Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book Spotlight: The Car Thief

The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner

It’s 1959. Sixteen year-old Alex Housman has just stolen his fourteenth car and frankly doesn’t know why. His divorced, working class father grinds out the night shift at the local Chevy Plant in Detroit, kept afloat by the flask in his glove compartment and the open bottles of booze in his Flint, Michigan home.

Abandoned and alone, father and son struggle to express a deep love for each other, even as Alex fills his day juggling cheap thrills and a crushing depression. He cruises and steals, running from, and to, the police, compelled by reasons he frustratingly can’t put into words. And then there’s Irene Shaeffer, the pretty girl in school whose admiration Alex needs like a drug in order to get by. Broke and fighting to survive, Alex and his father face the realities of estrangement, incarceration, and even violence as their lives hurtle toward the climactic episode that a New York Times reviewer called “one of the most profoundly powerful in American fiction.”

In this rich, beautifully crafted story, Weesner accomplishes a rare feat: He’s written a transcendent piece of literature in deceptively plain language, painting a gripping portrait of a father and a son, otherwise invisible among the mundane, everyday details of life in blue collar America.

A true and enduring American classic.

“Theodore Weesner has written a story so modestly precise and so movingly inevitable that before I knew what was happening to me I felt in the grip of some kind of thriller.”
Joseph McElroy, New York Times

The Car Thief is a poignant and beautifully-written novel, so true and so excruciatingly painful that one can’t read it without feeling the knife’s cruel blade in the heart.”
—Margaret Manning, The Boston Globe

“A simply marvelous novel.  Alex (the protagonist) emerges from it as a kind of blue-collar Holden Caulfield.
Kansas City Star

About the Author:

Theodore Weesner, born in Flint, Michigan, is aptly described as a “Writers’ Writer” by the larger literary community. His short works have been published in the New Yorker, Esquire, Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic Monthly and Best American Short Stories. His novels, including The True Detective, Winning the City and Harbor Light, have been published to great critical acclaim in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Magazine and The Los Angeles Times to name a few. Weesner is currently writing his memoir, two new novels, and an adaptation of his widely praised novel—retitled Winning the City Redux—also to be published by Astor + Blue Editions. He lives and works in Portsmouth, NH.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin


  1. This sounds great. And seriously how cute is the author? I want to invite him out for coffee! :)

  2. This one looks intriguing! The cover is kind of dark and gritty. Sounds like a good read...hope you'll be reviewing this one.

  3. Sounds interesting and I agree with Jade that the cover is intriguing. Is it YA or general fiction?

  4. I have this for review. The premise sounds interesting. I can't wait to give it a try.

    1. Oh you'll get to it before I do. I can't wait for your review.

  5. HMMMm, I don't know, will wait for a few reviews. Take Care.

    1. You too! I'm waiting for reviews too. But I'm more convinced I think.


I absolutely LOVE all comments! So please feel free to chime in with your thoughts, questions, opinions, or whatever else you have to say.

Don't forget to check back as I reply to comments. Dialogue is good right?

09 10