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He’s a big man, my granddad, not necessarilyin size or proportion, but in other ways, like the manner in which he lives. The trouble in which he finds himself. The magic that heconjures and the spectacular things he believes. When he was a younger man, Alistair McPhee was fond of escaping in his ’56 Chevy Bel Air, Lucy, named for the cherished wife who died and lef He’s a big man, my granddad, not necessarilyin size or proportion, but in other ways, like the manner in which he lives. The trouble in which he finds himself. The magic that heconjures and the spectacular things he believes. When he was a younger man, Alistair McPhee was fond of escaping in his ’56 Chevy Bel Air, Lucy, named for the cherished wife who died and left him and their nine-year-old son Colin behind. Yearning for a way to connect to his itinerant father, Colin turned to writing screenplays inspired by the classic films they used to watch together, while Colin’s own son, Finn, grew up listening to his grandfather spin tales of danger, heartbreak, and redemption on the road. Now, at the end of his life and wishing to feel the wind in his hair one last time, Alistair charges his grandson with a task: bring Lucy to him in San Francisco from New York, where a man named Yip has been keeping her safe. The long road west will lead Finn, accompanied by his disgruntled friend Randal and an ancient three-legged orange cat named Mrs. Dalloway, through the very cities that supposedly bore witness to Alistair’s greatest adventures, offering an unlikely lesson in the differences between facts and truth, between boys and men. Driver’s Education is at once a literary adventure and a finely detailed family portrait, combining in a bold declaration of Grant Ginder’s outstanding storytelling gifts.


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He’s a big man, my granddad, not necessarilyin size or proportion, but in other ways, like the manner in which he lives. The trouble in which he finds himself. The magic that heconjures and the spectacular things he believes. When he was a younger man, Alistair McPhee was fond of escaping in his ’56 Chevy Bel Air, Lucy, named for the cherished wife who died and lef He’s a big man, my granddad, not necessarilyin size or proportion, but in other ways, like the manner in which he lives. The trouble in which he finds himself. The magic that heconjures and the spectacular things he believes. When he was a younger man, Alistair McPhee was fond of escaping in his ’56 Chevy Bel Air, Lucy, named for the cherished wife who died and left him and their nine-year-old son Colin behind. Yearning for a way to connect to his itinerant father, Colin turned to writing screenplays inspired by the classic films they used to watch together, while Colin’s own son, Finn, grew up listening to his grandfather spin tales of danger, heartbreak, and redemption on the road. Now, at the end of his life and wishing to feel the wind in his hair one last time, Alistair charges his grandson with a task: bring Lucy to him in San Francisco from New York, where a man named Yip has been keeping her safe. The long road west will lead Finn, accompanied by his disgruntled friend Randal and an ancient three-legged orange cat named Mrs. Dalloway, through the very cities that supposedly bore witness to Alistair’s greatest adventures, offering an unlikely lesson in the differences between facts and truth, between boys and men. Driver’s Education is at once a literary adventure and a finely detailed family portrait, combining in a bold declaration of Grant Ginder’s outstanding storytelling gifts.

30 review for Driver's Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Roxane

    Interesting premise but not at all well written or conceived. Hard to finish.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Geri

    I love road books but I just could not get into this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan K

