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by James Meek
ISBN 1847670296 / 9781847670298 / 1-84767-029-6
Publisher Canongate Books Ltd
› Find signed collectible books: 'Drivetime'
Alan Allen, freshly booted out of university, short of cash, and caught up in a bizarre case of mistaken-identity and the violence it incites, decides to get out of Edinburgh and head to Glasgow--where the people are hard, cool and warm the way he'd like to be. But instead of driving directly to Glasgow, Alan heads off for an absurdist romp through Europe, barreling down the motorways of France and Italy, seeking an elusive egg (with a moon painted on it, worth a lot of money to an eccentric in Scotland), and an even more elusive sense of self-respect. Along for the ride are Deidre, an alluring but frustratingly distant nurse, and Mike, an angry ex-student, baseball-bat wielding purist.
They say you can't leave your troubles behind. Alan hops towns and countries with ease, but no matter where he stops for gas, everything's the same--people, news, conflicts, goals, and his soft, awkward, cold self. It takes a lot of miles and coincidences and wrong turns before Alan is willing to be Alan. It's like Bill Murray's Groundhog Day on European wheels--La Grand Tour gone very wrong. Refreshing and innovative and very funny, James Meek's continental blast exemplifies the new literary energy coming out of Scotland and is an entertaining read, a perfect companion for a European tour. [via]