Monday, May 21, 2012

The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner

Title: The Car Thief
Author: Theodore Weesner
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions
Length: 310
Source: Astor and Blue

Description from Publisher:

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.”

My Thoughts:

     The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner is a unique book in this day and age. Taking place in the late 1960s, Alex is a troubled young man set on survival and nothing will hold him back. Through Alex's character readers are introduced to a very real way of life that some kids actually have to live. A broken home, addiction, crime, punishment, and the chance at redemption are just parts of the multifaceted gem that is The Car Thief. Alex is the "bad boy" who is much deeper and more complex than a lot of people give him credit for. He is the type of character that although clearly in the wrong readers will root for him in hopes of becoming the person they see inside. Alex isn't the only character who will resonate with readers. The inadequacies of a father and yearnings of a younger brother help explore the complex system that is the male relationship. This is the type of character and the type of book that are ageless in the literary world. One that in despite of taking place almost 50 years ago is still relevant today and will continue to be so.
     There isn't much to critique in The Car Thief. The beginning of the book might be a little confusing and hard to get into at first. Secondly the inner musings and descriptions also tend to drag at points and slow down the pace of the book.  Overall, these few things do not detract too much from the story. The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner is a book that shouldn't be missed if you are at all interested in the human condition or the ability to overcome adversity. This book gets a 4 STAR rating.

***Extras: Courtesy of Astor + Blue Editions***


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.

Want to know more about The Car Thief and get your own copy? Click this link ( and it will take you to the publisher's website where you can get The Car Thief no matter the e-reader you use.

~This book was provided to me free of charge in a digital arc by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. The information provided about the book is courtesy of Astor + Blue Editions.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an interesting plot. I'll have to check it out!

    Kate @ Ex Libris