    Great story by an author I was unfamiliar with. A fan of road trips, I was eager to find out how this went, especially since I'd done something similar years ago, though with a different purpose and outcome. The humor he injects during the final chapters is wonderful, as is how he offers a variation on the story ends; a bonus if you will. There's nothing not to like here; a pet cat being transported cross country, a town in the southwest with a population of 'one'; and crashing a pharmaceutical Great story by an author I was unfamiliar with. A fan of road trips, I was eager to find out how this went, especially since I'd done something similar years ago, though with a different purpose and outcome. The humor he injects during the final chapters is wonderful, as is how he offers a variation on the story ends; a bonus if you will. There's nothing not to like here; a pet cat being transported cross country, a town in the southwest with a population of 'one'; and crashing a pharmaceutical conference using stolen name tags adds up to a fun, well paced and artfully written book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I had to think about this book for awhile after I finished it. I realized that the portions of it I questioned were due to the ingenuity of the author in creating a story that makes us question, by the end of the book, what's recounted as true and what's not. The protagonists - a grandfather, father and son - are all versed in creating fiction from truth - one as a raconteur, one as novelist who can't follow up on his initial success (which he based on a slice of life), and one as a writer for s I had to think about this book for awhile after I finished it. I realized that the portions of it I questioned were due to the ingenuity of the author in creating a story that makes us question, by the end of the book, what's recounted as true and what's not. The protagonists - a grandfather, father and son - are all versed in creating fiction from truth - one as a raconteur, one as novelist who can't follow up on his initial success (which he based on a slice of life), and one as a writer for successful "reality" show, at least for awhile. The road trip, and the book eventually written about it, serves as a framework to delve into the question of whats real, what's not, and whether or not it matters. I may have to re-read this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jaime K

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway When Finn McPhee receives a phone call from his grandfather to "bring her to him," the young man grabs his friend Randal and heads from NYC to California. Their mode of transportation? A yellow Chevy which granddad named "Lucy" after his late wife, a car that is embedded in the family history. Along the way, Finn recounts stories of his grandfather's life; stories that are chapters of the book, which alternate with facts from Finn's father's (Colin McPhee) life. I won this in a Goodreads giveaway When Finn McPhee receives a phone call from his grandfather to "bring her to him," the young man grabs his friend Randal and heads from NYC to California. Their mode of transportation? A yellow Chevy which granddad named "Lucy" after his late wife, a car that is embedded in the family history. Along the way, Finn recounts stories of his grandfather's life; stories that are chapters of the book, which alternate with facts from Finn's father's (Colin McPhee) life. "How to..." vs. "What I Remember" was a great way to read the family's story and history until it all culminates in the present - and multiple strokes. I enjoyed everything about the theater, and how the lives of the men revolved around movies in some way. It is about family, embellished stories, the shaping of lives. Pages 223-224 sum it up beautifully: "[...] the creation of a prism in which art and life simultaneously reflect each other in a contortion of myth and fact; a reality in which the narrator is at once inextricably involved and objectively detached"

