Book Review: The Last Taxi Driver by Lee Durkee

Thank you to Tin House Books / NetGalley for the early digital copy in exchange for an honest review!

The Last Taxi Driver by Lee Durkee

280 pages (I don’t know how they got that number. My copy was 229 pages.)

ISBN: 9781947793392

Published: 3/3/20 by Tin House Books

Genre: General Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5.

B&N | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Written by a former cabbie, The Last Taxi Driver is a darkly comic novel about a middle-aged hackie’s daylong descent into madness, heartbreak, and murder. Lou—a lapsed novelist and UFO aficionado—drives 70-hour weeks for a ramshackle taxi company that operates on the outskirts of a north Mississippi college town among the trailer parks and housing projects. With Uber moving into town and his way of life fast vanishing, his girlfriend moving out on him, and his archenemy-dispatcher suddenly returning to the state on the lam, Lou must keep driving his way through a bedlam shift even when that means aiding and abetting the host of criminal misfits haunting the back seat of his Town Car. Shedding nuts and bolts at every turn, The Last Taxi Driver careens through the highways and back roads, from Mississippi to Memphis and back, as Lou becomes increasingly somnambulant and his fares increasingly eccentric. Equal parts Bukowski and Portis, Durkee’s novel is an homage to a dying American industry.

Review:

Actually I am a demolition derby of revved-up opinions crashing into each other.

This book is 100% dark humor. If you aren’t used to the ability to brush off tough topics such as suicide, then this might not be for you. Dark humor isn’t my niche, but my brain definitely understands it a bit more than slapstick or blue comedy. Since this is about a cab driver, I expected those types of jokes to pop up. There is a lot of profanity, which doesn’t bother me, but if that bothers you then maybe take caution or just don’t read it.

With all of that being said, this book is genius. I know I didn’t give it five-stars, but I could appreciate what it did. The characters were all so raw, real, and interesting. There was a lot of drug talk, and for a person who lives in a part of Kentucky with that being a pressing issue, this is an accurate depiction. 

Lou, the cab driver, seems like he would be independent. You assume he wouldn’t take orders from anyone, but he is quite opposite. The whole book he gives in to all the demands thrown his way, making him lose his mind. He’s constantly thinking about past cab rides he has given to a slew of different people. He even deals with the raging part of driving. There were so many comments woven through this book that made me cackle. I have terrible road rage, and I wanted to rip the pages out of the book, make copies, and tape them to windshields of terrible drivers. Don’t worry, it was very inclusive with the different types of drivers that are out in the world. 

This has pretty good ratings on Goodreads, and I don’t blame anyone for loving it. It’s well-written and funny. I understand that it won’t be for everyone, but the community that does enjoy it has every right to. Would I read it again? Possibly. I don’t think I understood everything that was thrown at me. I also didn’t get the point of the ending, but then again, I’m not a critical reader. 
I would recommend this to a specific type of reader. It won’t be for everyone.


If you enjoyed this, then give it a like and follow my blog. Be respectful and happy reading!

Book Review: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club

By: Chuck Palahniuk

Pages: 218

ISBN: 9780393327342 (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5


Goodreads Synopsis:

Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation’s most visionary satirist in this, his first book. Fight Club’s estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret after-hours boxing matches in the basement of bars. There, two men fight “as long as they have to.” This is a gloriously original work that exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world.


Let me just go ahead and say that Palahniuk’s writing is not for me. I get that this was a lot of people’s favorite book, and don’t get me wrong the story was a great concept. Before I started Fight Club I started his newer book, Adjustment Day, and again I didn’t like it. I know that he is a very satirical writer and I thought that would help me enjoy it even more. I enjoyed George Orwell’s writing and Kurt Vonnegut’s. I haven’t read a lot of satirical pieces but I know when I do and do not like a book/an authors writing. I’m just going to discuss the book now, and what I did and did not like.

Overall I enjoyed what Palahniuk discussed in the novel. There were many themes throughout such as; Mortality, masculinity, society, and class. It no doubt packs a big punch. The humor in the book is a little dark, but that’s more so my sense of humor.

I didn’t like the short and choppy sentences and one liners. It just didn’t do anything for me. This book is memorable, but the short and choppy sentences are not what did it. It will be what he discussed in the novel and the types of unique characters he created. You really won’t read anything else like it.

Characters:

The narrator as we all know does not have a name. He’s an insomniac that goes to therapy groups for terminally ill people to help him sleep. He loves buying funky furniture (a yin yang coffee table). Then he realizes that he likes to fight. That takes us to:

Tyler Durden: Very intelligent, very crazy man. Meets the narrator on a plane. Starts up fight club and creates these rules that members have to follow. “The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.” The famous line that everyone knows even if they haven’t read the book or watched the movie.

Marla Singer: A very odd character. The narrator and her meet in the therapy groups and it upsets him so much so that they have to split up who gets what group on what day. She smokes…A LOT. Tyler basically just uses her for sex and the narrator doesn’t know how to feel about it. She has a lot of thoughts about death and even attempted suicide at one point. She steals the pants from laundromats which I thought was hilarious. Quite a crazy character.

