Book Spotlight ~ The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner
My thoughts ~
One of my favourite pieces of literature is Catcher in the Rye and this book definitely reminded me of it, with the coming of age story of a boy with a troubled life who gets things right in the end.
The book follows a boy named Alex who is living with his blue collar father. His mother left and took his brother with her. He steals cars and it seems as though he has been swept under the rug. Alex's father is an alcohol and as Alex battles depression they seem to drift further and further apart. Alex gets caught and has to face the consequences of his actions.
I loved the simplicity of the writing in The Car Theif and the story was very compelling. I also loved how the book was divided up so that each event had its own chapter.
About the Book ~
It’s 1959. Sixteen year-old Alex Housman has just stolen his fourteenth car and frankly doesn’t know why. His divorced, working class father grinds out the night shift at the local Chevy Plant in Detroit, kept afloat by the flask in his glove compartment and the open bottles in his Flint, Michigan home.
Abandoned and alone, father and son struggle to express a deep love for each other, even as Alex fills his day juggling cheap thrills and a crushing depression. He cruises and steals, running from, and to, the police, compelled by reasons he frustratingly can’t put into words. And then there’s Irene Shaeffer, the pretty girl in school whose admiration Alex needs like a drug in order to get by. Broke and fighting to survive, Alex and his father face the realities of estrangement, incarceration, and even violence as their lives hurtle toward the climactic episode that a New York Times reviewer called “one of the most profoundly powerful in American fiction.”
In this rich, beautifully crafted story, Weesner accomplishes a rare feat: He’s written a transcendent piece of literature in deceptively plain language, painting a gripping portrait of a father and a son, otherwise invisible among the mundane, everyday details of life in blue collar America. A true and enduring American classic.
About the Author ~
Theodore Weesner, born in Flint, Michigan, is aptly described as a “Writers’ Writer” by the larger literary community. His short works have been published in the New Yorker, Esquire, Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic Monthly and Best American Short Stories. His novels, including The True Detective, Winning the City and Harbor Light, have been published to great critical acclaim in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Magazine and The Los Angeles Times to name a few.
Weesner is currently writing his memoir, two new novels, and an adaptation of his widely praised novel—retitled Winning the City Redux—also to be published by Astor + Blue Editions. He lives and works in Portsmouth, NH.
The Car Thief was chosen for Amazon’s Summer Reading Promo, so that means that the Car Thief eBook is available on Kindle for only $2.99 (until June 24 only) Check it out here!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review. In no way was I compensated for this review. The opinions are 100% my own.