  6. 5 out of 5

    Asia

    I won this book in a first reads giveaway and I have to say that it’s a lot different from the books I normally read. In Driver’s Education’s case being different from the piles of fantasy/dystopian novels I've read is a very good thing. This book was a breath of fresh air. And as soon as the story starts you’re taken into the lives of Finn, Alistair, and Collin McPhee. The book alternates between Finn’s and Collin’s point of views and you’re not only presented with pieces of their lives but tha I won this book in a first reads giveaway and I have to say that it’s a lot different from the books I normally read. In Driver’s Education’s case being different from the piles of fantasy/dystopian novels I've read is a very good thing. This book was a breath of fresh air. And as soon as the story starts you’re taken into the lives of Finn, Alistair, and Collin McPhee. The book alternates between Finn’s and Collin’s point of views and you’re not only presented with pieces of their lives but that of the ailing head of their family Alistair. This book is wonderfully crafted, and witty. It’s full of unique characters, it’s real (and feel free to play with that term). This was a great read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    Ginder offers an interesting narrative that shifts between son and father each chapter. While each voice was genuine, I would have preferred to have one narrator for the entire book for the sake of consistency. Ginder did a great job of developing the characters in the book, especially emphasizing their dishonesty. The grandfather and grandson are excellent foils. Both tell tall tales in different ways: The son edits film to embellish reality television, while the grandfather engages in more tra Ginder offers an interesting narrative that shifts between son and father each chapter. While each voice was genuine, I would have preferred to have one narrator for the entire book for the sake of consistency. Ginder did a great job of developing the characters in the book, especially emphasizing their dishonesty. The grandfather and grandson are excellent foils. Both tell tall tales in different ways: The son edits film to embellish reality television, while the grandfather engages in more traditional verbal storytelling. For this reason, this book reminds me of "Big Fish."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. A mix of tall tales, true stories, and outright lies, "Driver's Education" is a multigenerational meditation on storytelling. While I like the concept, I preferred the father's recollections of his childhood and parents. His own made-up tales (and his father's) masked sad truths that were too bitter to live with. The son's reasons for his fibs (and exaggerating his grandfather's stories) never felt authentic. What was perhaps meant to b I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. A mix of tall tales, true stories, and outright lies, "Driver's Education" is a multigenerational meditation on storytelling. While I like the concept, I preferred the father's recollections of his childhood and parents. His own made-up tales (and his father's) masked sad truths that were too bitter to live with. The son's reasons for his fibs (and exaggerating his grandfather's stories) never felt authentic. What was perhaps meant to be a commentary on reality TV fizzled.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This was a interesting story about three generations of men. The grandfather is dying and wants his grandson to bring drive his car cross country to him. The grandson decides to visit the places that his grandfather talked about over the years and see if the crazy stories really did happen. The father has a different view of the grandfather than the grandson. Add in the best friend and a very old cat, and let the stories begin! This was a fun book to read that did keep my attention, although I fe This was a interesting story about three generations of men. The grandfather is dying and wants his grandson to bring drive his car cross country to him. The grandson decides to visit the places that his grandfather talked about over the years and see if the crazy stories really did happen. The father has a different view of the grandfather than the grandson. Add in the best friend and a very old cat, and let the stories begin! This was a fun book to read that did keep my attention, although I felt that some places could have been felt out more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Krissy

    I cannot say enough good things about this book. The language, the relationships, everything draws you in. The minute you fall in love with one character the next chapter will sway you. The author's clarity in writing and the truth he places in each moment, getting you enthralled in what will happen in the next is blatantly apparent. Read this book. It will leave you hoping for his next.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chelseyam

    I was mixed with the book. The father's recollections were great. It was as if you were hearing stories from your own family, at times. The tall tales, on the other hand, echoed Big Fish a bit too much. I sort of hoped there wouldn't be a fish reference at all, to be honest. It was a fun read though and I'd certainly pick up other titles from this author without a second thought.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Renae

    I liked this book. I think what I enjoyed most about it is the way that it's written alternating between father and son but in a way I've never seen done before. The character they meet in Wyoming made me laugh. Give this book a chance if you're looking for a refreshing take on male relationships as well as writing style. **I won this book in a goodreads giveaway***

  13. 5 out of 5

    April

    I received a copy of this book free through Goodreads first Reads. I work at a Senior/Youth center and donate all print books I win in giveaways to the library. I hope I get a chance to check this one out in the near future!!! I can say it must be a really good read because it has been checked out since I added it to the library shelves!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karen Allen

    To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure exactly how I felt about this book. On the one hand, I really liked it, on the other, not so much. It was interesting, quirky and well paced, but I rarely felt a connection to the characters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    John Blockinger

    This was an ok coming of age/road trip story. Anyone who has lived in Pittsburgh and/or Columbus will enjoy the stops on the road where the characters visit real neighborhoods you will recognize. Tall tales are enjoyable, and the author has fun testing our believability at several levls.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lupe

    Ugh - I give up. I just couldn't get into this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    Goes from OK to Mediocre to....I didn't read the 2nd choice of ending.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    Very interesting. May also read "This is how it starts". Stories, stories. And more stories.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Clare O'Connor

    Clever, witty and perfectly paced.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Annwsk2354

    started great but i got bored.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Trent

    If you want to read this book, please buy it from your local independent bookseller.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Entertaining read, inventive style, interesting commentary on current culture

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine Comito

    grandfather, father and son are all storytellers in their own ways.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I couldn't finish this book. It had a weird yellowface scene, and then it meandered.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kseniya Melnik

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Segal

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lori

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joann Williams

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luisa

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

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