29 August 2011

in the rearview mirror by Lee Livingston

Do you ever read a book and think 'this would make a fantastic movie'? I can't even count how many times I thought that as I read 'in the rearview mirror' by Lee Livingston. I kept forgetting it was a memoir. No one should have that much fun. It's 1961 and Lee and Dango (if you want to know about the nickname, read the book) need to get from California to Cleveland - without a car (they broke it). And really, when the choice is Greyhound bus or hitchhike and the choosers are 18 year old boys ... well, I bet you can guess the answer to that one.

The fun they have, the situations they find themselves in, the people they meet are all interesting, and very often laugh out loud funny, but this book is about so much more than that. It is about a friendship that defines the word and it is about the innocence of 18 years old in 1961 and it is about growing up and coming of age.

There was a lot of jumping around during the story as the author tried to explain past events and how they related to the big road trip. I enjoyed the vignettes but wished there had been another way to include this info. I'm not a big fan of flashbacks. Luckily, the book was good enough, well written enough, to pull me through the flashbacks.

Don't make the mistake of thinking this book will only appeal to older readers because of the time frame. It will appeal to older readers who remember the 60's. It will also appeal to anyone who is, or has been 18. I'd be a little reluctant to let my not yet 18 year olds read it, though, not for the content but because they may end up with a lot of ideas I'd rather they not follow through with.

Probably the best thing I can say about Lee Livingston's adventures is that, for the first time ever, I was grateful for the four hours I was stuck at the car dealership while they worked on my car because it gave me uninterrupted time to finish this fabulous book.

Just a note - I'm giving it a 4/5 for romance not because of any male/female romance but because of the romance of hitchhiking across the country as a teenager with more moxy than brains.

Character Development          5
Editing                                     5
Sex                                          2
Violence                                  0
Romance                                 4
Readability/Flow                    5


  1. I sure have read books like that :D It does say something about them to give you that feeling

  2. I just finished reading this book and had the same thought throughout "this will be a great movie!!". Can't wait to see it on the big screen.


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