All right. Not a motorhead by any bent, but I've been around some who are and over the years I've grown to respect racing. All types. Mudtrack all stars, sidecar motorcycle, street, NASCAR...the last by necessity when I used to clock insane hours at an ad agency that had a couple of clients with high profile teams. People make jokes, but with NASCAR my mind was totally blown by the teamwork, dedication, and nerve needed to succeed at killer speed. But to be honest, my favorite type of racing has always been rally racing. Whoa. The Speed channel here in the states used to carry it more, but they've chopped it from their programming rotation or tend to stick race recaps in early a.m. timeslots which grinds me raw to no end. If you've never seen a rally race, those charged-up Subarus and BMWs flying down real roads, mud, ice--navigating inches from trees, spectators...lunging over blind hills and power sliding point to point, do yourself a favor--check it out. It's addictive watching. Think about how much you love car chases in crime movies. The Seven-Ups, The French Connection, Ronin, The Transporter, Bullitt. Rally racing is a little like that...gaked-up and mainlining rough-cut adrenaline without pause. Which brings me to today's Friday Forgotten Book; The Driver: My Dangerous Pursuit of Speed and Truth in the Outlaw Racing World by Alexander Roy.
This book just smokes. It reads like a thriller, which I think is the whole point, no? Learn about the actual Gumball Rally, the Red Bull Rally, Cannonball, how disguising your car to appear like a police pursuit vehicle gains legions of fans as well as an uncanny edge over competitors and "the man" gunning to shut you down.
Inspired by his father's dreams and barely surviving the 9/11 attacks, Roy takes to the sport as the ultimate underdog, blitzing through triumphs and setbacks until he and his driving partner set an astounding record, driving from New York City to Los Angeles in...wait for it...31 hours and 4 minutes! Take THAT, Dean Moriarty! 175 miles per hour at some points, hiding in cornfields, bootlegging aerial support...law smashing, breathless reading.
Here's a sneak peek at the trailer for the cult French film that partially inspired Roy and his career: RENDEZVOUS. You can probably find the whole flick online somewhere, but just a taste of screaming through early morning Paris. For real. One continuous shot (although the trailer has edits). No spotters. No roadblocks. Bombing through red lights, near misses, slick alleys...get some. And buy this book. Team Polizei rules.
KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir ...as well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.