always a message and it’s not necessarily the o ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Glen Bauer writes a letter to his daughter, asking her for forgiveness. But Glen’s not even sure he deserves it. You see, Glen killed a man. He didn’t intend to, but accidents do happen…

Long Drive Home by Will Allison is an incredibly tortured narrative told in the first person from Glen’s point of view. It’s the type of tense and emotional story that stays with you long after the last page has been read.

Mr. Allison explores a very uncomfortable subject. In all honesty, the tragically pivotal m
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
80 pages in and I'm already hating the wife!

A quick read but it left me unsatisfied. The storyline had potential but I found myself disliking the characters and not really caring about what happened to them. I didn't get the reason behind the whole stalking thing with the SUV driver. Maybe it was just a filler to make a very short book a little longer?? Also not really convinced a six year old sitting in the back seat would be able to understand her father's actions and connect it to the acciden
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Gripping read about a series of small decisions causing a really huge problem. Interestingly, while it’s the husband/father who makes the bad decisions it’s the wife/mother who comes across as completely unsympathetic. Also I didn’t fully buy Glen’s actions, this mild-mannered accountant who suddenly becomes a hothead. Granted, we don’t get to know him much outside what happened so I supposed it’s hard to judge. As fast and interesting as this read is we don’t know these characters at all other ...more
Kristi 🧜🏼‍♀️
A simple, quick page-turner, suspenseful, sometimes implausible yet realistically irritating. I appreciate books that make me think, start a debate, a deep conversation with those you love, inspiration to become a better soul. Sometimes it's the flawed that move us most of all, in writing and reality. This good book serves a great purpose, maybe even saves lives. We're all a heartbeat away from change.
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This book definitely delves into the layers of a moral dilemma, which is why I liked it. Sometimes I just wanted to strangle the guy and say, you are making it so much worse. But tempers have been high for years when it comes to road rage, and tempers are extra high due to the current situation that is Covid-19, which is why everyone needs to calm down on the road, especially if you have your child in the car with you.
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novel, us
Soon after my move to Colorado, a local man received two life sentences for killing two men. He had pulled ahead of their car and slammed on the brakes in a road rage incident. Last weekend, a woman pulled in front of the cab my husband and I were in and slammed on the brakes. She was upset that our cab driver had merged in front of her when his lane was blocked. Luckily, even though the cab hit the car, no one was hurt. These incidents bookend countless other acts of aggression and rage on our ...more
Theresa Leone Davidson
Let me start my review by saying that at some point I will definitely read Will Allison's first novel, and that is a big compliment, at least as far as I am concerned. Long Drive Home is good overall but there are a few tedious sections, in which an already short novel (fewer than 200 pages) could have been shortened even more, but I do believe it is real realistic fiction, in which, after the initial road rage incident/ car accident, nothing really stunning happens, just life. It is suspenseful ...more
Brenda Youngerman
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Now, being an author I LOVE to read other books because I enjoy seeing how other authors work. Long Drive Home was no exception. This book started off with a **BANG ** and I am not actually using that figuratively here - it really grabbed the reader's attention from the very first sentence. Will Allison had his character writing a letter to his daughter explaining what his motivations were - or something --- honestly I'm not quite sure, because as the book unfolded the letter became less clear a ...more
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
Narrator Glen Bauer opens this story with a letter to his daughter Sara, 8 years old and 6 at the beginning of the events of this novel. The letter is written to be given to her much later, when she is able to understand and forgive.

We've all had those days - someone cuts you off in traffic and then flips YOU off; a bicycle rider suddenly veers in front of you, causing you to suddenly hit your brakes; then you head out to the highway where someone is riding your tail in the right hand lane at 60
Glen Bauer is driving his daughter home one day when an act of road rage begins a domino effect of events that leads to a teenage boy's death. Glen feels terrible about his part in the boy's death but is equally terrified that he will get caught. As the days go by, his guilt becomes deeper and his worries increase; soon, his family begins to fall apart and he doesn't know how to make things right. He decides to pen a letter to his daughter and explain everything so that she can make the choice t ...more
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Glen writes his daughter, Sara, a letter explaining what went wrong in his marriage to Liz and the events that lead up to their divorce. The letter is interspersed with the story of that time period. In a way, Glen is asking his daughter for forgiveness and trying to make thing right when he lies and tries to make her believe that the accident she witnessed as a six year old didn't happen the way it really did. Glen and his wife try to cover up his involvement in the accident by lying to the pol ...more
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is about the consequences of a series of road-rage incidents on the life of a young husband and father. Glen Bauer is driving his six year-old daughter home from school, when an impatient policeman zips around him and runs a red light. That single act ignites a sense of entitlement and impulsive behavior over the next half hour which, in turn, causes two more road-rage incidents, one involving criminal acts and the second involving a fatal accident. But, it is Glen's escalating panic a ...more
Dec 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I don't need exact genre's but a generality does help. Is this book YA or not? I couldn't tell. The main character was an adult, but the subject could be interpreted for YA and the format of the book screamed YA. Plus, the story was very simple with a small cast of characters, which is how YA books are usually laid out.

Guy is driving his young daughter home and a few incidents happen to raise his stress level until he sort of cracks and in a fit of rage, causes a car accident and unfortunately,
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
In Long Drive Home, Glen Bauer makes one bad decision. One second. One reaction. And the many consequences that follow. On the way home from picking his daughter up from school, an incident of road rage turns into a fatal accident for the other driver. In a split second, Glen decides to lie about what happens and that one omission of truth erupts into his whole world changing.
I didnt like the characters all that much. The wife, Liz seemed cold hearted and unreasonable to me. Her reasoning for se
Oct 20, 2011 rated it liked it
The good: I read this book in about three sittings. If an author can keep me turning pages they have done something right, and that was the case here. I was interested in how things resolved, whether or not he would get sued or charged or divorced. I also thought there were very good moments of tension around whether or not the daughter would say anything (though I thought there could have been more).

The bad: The characters and their marriage are held at such an arms length that I couldn't under
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I was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and now live with my wife and daughter in South Orange, New Jersey. In between, I've lived in Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and elsewhere; taught creative writing at The Ohio State University, Butler University, and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis; and worked as executive editor of Story, editor at large of Zo ...more

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