Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner Is Re-released

As more and more people are finding the diversity and convenience of eBooks, a number of authors are re-releasing their work in digital form.

Today I’d like to share a novel that’s described as anCarThief_FIN “undiscovered modern classic” and being re-released by Astor + Blue Editions in digital eBook/customized print format. THE CAR THIEF by Theodore Weesner has also been called “one of the best coming of age novels of the 20th Century.”  
The story centers on the relationship between 16-year-old Alex Housman, (who’s apparently addicted to stealing cars) and his alcoholic father as they struggle to get by in blue collar Flint, Michigan. 

It’s 1959. Sixteen year-old Alex Housman has just stolen his 14th 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 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.  

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 -- re-titled WINNING THE CITY REDUX -- also to be published by Astor + Blue Editions. He lives and works in Portsmouth, NH.

Here’s what others have to say about THE CAR THIEF:
"One of the great coming of age novels of the twentieth century... Ted Weesner’s seminal novel demands a second look for its marvelously rendered young protagonist, the unforgettable Alex Housman; for its courage and wisdom and great good heart." -- Jennifer Haigh  - New York Times Bestselling Author of Broken Towers, Faith, Mrs. Kimple and The Condition 
“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
“Weesner’s perfectly restrained and subtle exploration of the characters’ painful and often difficult emotions caused me to have an intimate and emotional connection to a character and story of such a seemingly distant world. It taught me that even the most personal of stories can be universal and it is with this belief that I have adapted The Car Thief into what I hope will be a film that does some justice to the most beautiful novel that ever broke my heart.” -- Dara Van Dusen, Filmmaker
“A simply marvelous novel. Alex (the protagonist) emerges from it as a kind of blue-collar Holden Caulfield.” -- Kansas City Star
“Weesner lays out a subtle and complex case study of juvenile delinquency that wrenches the heart. The novel reminds me strongly of the poignant aimlessness of Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. Beneath its quiet surface, The Car Thief—like its protagonist—possesses churning emotions that push up through the prose for resolution. Weesner is definitely a man to watch—and read.” -- S. K. Oberbeck, Newsweek
“What The Car Thief is really concerned with emerges between its realistic lines—slowly, delicately, with consummate art. Perhaps Mr. Weesner himself put it best: ‘In my work, I guess I wish for nothing so much as to get close enough to things to feel their heart and warmth and pain, and in that way appreciate them a little more.’ Judging from this book, his wish has been fulfilled…and then some.” -- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

Do you enjoy finding books you like have been re-released in digital format? Does having books in both digital and print format give you more convenience? Thanks so much for stopping by.  

1 comment:

  1. Mason - It is really interesting isn't it how ebooks are allowing more and more out-of-print or backlisted novels to be re-issued. I think that's terrific as it gives the reader the chance to read all sorts of good novels.


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