Chana's Reviews > The Company Car

The Company Car by C.J. Hribal
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 03, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: american, fiction-family-drama, not-for-kids
Read on May 03, 2012

I felt like I was listening to my father; this author got almost every cliche I heard throughout my childhood. He missed "the birds are flying low tonight" and "off we go into the wild blue yonder" (you'd think my dad had been in the Air Force but actually he was Navy and we were "decked" as kids, not "grounded") But he pretty much got everything else.
All of these things were said by the main character's father Wally, a kind of larger than life salesman who travels all around his territories selling and shmoozing, fishing and drinking, driving the company car. Wally was in the Navy during WWll, just like my dad. Birds of a feather.
Emcee is our main character, one of Wally and Susan Marie's 7 children and the gist of the book is Emcee talking about his growing up years while he and his family are on the drive back to his parents 50th wedding anniversary. As Emcee is experiencing marriage difficulties himself there is a lot of focus on his parents relationship and how they managed to stay married for all of those years. There are philosophical meanderings galore: cars, bars, women, music, friends, children, city, suburb, country, neighborhoods, neighbors, adolescents, adults, aging parents, farming, dreams, ... Much of the book has an autobiographical feel to it and absolutely those are the best parts of it.
So why did I give it a rather poor rating?
I think the book is too long and it gets pretty maudlin. It talks about sex a lot and has some cringe worthy sex scenes in it. Ultimately only Wally and Susan Marie are truly interesting characters. The kids are interesting when they are "you kids" but they become pale, boring and amorphous as adults. The ending is odd too, symbolic rather than real, just kind of skips out of reality. I was hearing Ghost Riders in the Sky when I read that last scene.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Company Car.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.