Let the Dog Drive

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 1994 - Fiction - 295 pages
It's 1976. Bud Salem, 18-years-old, is fleeing his mother's TV church and meets a woman pitching oranges in the Mojave. She's Sylvia Cushman, a 45 year-old housewife, who loves driving alone through the desert. They traverse through western motels and Apache gas stations where Sylvia gives long lectures about Emily Dickinson and drags Bud up into the mesas to search for petroglyphs. After continuing adventures in Detroit, New York, and Amherst, the travelers part... In many ways Let the Dog Drive is an askew detective novel - when a character dies under strange circumstances in Texas, Bud goes to the Panhandle to uncover what happened. His strange narration does contain pleasures of the genre: a shootout inside an aquarium; a faked death; another shootout on a chicken farm in Texas . . . But Let the Dog Drive is also a freewheeling merging of many other genres and concerns - Hollywood, hardboiled novels of the 1930's, Emily Dickinson's white dress, hallucinatory cacti, the Book of Luke... And dogs. Sylvia is married to an auto engineer in Detroit, and this man studies auto accidents by letting dogs drive the cars. Literally. The drivers are often Dalmatians . .

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User Review  - Kirkus

Bowman's picaresque first novel, winner of the publisher's 1992 Elmer Holmes Bobst Award for Emerging Writers, follows the wildly unlikely love affair of the hitchhiking young son of a TV evangelist ... Read full review

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User Review  - HarryMacDonald - LibraryThing

Bilge from a sick, self-important phony. Almost embarrassed to admit to have touched this book, much less read it. Read full review


Emily Dickinsons Volkswagen 1976
The Fall of the House of Cushman
Sleepers East

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About the author (1994)

David Bowman was born in Racine, Wisconsin on December 8, 1957. His interest in writing first emerged while studying music at the Interlochen Arts Academy High School in Interlochen, Michigan. He briefly attended Putney College in Vermont, before moving to New York to write while working as a bartender and as a clerk at a bookstore. His works include Let the Dog Drive, Bunny Modern, and This Must Be the Place. He died from a cerebral hemorrhage on February 27, 2012 at the age of 54.

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