Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In The Driver's Seat - A review

Oops!  I forgot to fill you in on my recent reading habits.  Last month, my dear friend, Sam, sent me a wonderful package with two books.  One of which she thought I'd really enjoy and another that just looked like a fun easy read.  Now, when Sam Howard suggests you read something, you take her up on it because she is pretty much a book genius. 

Unfortunately, I'm lazy, so I chose the shorter book instead of the actual suggestion. The book was titled 'In The Driver's Seat' by Helen Simpson.  Now, for some reason, I didn't pay very good attention to the book jacket and somehow neglected to see that it was a collection of short stories.

What I learned while reading this book is that I apparently can't stand short stories that have no cohesion to one another.  I like character development and getting engrossed in a story, and that's hard to do when the author jumps around from unconnected plot to unconnected plot.  So, I had a pretty hard time finishing the book and it took a lot longer than I expected.

Now, it's not that the stories weren't well written (they were!) or interesting (they were!).  I just found that after a short time with each set of characters, I expected more from them.  I expected closure.  I didn't expect them to be hit by a bus (spoiler...that happens in one) as some sort of end to the story. 

Would I recommend this book? Honestly, no.  But that's because I didn't enjoy it.  Well, that's a good reason to not suggest it I guess... But, if you like short stories, I'd suggest giving it a chance.  Or maybe it'd be good to read at the beach because you won't get super distracted and get all sunburnt.

Either way, I finished it.  So I'm on my way to completing my goal.  And I'm sure I'll enjoy the real Sam Howard suggested reading when I open it up.  Unfortunately for the book, I need to take a quick break from my reading schedule to reread the Hunger Games series before the movie comes out next month. Besides, I'm currently reading comic books.  And I can't count those towards my overall count.


  1. I have the same problem with short stories, they bug the crap out of me because I always want more out of them. Justin reads Asimov's and Analog and I just can't read through a whole one because I'd much rather read a novel.

  2. Exactly!

    The only reason I didn't give up on this one is that it's a reasonably short book so I figured it wouldn't take long. Then I had invested too much time to not have it count towards my goal.