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Monday, October 10, 2016

The Driver's Seat (1970) by Muriel Spark

Elizabeth Taylor played protagonist Lise in the (forgettable) 1974 movie version of The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
Book Review
The Driver's Seat (1970)
by Muriel Spark

  The Driver's Seat is Muriel Sparks last of four titles in the original 1001 Books to Read Before You Die book.   It was one of two books to be dropped at the first substantial revision of the list, along with Memento Mori.    I think The Driver's Seat got dropped first because Sparks is a prime example of the category of "20th century British/English woman authors" who were dramatically over-represented in the first edition.  Second, The Driver's Seat is at best a novella and so I think there was an argument to be made that The Driver's Seat shouldn't make it as a stand alone "book."

  That said, The Driver's Seat is a nasty bit of work, and fans of psychological thrillers and detective novels should find interest here, if only because as a "Whydunnit," Spark reveals the death of her protagonist in the first chapter.   The why of the matter is indeed worth the 120 page read, so if you can find a copy, it is worth a look.   I'd like to see the 1974 movie they made with Elizabeth Taylor and Andy Warhol(!)

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