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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Long Drive Home

by

Long Drive Home Cover

ISBN13: 9781416543039
ISBN10: 1416543031
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his riveting new novel, Will Allison, critically acclaimed author of What You Have Left, crafts an emotional and psychological drama that explores the moral ambiguities of personal responsibility as it chronicles a father’s attempt to explain himself to his daughter—even though he knows that in doing so, he risks losing her.

Life can change in an instant because of one small mistake. For Glen Bauer, all it takes is a quick jerk of the steering wheel, intended to scare a reckless driver. But the reckless driver is killed, and just like that, Glen’s placid suburban existence begins to unravel.

Written in part as a confessional letter from Glen to his daughter, Sara, Long Drive Home evokes the sharp-eyed observation of Tom Perrotta and the pathos of Dan Chaon in its trenchant portrait of contemporary American life.

When Glen realizes no one else saw the accident, he impulsively lies about what happened—to the police, to his wife, even to Sara, who was in the backseat at the time of the crash. But a tenacious detective thinks Sara might have seen more than she knows, or more than her parents will let her tell. And when Glen tries to prevent the detective from questioning Sara, he finds himself in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game that could end in a lawsuit or prison. What he doesn’t see coming is the reaction of his wife, Liz—a panicked plan that threatens to tear their family apart in the name of saving it.

But what if the accident wasn’t really Glen’s fault? What if someone else were to blame for the turn his life has taken? It’s a question Glen can’t let go of. And as he struggles to understand the extent of his own guilt, he finds himself on yet another collision course, different in kind but with the potential to be equally devastating. Long Drive Home is a stunning cautionary tale of unintended consequences that confirms Will Allison’s growing reputation as a rising literary talent.

Review:

"Allison follows What You Have Left with a tight drama, part psychological thriller, part tragedy. Glen is an accountant living in New Jersey with his successful wife, Liz, and their six-year-old daughter, Sara. On an ordinary drive home from school, a series of mundane decisions grow increasingly dire and culminate in a car accident that sets road-raging Glen onto a path of deception and self-destruction. The novel is told from Glen's perspective, in part through a confessional letter written to Sara, an obvious but nonetheless effective tension builder. It's a slow burn as guilt chips away at Glen's sanity and his marriage crumbles, his impotent angst finds an unlikely outlet, and he comes under ever more scrutiny by a strangely motivated detective. Allison's triumph is the skillful rendering of Glen's transformation as a basically good guy whose fatal flaw leads him to a cataclysmically stupid decision. And while other characters fare less well — the cop on Glen's tail is straight out of an airport thriller, and Liz isn't given the chance to break through her mercenary and fundamentally unpleasant mold — Allison's effortless prose and playful genre mixing showcase a burgeoning talent. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

In this riveting novel, a happily married man makes a mistake that results in a teenager's death and sends his own life into a devastating tailspin.

About the Author

Will Allison’s debut novel, What You Have Left, was selected for Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers, Borders Original Voices, and Book Sense Picks, and was named one of 2007’s notable books by the San Francisco Chronicle. His short stories have appeared in magazines such as Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, and One Story and have received special mention in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories anthologies. He is the former executive editor of Story

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

janmah51, June 23, 2011 (view all comments by janmah51)
As Glen Bauer is driving his 6-year old daughter home from school, an instant of road rage will set off a series of bad and reckless decisions. The lives of two families will never be the same.
Glen only wanted to scare the young, reckless driver. To teach him a lesson. He cuts his wheel in front of the boy. Juwan Richards, the boy, overreacts and smashes into a tree which kills him instantly. Glen realizes that no one has seen the accident except for Sara, his daughter. And so the lies start. The story is told in Glen's voice, and also in a letter to Sara, written to her by Glen to explain what happened. This is a powerful novel about what happens when good people make bad choices in the heat of the moment.
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OneMansView, June 16, 2011 (view all comments by OneMansView)
A cautionary tale (3.75*s)

This cautionary tale, while somewhat melodramatic, will hit a nerve with anyone who has by choice used bad judgment in a dangerous situation and has either luckily escaped unscathed or, as in this case, has suffered adverse consequences that have rippled throughout his or her life. If only that first moment could be replayed ��" a futile thought.

