book review

So I just read The Last Taxi Driver by Lee Durkee and…

I liked this book. A couple of weeks ago I read The Beach by Alex Garland and in that review I said I didn’t like the idea of untrustworthy but I think the problem is I didn’t like the Beach in particular. Lee Durkee does such a good job at making Lou feel interesting and making you feel invested. But before I get into this first… let’s find out what it’s about. 

Written by a former cabbie, The Last Taxi Driver is a darkly comic novel about a middle-aged hackie’s daylong descent into madness, heartbreak, and murder. Lou—a lapsed novelist and UFO aficionado—drives 70-hour weeks for a ramshackle taxi company that operates on the outskirts of a north Mississippi college town among the trailer parks and housing projects. With Uber moving into town and his way of life fast vanishing, his girlfriend moving out on him, and his archenemy-dispatcher suddenly returning to the state on the lam, Lou must keep driving his way through a bedlam shift even when that means aiding and abetting the host of criminal misfits haunting the back seat of his Town Car. Shedding nuts and bolts at every turn, The Last Taxi Driver careens through the highways and back roads, from Mississippi to Memphis and back, as Lou becomes increasingly somnambulant and his fares increasingly eccentric.

So I want to first say that this book would normally take me two days to read but it actually took me a lot longer. I think this is to do with the fact that I just went back to work and so my head wasn’t in the best place to read. But even with all that I did really enjoy this book.

I went into it knowing very little, I knew it was about a taxi driver but I was pretty much going in blind and honestly even after reading the full description now having read the full book I still don’t think I would have been prepared. I always think there’s something interesting at seeing a man slowly descend into madness and this is exactly what’s happening here. 

The last couple of chapters were disjointed but in the best sort of way, leaving you to piece things together best you can. I’ve been thinking about the ending a lot since I’ve finished and I think that’s always a good thing, I want to be thinking about a book long after I’ve read it. 

I also like how we get little glimpses into Lou’s past though we’re expected to fill in the blanks, never quiet given the full explanation. This allows you to build the narrative around what you know without being treated like an idiot and just given everything at once.

But with all this being said I don’t think this will be a 5 star read for me or even a read I’ll remember in this future. I don’t know if this is because I just wasn’t interested in the book or because the time just wasn’t right for me to read it. 

Though please don’t let me scare you off, if this book sounds interesting I think you should totally check it out and I know you’ll enjoy it!

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