Driver’s Education

Grant Ginder. Simon and Schuster, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4391-8735-7
Alistair McPhee asks his grandson Finn to bring his beloved ’56 Chevy Bel Air, named after his long-dead wife, Lucy, from New York to San Francisco so he can have one last drive before he dies. Finn, a TV reality show editor and a fabulist like his grandfather, re-enacts his grandfather’s exploits of daring, adventure, and romance by following a map of Alistair’s cross-country trips with his friend Randal and the ornery cat, Mrs. Dalloway, along for the ride. Alistair, meanwhile, is looked after by his son, Finn’s father, Colin, a screenwriter whose 15 minutes have faded, and whose memories of Alistair are not as rosy as Finn’s. Alternating with the journey are Colin’s explorations of childhood moments bonding with his father, the movies, his mother’s tragic death, and other pieces of his past. Part fairy tale, part picaresque, part coming-of-age tale, this second novel from Ginder (after This Is How It Starts) blends reality and the imagined in a sentimental brew about the stories that bind generations. Though the ambitious structure is undercut by the indistinct voices of Colin and Finn, Ginder has crafted a memorable and amusing story about storytelling with enough irony to cut through the syrup of sentiment. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 01/08/2013
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4391-8737-1
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4391-8736-4
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