Glen Bauer, on the way home from picking up his first-grade daughter Sara from school, becomes perturbed by a cop following too closely ��" enough so that he gestures out the window as the cop passes him and not with the peace sign. With that on his mind, when he turns onto his home street he makes a split-second decision to scare a teen speeding towards him in an expensive, over-powered car with a provocative move. The teen overreacts and slams into a tree across from Glen’s house; worse, his precocious daughter has absorbed everything that has occurred since leaving her school.

As neighbors, the police, news-crews, and medical personnel descend on the scene, Glen is uneasy: who has seen what; what can be reconstructed; what is his culpability? That last thing that Glen wants is a persistent police investigation. But Det. Rizzo presents puzzling accident-scene photos and wants to talk to Sara. When a lawyer representing the teen’s mom requests to interview Glen, his human resources manager wife Liz, already suspicious about what occurred, rather quickly decides that Glen must move away to preserve her and Sara’s assets and future.

Their lives become very difficult ��" the uncertainty of the future, the loss of trust, the shifting truth of what happened, the physical separation and the emotional distance, the tough approach of Rizzo, etc. In the midst of this damage to their lives, Glen writes a lengthy revealing, emotional letter, interleaved into the story, which is to be opened by Sara at age eighteen. He ultimately desires understanding, if not forgiveness, yet the effort seems meandering and lacking and way too late.

Glen, a self-employed CPA, is not the most sympathetic character, repeatedly exhibiting a great deal of poor judgment and even immaturity, allowing himself to be bullied at almost every turn ��" by his wife, Rizzo, and others. The author’s approach to Glen’s judgment is also a little ambiguous. He seems to be suggesting that a full truth approach should always be taken, yet it is clear that if Glen had not panicked, he probably could have steered a middle ground and avoided the devastation to his life. Given the entirety of the situation, would such saving of his family’s life be morally indefensible?

The story does have some weaknesses, but is short and easily read. Despite some quibbles, it is thought provoking, leaving readers to ponder what the final resolution will be concerning Glen’s wife and daughter and possibly to review or relive similar occurrences in their own lives.

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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
CentralCaliGrrrl, May 17, 2011 (view all comments by CentralCaliGrrrl)
Glen Bauer writes a letter to his daughter, asking her for forgiveness. But Glen’s not even sure he deserves it. You see, Glen killed a man. He didn’t intend to, but accidents do happen…

Long Drive Home by Will Allison is an incredibly tortured narrative told in the first person from Glen’s point of view. It’s the type of tense and emotional story that stays with you long after the last page has been read.

Mr. Allison explores a very uncomfortable subject. In all honesty, the tragically pivotal moment in this book could happen to any of us. None of us are perfect. One little slip, one single lapse in judgment can change a person’s life forever, sometimes for the worse.

Long Drive Home tells the tale of a man, running from his guilt and hoping to find absolution at the end of the road. Does he find it? Sorry -- no spoilers here!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416543039
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Allison, Will
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20110517
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

Long Drive Home Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Free Press - English 9781416543039 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Allison follows What You Have Left with a tight drama, part psychological thriller, part tragedy. Glen is an accountant living in New Jersey with his successful wife, Liz, and their six-year-old daughter, Sara. On an ordinary drive home from school, a series of mundane decisions grow increasingly dire and culminate in a car accident that sets road-raging Glen onto a path of deception and self-destruction. The novel is told from Glen's perspective, in part through a confessional letter written to Sara, an obvious but nonetheless effective tension builder. It's a slow burn as guilt chips away at Glen's sanity and his marriage crumbles, his impotent angst finds an unlikely outlet, and he comes under ever more scrutiny by a strangely motivated detective. Allison's triumph is the skillful rendering of Glen's transformation as a basically good guy whose fatal flaw leads him to a cataclysmically stupid decision. And while other characters fare less well — the cop on Glen's tail is straight out of an airport thriller, and Liz isn't given the chance to break through her mercenary and fundamentally unpleasant mold — Allison's effortless prose and playful genre mixing showcase a burgeoning talent. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , In this riveting novel, a happily married man makes a mistake that results in a teenager's death and sends his own life into a devastating tailspin.
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