Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Not Fade Away by Jim Dodge

"At the moment I took off in that stolen Eldorado I wasn't contemplating the exquisitely bottomless metaphysical definitions of freedom, you understand, I was feeling  the wild, crazy joy of actually cutting loose and doing it."

Are you ready to take a wild ride in a snazzy vehicle? Well fasten your seat belt sonny Jim and let's get cracking. This road trip features stolen vehicles, strange characters, wacky hats and a bizarre LSD trip. It has moments of pure brilliance that convince you of being out of control and behind the wheel. Combine that with the music of the Big Bopper and his tragic aeroplane companions - indeed the book title refers to the Buddy Holly song.

George Gastin is a kind of shonky guy, a minor criminal with a dodgy insurance scam on the go. When he has to wreck a Cadillac that was supposed to be gifted to the late Big Bopper from a fan, he takes off in the vehicle for a pilgrimage / adventure that makes for an entertaining read.

Am I 100% on board with this one? Well I felt there were a few off patches, but I'm not sure whether that was more to do with reading it piecemeal and being a little stressed with work. What a surprise I hear you say? Yes, it seems to be a thing. Conversely there were moments where I legitimately felt completely immersed in the action; behind the steering wheel, encountering crazy characters and having strange, messed up, drug-addled experiences.

4 out of 5 road trips involve long drives which can be tiring - stop, revive, survive.

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