Driven (2012) by James Sallis

I’m a great fan of the film adaptation of the first novel of this series. I wasn’t particularly a fan of that first novel – I found that basically everything enjoyed about the film was unique to the cinematic experience, and the aspects lifted from the novel (the premise and plot, mainly) didn’t really do anything for me. That was much the case with this novel, the sequel, too.

It’s a decent enough modern noir, and Sallis’ prose is good enough, but it’s so awash in noir cliches that it ends up feeling more derivative than stylish. The character of the Driver is so much less compelling when his dull history is peeled back; he succeeded in the film because of Gosling’s performance and his nature as a cipher and an enigma.

The premise of this sequel is odd; it feels less like a sequel and more like a run-on continuation of some of the less compelling subplots of the first novel. It doesn’t feel like a follow-up, it feels like a limp continuation after-the-fact.


An unnecessary sequel. I give it one pseudonym, and a circled drain.

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