I don’t want to spoil anything that happens because you need to experience it. I haven’t really told you anything that doesn’t happen right away or anything that’s not in the synopsis. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have hoped. I do believe it deserves a little bit of hype but not as much as it does. I’m going to recommend it just because it has characters that you should totally meet!

Quotes:

  • A good masculinity quote from the novel is when Tyler and Marla are in Marla’s room and he sees a dildo. “Don’t be afraid. It’s not a threat to you.”
  • “Being tired isn’t the same as being rich, but most times it’s close enough.” This was a quote from the afterword.
  • “For thousands of years, human beings had screwed up and trashed and crapped on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans. And account for every drop of motor oil.”
  • “Marla’s philosophy of life, she told me, is that she can die at any moment. The tragedy of her life is that she doesn’t.”
  • “If a new car built by my company leaves Chicago traveling west at 60 miles per hour, and the rear differential locks up, and the car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside, does my company initiate a recall?”

It took me awhile to write this and not spoil anything huge. This review is also all over the place and I apologize. Feel free to discuss the book down in the comments. I would love to know everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If you enjoyed this post then give it a like and follow me for future reviews. Be respectful and happy reading!

Library Book Haul!

Hello everyone! I wanted to do a library book haul since I haven’t bought many books in the last few months. I have, however, recently been hired as a circulation attendant at my local library so here we are. It’s a fantastic job if you love to read. No, I do not sit and read all day because I know that’s everyone’s misconception of librarians. A lot more goes into the job than you think. Anyway, here are the 7 books I have checked out from my local library.

The first one I have to talk about and have started reading is Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson. This book is about a young female protagonist named Lee “Leah” Westfall, who has the ability to sense gold. This novel is set during the Gold Rush so you could see how this ability is a blessing and a curse. Her life then starts to fall apart and she makes her way west to California.

I am about 140 pages into the novel and I am loving it. It’s full of all these hardships that our main character goes through and there is never a dull moment for Lee or the reader. Rae Carson does very well writing the novel to seem like it was written during those times. Sometimes I do feel like she tried to hard to make it sound authentic but other than that it has been a fantastic read. I will keep everyone posted on my thoughts when I am finished reading it.


An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin is the next novel I checked out from the library. Yes, the author is the Steve Martin. This novel is just a fiction book that is “written” by a man named Daniel Franks that follows a woman named Lacey Yeager. This is a girl he just can’t seem to get out of his head. Lacey is ambitious enough to take on the art world of New York City. She works in a Sotheby’s, the worlds largest brokers of fine art as well as other fancy artifacts. As she climbs the social ladder it shows just how dark the art world becomes from the 1990’s and so on.

I have also started this novel and I am a little over 60 pages in. Can I just say that I never expected Steve Martin to write such a beautiful novel, especially about art! The words flow smoothly and the story is interesting. As a person that took art every year and every semester in high school I enjoy this book. If you want to know about art and you are just starting out I’m not sure this book would be for you. If you know a lot about art and just want to know a little bit more, this book is great. That said, if you just want to pick it up because it seems interesting to you, then all the power to you! It’s a beautiful book so far and I will also be doing another review on this book when it is finished.


Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is a book I checked out because I have heard mixed reviews about it. This is one of Rainbow Rowells adult books. This novel is about two women Beth and Jennifer that work for a newspaper. They are aware their emails are monitored but they continue to gossip over email. Lincoln O’Neill then becomes one of the internet security officers and ends up reading Beth and Jennifer’s emails. He realizes he starts falling for Beth but it may be too late to even say anything to her.

I have not started this novel, but I am excited to get to it. The good thing about working at the library is I get an extra week to have the books!


Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is a historical fiction book about President Lincoln’s son Willie who falls ill and dies. George then twists the story to show Willie in purgatory or the “Bardo.” It’s a transitional state before deciding where he goes. Willie comes across ghosts that gripe and mingle so to speak.

I have also started this book and I have only reached page 18. I don’t know if I’m ready for a historical fiction, but I just couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t understand what was happening even after reading the synopsis. I may put it down and pick it up sometime down the road. As of right now, not a fan. If you’re into historical fiction then I recommend picking this up.


The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom is a young adult novel that follows Gwendolyn Bloom. Her father disappears and she decides to change her identity and find her father. It takes place in a world with a fair amount of spies, assassins  and criminal masterminds. It’s all about her journey.

I have not started this book but I am excited to go along with Gwendolyn on her bad A journey!


The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti is about a young twelve-year-old male protagonist named Ren. Ren has lost his left hand but has no idea how or why. He is abandoned at an orphanage for boys and goes on a journey to find out who his parents are and what his life was like before. Benjamin Nab then enters his life claiming to be his brother and tells him a story of his parents. Ben convinces the orphanage to let Ren go to discover himself. It follows Ren and his adventure with scammers, thieves and even grave robbers!

