Read Drives Like a Dream by Porter Shreve Online


The New York Times called Porter Shreve’s first novel, The Obituary Writer, “an involving and sneakily touching story whose twists feel less like the conventions of a genre than the convolutions of a heart — any heart.” Newsday hailed the book as “a substantial achievement,” and Tim O'Brien described it as “taut, compelling, and moving . . . beautifully written, engrossingThe New York Times called Porter Shreve’s first novel, The Obituary Writer, “an involving and sneakily touching story whose twists feel less like the conventions of a genre than the convolutions of a heart — any heart.” Newsday hailed the book as “a substantial achievement,” and Tim O'Brien described it as “taut, compelling, and moving . . . beautifully written, engrossing from start to finish.” Shining with the same heart and humor, Shreve’s second novel, Drives Like a Dream, is a smart, wry tale about a modern-day mother in the midst of a lifestyle crisis — and her outlandish attempts to get her family back.Lydia Modine is sixty-one and about to come undone. Her three grown-up children have flown the coop. She hasn’t seen them together in more than a year, and now her ex-husband is about to remarry a woman half his age. And the insults keep coming: Lydia is stuck on a book she’s writing about Detroit’s car industry, which uncannily parallels her own life — out with the old model, in with the new. She's poured her soul into her family, only to be abandoned in the City of Dream Machines. But then a twist of fate introduces her to Norm, an eco-car fanatic out to remake her and the world. Is he the answer to all of her problems, or does he hold the one secret that just might get her children back to Detroit, home for good? A warm, funny, and affecting novel that's sure to appeal to anyone who has longed for an alternate life, Drives Like a Dream confirms that sometimes when you set out for a spin, the twists and turns can be perfectly rewarding — and right....

Title : Drives Like a Dream
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780618143313
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Drives Like a Dream Reviews

  • Jessica
    2018-10-31 12:08

    Had trouble with all the lies the mom tells to her kids. And seeing how those lies are the baseline for the plot I guess I didn't really care for the book.

  • Bob Wake
    2018-11-09 10:59

    [Reviewed in 2005]Porter Shreve’s 2000 debut novel, The Obituary Writer, was a fresh and engaging shaggy-dog tale narrated by a plucky 22-year-old newspaperman named Gordie Hatch. Marooned in St. Louis as a lowly obituary-page reporter, Hatch dreams of becoming a big-time investigative journalist like his father, whose memory is kept burnished by Hatch’s feisty widowed mother, Lorraine. The cleverly plotted story seemed to lose its focus toward the end, however. Shreve devoted too many pages to a lurid confession from the novel’s femme fatale, while sidestepping a far more compelling subplot concerning Hatch’s mother. As if recognizing that there were familial conflicts left unexplored in his first book, the author has placed a strong maternal theme and presence at the center of his new novel, Drives Like a Dream.Lydia Modine is a 61-year-old divorcée living in suburban Detroit, where she has made a name for herself as a Motor City historian. The first third of Drives Like a Dream is orchestrated beautifully, introducing a large cast of characters brought together for the marriage of Lydia’s ex-husband, Cy, to a much younger woman. The novel alternates its point of view between Lydia and her 27-year-old daughter, Jessica, who, along with siblings Davy and Ivan, has returned home to attend their father’s wedding. Shreve deftly shifts back and forth between Lydia and Jessica’s often clashing perspectives. The blighted landscape of Detroit’s run-down business district is evoked with naturalistic detail, while Lydia’s scholarly knowledge of the automotive industry adds to the verisimilitude.Drives Like a Dream unfortunately doesn’t fulfill the promise of its well-crafted opening pages. A flirtation between Lydia and an activist professor of urban and environmental planning escalates to sitcom silliness when Lydia begins embellishing the comments she makes to her children about the state of the romance. Adding to the hurly-burly, Lydia befriends her ex-husband’s eccentric new in-laws and she learns that her late father may have been guilty of corporate espionage in the 1940s when he worked for maverick carmaker Preston Tucker. Shreve works hard to intertwine the multiple plot threads, and to suggest that this is a dysfunctional family taking a circuitous route toward acceptance of one another’s frailties, but he succeeds only in straining credulity. The mystery surrounding Lydia’s father, for example, is resolved in a preposterous fashion that seems as much a failure of nerve on the author’s part as a failure of imagination.The finest scene in the novel has an unforced emotional honesty. Lydia’s ex-husband Cy drops by unannounced after his big weekend wedding. Living alone now in the house they’d shared for thirty-three years, Lydia is stunned by his visit. As they talk about basement bric-a-brac and the remnants of Cy’s abandoned hobbies gathering dust, Lydia’s resentment slowly begins to churn beneath the civilized surface of their conversation. (“Yet she could imagine now, as he stood there holding the door for her, his voice in perfect control as if tuned to the sympathy channel, that as the months and years accumulated, as he drifted away and became unrecognizable, she could become angry, even bitter.”) The scene is layered with sadness and regret. Too often, the frenetic pace of Shreve’s story crowds out or sabotages moments like this.Drives Like a Dream has the unmistakable earmarks of a second-novel slump: while more ambitious than The Obituary Writer, its contrived narrative never finds its voice or momentum, qualities that brought distinction to the earlier book. Porter Shreve nonetheless remains an author to watch. His talents are such that he seems poised to surprise us down the road with a first-rate novel.

  • Kelly
    2018-11-09 07:55

    I think this is one of those books that you'll like if you can relate to the main character. Lydia is a divorced 60-something whose kids have moved all over the US, and her husband is getting remarried. It's a sweet book, but I think it's appeal will be to those that can relate to her situation.The book didn't try too hard to wrap everything up. I appreciated the ending. But, this wasn't a book that I raced home to read and couldn't put down.

  • Peter
    2018-10-22 10:04

    Tons of background on the auto industry's early years is wrapped up in this fictional account of a Detroit woman's ex-husband re-marrying and its impact on all the family members. The first half was really interesting and then the plot veered off into Julia Roberts rom-com territory. The historical tidbits about the auto industry made me want to see the "Tucker" film. Tucker seems like he is a more interesting character than anybody in this book.

  • Amy Paget
    2018-11-01 10:04

    I enjoyed this writer's style and mastery of his craft. I had the great opportunity of attending an author visit with Porter Shreve. I highly recomment it. For more comments, visit my Blog, Literary Voyageur.

  • Hendo
    2018-11-10 07:04

    I found this at my house...not sure where it came from. Kept me reading, but the ending was a let down. This one's based in Detroit, and basically follows an elderly divorcee's attempt to bring her family closer. Kinda lame.

  • Jmp
    2018-10-28 10:57

    clever title. not much of a story.

  • Cindy
    2018-11-18 12:14

    Mom was a bit out-there but, as an empty-nester myself, I understand where she's coming from.

  • Doris
    2018-11-18 10:51

    This book is about a woman you'll love to hate! What a pathetic, manipulative mother.

  • Maryellen
    2018-10-30 10:52

    Fun, light reading.

  • Jen
    2018-11-21 08:53

    I really liked this book! I started it, then left it in the car for a couple of days, but it was easy to pick back up. It was also interesting to recognize so many places/people in the book.

  • Nancy
    2018-11-04 06:59

    Story with a setting in Detroit and Ann Arbor, the auto industry, the U of M, and about moving on when your life changes.