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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Driver’s Education by Grant Ginder

Driver’s Education by Grant Ginder is about a car, a yellow ’56 Chevy Bel Air named Lucy for Alistair’s dead wife much to the chagrin of his son, Colin, and to the delight of his grandson, Finn. Lucy replaced a better car, was warehoused in NYC when Ali became infirmed and moved from Sleepy Hollow on the east coast to SF to live with his son, Colin, a screenwriter, is a one hit wonder and struggles the rest of his life in the writing career. Finn is asked by grandpa to drive Lucy cross-country so Ali can have one last drive before he forgets. A simple story of three men and a car or is it?
Finn is making the trek with a friend, Randal and a cat named Mrs Dalloway, which belongs to Ali now. Finn recounts tales of Pittsburgh to Randal as they approach Pittsburgh. Colin, writes stories about how the car, Lucy, is his enemy and provides ways for his dad to disappear for days and weeks after his mom died. Colin tries to sabotage the car when a young boy. The car comes to mean different things to all three men.
Ali uses the car to escape. Colin uses matinees to escape. Finn tries to bring it all together. He has a video camera with him and he is filming for his grandpa. Pittsburgh is first on the highlight film. Colin keeps writing about his past. Ali is just waiting for Lucy. Lucy is the bond for all three generations.
Perhaps it is about loss. Ali loses Lucy his wife. Colin loses out on a career. Colin loses time going to matinees. Colin loses his dad. Colin loses his son. Finn loses the signal to his cell. Finn loses his job. They all lose themselves in one way or another from themselves and each other as well as from others. Are they losers?
Ali tells stories that Finn relates to people he meets. Colin writes stories. Finn does reality TV. Stay away from Buford, the one person town in Wyoming.

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