I haven’t started this but it sounds like a novel that I haven’t really read before. This was a novel my boyfriend picked up at the library and asked me to read it so lets see where this goes.


Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor is a novel that follows multiple friends of a man who winds up dead in an abandoned apartment. It is all of their stories pieced together. It deals with drugs and distress. They live in a parallel world where they are out of reach from the outside world. When they all suddenly die they realize they were treated with more respect that when they were living their short lives.

This story sounded odd and when I was looking for one of his other books I came across this. I haven’t started it but I am very excited to see what that synopsis even means. I’ll definitely keep you all posted.


The last novel I checked out from the library is a recommendation from my co-worker, This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. This is a fantasy that follows Kate Harker and August Flynn. Kate wants to be ruthless but she was in boarding school for five years and now that she’s released she wants to prove she can be just as ruthless as her father. August wants to be human but he’s stuck as a monster that steals souls with songs. The city they live in is divided and they are the only two that can understand both sides. They are the only two that can do anything about it.

I haven’t started this book but I have heard mixed reviews about it. I decided I would pick it up soon and give it a read. I will keep everyone posted!

Sorry this is a long post, but I wanted to give insight about the books I read. If you want to see other books I’m interested in you can visit my goodreads account as well as all my other social media. They are all linked at the top of my blog page.

Thank you for reading and don’t be afraid to tell me your opinions. No spoilers on any of these novels please!

We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

This is my first book review so be nice please!

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Image result for 4.5 out of 5 stars

Genre:

Young Adult Fiction

Summary:

This is a novel about the male protagonist, Henry Denton. He was supposedly abducted by aliens and told that he had 144 days to decide whether he wanted the world to end or not. It all came down to this button that he was either going to push or leave alone. Through the course of those 144 days he deals with love, loss, and figuring out who he is. He meets Diego Vega, an aspiring artist from Colorado that he doesn’t know much about, who could possibly change his mind about the world. It’s an emotional journey that deals with relationships between family, friends and possible love interests. Trigger: Towards the end of the novel there is a mention of possible rape. If that bothers you just know that going into the novel. It’s not a huge part but it is mentioned. There is also suicide mentioned quite a bit in the novel. 

Narration:

This novel is written in first person narrative which is not so reliable in the end. Henry is in high school and because he’s dealing with a mother that smokes and is trying to keep the family from falling apart, a brother who dropped out of college and is planning on being a father, a grandmother who is losing her mind, and a boyfriend that has committed suicide. All of these different aspects of his life has made him go a little crazy and for awhile he wonders why it would matter if the world ended. We are never for sure if he is actually abducted by aliens or if it is just him trying to give an excuse to end his life as well. Therefore, we only see what he is thinking and how he supposes others are feeling but his mind is too jumbled. 

Setting:

The book takes place in Florida where Henry lives. He is mainly at school or at home but there is a plethora of other significant places he takes us here and there. The setting is not much of a driver for the story but there are certain places such as, his boyfriends old bedroom, that starts becoming important later in the story. It basically just shows that he is in high school and that gives the reader a hint of the struggles that happen in high school especially for a boy that has so much going on in his life. Other than that there is not much description about where he lives and goes to school. 

Theme:

We are the Ants shows the reader just how large the universe is and how our actions ultimately don’t matter in the end. If are worried about grades in school, what has happened in the past, or what happening now we shouldn’t be because it doesn’t matter all that much. 

Evaluation:

This book was fantastic. It deals with possible problems that any person on the Earth could deal with in their lifetime. The writing definitely proves that the narrator is a high school student. Henry is easy to relate to but also impossible to understand. I enjoyed the relationships between him and his friends, family and Diego Vega. You learn about each person slowly throughout the book which was nice. I didn’t have to learn about this person with all these experiences in one page. I gradually got to know them like it was a real life interaction. 

Henry Denton was not my favorite character in the novel. I found him to be quite annoying at moments. He could never decide what he wanted from a person at any given moment. He compared Diego to his former boyfriend that had committed suicide. I don’t fancy comparing two people because human beings are all different. I do realize he is in high school trying to find himself but his personality wasn’t my cup of tea. 

Throughout the story there were facts that were made up by Henry and it was interesting to see what he had come up with. They were some of my favorite parts of the novel. They often dealt with serious issues that were going on in the world but it had a twist that probably would never happen.

The writing style was very simple which made it a bit of a faster read, which I did enjoy. 

One of the issues I had that brought my rating down was the romance in the novel. I’m not big on cheesy romance and it happens quite a bit. There are some raunchy parts as well mixed in. I do understand that he was trying to find himself but it wasn’t for me.

Overall:

I would encourage anyone to read this novel. I will definitely try to read other novels by Shaun David Hutchinson. I borrowed this book from the library so I would buy it for my shelves. I believe this book has made good points about what life really is about. We really just are the ants in the grand scheme of things. It is a great message and I think if you read this book more than once you will probably learn something new every time. Give this novel a chance. 

Thank you. 

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