I had been wanting to read this book since I saw the film last year and found out it was based on a book by James Sallis. When I saw it in the shop and realised how short it was, it didn’t really surprise me, since Ryan Gosling seemed to say about 10 words during the whole film.
I was expecting the book to be quite graphically violent, but it wasn’t as bad as the film. Although I didn’t seem to find the film as shocking as most people either. Since I’d already seen the film, I couldn’t help but read the book with the image of Ryan Gosling as Driver (not that that’s a bad thing, I should say). But in hindsight, I do wish I’d read the book before I watched the film, because I think it spoilt the experience for me.
Even though Driver is not exactly a model member of society, you can’t help but feel a connection to him right from the get go, this was definitely helped by the writing style of Sallis, very gritty and close. The fact that the book was less than 200 pages was a bit of a disappointment, but it made for a very fast-paced read – perfect for sitting out in the garden on this sunny Sunday. Three out of five, but only because my expectations were set high by the film.