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Extended Audio Sample Drive Audiobook, by James Sallis Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,406 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Sallis Narrator: Paul Michael Garcia Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Driver Series Release Date: September 2007 ISBN: 9781455189069
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Much later, as he sat with his back against an inside wall of a Motel 6 just north of Phoenix, watching the pool of blood lap toward him, Driver would wonder whether he had made a terrible mistake. Later still, of course, there’d be no doubt. But for now Driver is, as they say, in the moment. And the moment includes this blood lapping toward him, the pressure of dawn’s late light at windows and door, traffic sounds from the interstate nearby, the sound of someone weeping in the next room…

Thus begins Drive, the story of a man who works as a stunt driver by day and a getaway driver by night. He drives, that’s all—until he’s double-crossed. Powerful and stylistically brilliant, Drive has been hailed by critics as the “perfect piece of noir fiction” (New York Times Book Review) and an instant classic.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[The] perfect piece of noir fiction.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Full throttle…Sallis’ riveting novella reads the way a Tarantino or Soderbergh neo-noir plays…Drive is one lean, mean, masterful machine.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Full of sly humor, poetic details, and plenty of rude violence…a terrific ride.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “One stark and stunning tale of murder, treachery, and deceit…[Drive] packs a wallop…Sallis injects so much meaning and emotion into his carefully selected words that the power of his prose exceeds its volume…For those who have not yet had to chance to read one of crime fiction’s most underappreciated writers, now is the perfect opportunity. ”

    Boston Globe

  • “Imagine the black heart of Jim Thompson beating in the poetic chest of James Sallis and you’ll have some idea of the beauty, sadness, and power of Drive…Has more thought, feeling, and murderous energy than books twice its length.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Sallis won’t disappoint fans who enjoy his usual quirky literary stylings…Sallis gives us his most tightly written mystery to date, worthy of comparison to the compact, exciting oeuvre of French noir.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Sallis has a bloodhound’s nose for noir…One crisply written, spot-on scene after another…[A] hypnotic little story about driving circles around your life.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Dark and gripping, Drive packs a powerful punch.”

    Bookmarks

  • A Washington Post Best Book of 2005

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig Rettig | 2/10/2014

    " VEEERY different from the movie. While there's some similarity in the tone, the two are entirely separate beasts. Although, honestly, I think I enjoyed the movie more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 2/10/2014

    " I loved how Sallis toyed with the time line; starting in the middle and flashing back and ultimately forward in the story made it very enjoyable. I've always been fascinated by stories like these; how can a normal person turn to a life of crime? I found myself rooting for him to make the right choice only to watch him spiral further into a world he can't control. It was great stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kurt | 2/9/2014

    " A 2-star book that I'm giving 3 stars to solely because it's my kind of story. Having written that, I'll now write that the movie tells that story with more grace and style. The Driver here has a bit more backstory--put into foster care after seeing his schizophrenic (assumed) mother knife his thief father to death, he learns to wrench, drive, fight and handle guns before he's 16--but it's a backstory we already wrote for him in our minds whilst watching the movie, so it doesn't much matter. The rest is pretty much what you get from the movie. As an exercise if wasting time, read this book on Friday, watch the movie, read A Very Private Gentlemen on Saturday, watch the movie, and that's it; the exercise is over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 1/31/2014

    " Very easy, face paced read. Enjoyable yet somewhat confusing plot. Awesome characters in every sense of the word "awesome." Movie adaptation is incredible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 1/22/2014

    " This is the James Sallis novel I've read, and I raced (like Driver) through it. A slight novel but lots going on, with explosive action and a little more background about Driver than you get in the film. The narrative jolts around and the prose is taut as hell. Driver is, of course, the movie stunt driver who moonlights as a robbery getaway man, mixing with some very dangerous types. A great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yaja Sa. | 1/15/2014

    " Yes, mostly wanted to read it after having seen the film version. It's decent, though there's definitely more background information about some of the main characters, which was nice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Neumann | 1/14/2014

    " It was okay. The movie was a lot better and had a lot more to say, but for a standard pulp novel, Drive served its purpose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin Cerjan | 1/11/2014

    " Very tight. Great style for a short noir. Can't remember exactly when I slipped this one in! Fabulous character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma Louise | 12/8/2013

    " Not a play by play of the movie, so don't expect that!! I think this is a case of my liking the movie more than the book, but let's suffice that to say that I'm in love with Ryan Gosling! ;) fun action read for people who wanted more when the movie was over! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 12/23/2011

    " Sorry to see Irina get's her head blown off in the book version. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 12/23/2011

    " A quick read, mostly satisfying. I guess expecting Hammett or Jim Thompson was aiming too high. But after The Wanderers, this just felt thin. Not the same intent, but views on the brutal and brutalizing side of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Breanna | 11/28/2011

    " Hated the movie, love the book "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mike Ormsby | 4/13/2010

    " Has some good moments but rather a disappointment compared to the excellent movie. The powerful, unrequited romance is marginal in the book, which contains a few too many plot twists and minor characters to maintain this reader's interest. The film could have been called '(Far Better Than)Drive' "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Abdo salem | 11/27/2009

    " Not that great novel. the movie was much better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jiarny | 7/26/2009

    " I don't think I liked it as much as I liked the movie. Very confusing, and so much happening at once. It's a good read, but I think I need to read it again to understand it a bit better. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carol | 10/7/2007

    " Don't read this!!!! LANGUAGE!!!! And an awful story line. I'm sorry I wasted my time, I kept thinking it was going to show Driver, the main character, changing and becoming a better person. NOPE!!!! He only got worse. "

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About the Author
Author James Sallis

James Sallis has published more than a dozen novels; multiple collections of short stories, poems, and essays; the definitive biography of Chester Himes; several books of musicology; and a translation of Raymond Queneau’s novel Saint Glinglin. His works have been shortlisted for the Anthony, Nebula, Edgar, Shamus, and Gold Dagger awards. The film version of his novel Drive won the Best Director Award at the Cannes International Film Festival, and his Lew Griffin books are in development for film. He plays guitar, French horn, mandolin, fiddle, sitar, and Dobro, both solo and with the band Three-Legged Dog.

About the Narrator

Paul Michael Garcia, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and former company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, received his classical training in theater from Southern Oregon University, where he worked as an actor, director, and designer.