The Car Thief

The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner {book review}

About a month ago I randomly answered a tweet from another blogger about the prospect of a book review.  I love to read.  I have enjoyed reading since I started.  Every Saturday my grandparents would bring me a new book which I would finish that evening by bed time.

I slowly backed off on reading once I could drive, had friends and started working.  Making the time to read for pleasure seemed impossible in college.  I stared at the tweet and immediately thought I’d love to review a book because it would get me back into reading mode.

Well it did.  Little did I know that I would enjoy the book as much as I did!

It’s easy to relate with the main character Alex.  How many of us can relate to doing something we probably shouldn’t with no clear reason why we did it?  I was taken on a roller coaster of emotions as Alex evades police but then gets captured.   I was nervous, scared for him yet sad because he so needed a hug!

The book is beautifully written with language that’s easy to read yet draws you right in.  It was difficult to put down because I was drawn in chapter to chapter with a need to know what happened next.  Being sucked into the relationship struggles of a father and son quickly takes you back to your teenage years.  It will definitely keep you on your toes.   What teenage boy hasn’t been in a bit of trouble, fallen for a girl and experienced a strained relationship with his parents?

If you enjoy getting caught up in a book, escaping your own reality and falling in love with new characters this book is for you! 

It does have some language in it so I’d recommend it for adult reading.  Use your own judgment when recommending to younger ones.    Order your copy here!!


Described as “one of the best coming of age novels of the Twentieth Century,” Theodore Weesner’s modern American classic, The Car Thief is poised for a new generation to discover.

Once talked about as an undiscovered American classic, The Car Thief is now re-launched—by upstart “Digital First” publisher Astor + Blue Editions—in a beautifully-designed electronic book format (to be followed by its print edition) in order to finally reach the audience that the book and author so richly deserve.  (ISBN: 978-1-938231-01-8, Ebook, April 24, 2012).

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 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.

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.

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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.
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