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A Washington Post Best Book of 2005

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.

Editorial Reviews

“[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.”


Author Biography

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.

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Reader Biography

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.

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