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The Little White Car [Hardcover]

Danuta de Rhodes


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Book Description

Jan. 1 1951
Veronique, an insouciant young Parisian, has an argument with her boyfriend, a self-consciously cerebral experimental musician, after he premieres the latest opus from his favorite band, the Sofia Experimental Bread Octet, in his shabby living room. Pissed off, exhausted by his claims of genius, and slightly tipsy, Veronique snatches the keys to her white Fiat Uno and her best friend, Estelle, and takes off into the night. What ensues includes, but by no means is limited to, sex, death, hostile road driving, soft rock, homing pigeons, and international incidents of the most sinister class. And the next day, when they awaken from this bender of an evening, they find that the whole of France is looking for Veronique's little white car. Featuring a pair of heroines as ripe and camera-ready as contemporary America could hope for, The Little White Car is a buddy novel that would make Quentin Tarantino weep with gratitude. It will also be a must-read for foreign car mechanics everywhere.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books (Jan. 1 1951)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841955892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841955896
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.5 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,288,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

How's this for a night out? You drink yourself silly, dump your experimental-music– loving stoner boyfriend, get in your parent's car and promptly kill a princess with it. But don't worry, you're beautiful and French: everything will work out just fine. Such is the lesson in this frothy, muzzy, comic caper by de Rhodes, a putative child prodigy ("She started writing features for fashion magazines at the age of twelve....") but actually the pseudonym of Dan Rhodes, author of the much-ballyhooed Timoleon Vieta Come Home. After waking with a hangover and the terrible knowledge that she caused Princess Diana's car crash, Veronique realizes that something must be done. So she goes to see her friend Estelle, a gorgeous, pansexual heartbreaker with a fondness for obscure Welsh poetry, confesses and gets drunk. But she can do better than that! Soon a scheme emerges, which involves the gradual disassembly of the car (which the police are looking for) into bits small enough to dump in public trash cans. But where to get the money for a new car? Stealing and selling the ex's stereo didn't net nearly enough—should Veronique get paid for having her toe amputated and sewn back on by a med student? Trials and tribulations abound, but these beauties will triumph in a novel that's as fun and as fast as a little white Porsche.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Cherie, ou est mon automobile? During the sultry Parisian summer of 1997, a soused Veronique storms out on her pseudointellectual wimpster boyfriend and drives off in her white Fiat with her devoted Saint Bernard, Cesar. She awakes the next morning with a world-class hangover, no memory of her homecoming, and a massive dent in her car. It all makes sense when Veronique turns on the news and learns of Princess Diana's tragic death in a car crash the night before. Now all of France looks for a white Fiat that fled the scene. Panicked, Veronique calls her recently rehabbed best friend, Estelle. The girls decide to demolish the car and scatter it around Paris. Interruptions from a suspicious coworker, a romantic yet surly mechanic, and the televised funeral cause Veronique to schedule toe removal surgery for Estelle and Estelle to declare that Elton John will forever be denied entrance to Wales once she is queen. This female buddy novel is camera-ready, and each cinematic situation seems more absurd than the last. A fun, breezy read. Kaite Mediatore
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a lighter offering from a master July 19 2006
By Tito - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While I'll acknowledge that this doesn't have the depth or emotional gravity of Timoleon Vieta, Come Home (one of the best short story cycles I've ever read, and I've read a few), it's not possible for me to give this work less than 3 stars. Even when Rhodes is producing something breezy and fun such as The Little White Car, he manages to do so with a certain deftness of prose that (in my humble opinion) makes you realize you're reading the words of a prodigious talent.

I'd say that this is analogous to reading Twain's The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County after having read Roughing It or Huckleberry Finn, in that you know the opus is lighter, but you know that the prose is good and that the writer is more than capable. It's not TVCH, but then what is? If every writer could write only one work in his life and have it be that good, he could call himself a success.

This novel is reasonably engaging and quite entertaining. Take it on your European vacation with you, and read it at the cafe in Paris or on a Greek island beach. It's orders of magnitude better than subjecting yourself to Sidney Sheldon or VC Andrews or some such tripe.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars fun but unfulfilling March 13 2006
By bowery boy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The premise of this novel is great, I loved Veronique and her wacky friends but ultimately the novel goes absolutely nowhere and is a waste of what could have been a fun novel. There are some laugh out loud moments but the story is lacking substance in a lot of areas. I felt kind of cheated when I finished reading it. If you want to read a better example of what this book could have been try out Jen Banbury's Like A Hole In The Head.
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and enjoyable July 21 2013
By Yvette Southorn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was an enjoyable read. The unlikely plot still manages to be believable and the unusual characters which were at first slightly annoying, become increasingly likeable. This story is definitely something a little bit different and very Dan Rhodes!
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun & Quirky Dec 22 2012
By C. Soto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I discovered this book by accident at a local bookstore about 10 years ago and couldn't put it down. The writing was fun and quirky and made me laugh. Recently I ordered a copy through Amazon and am enjoying it again as I did way back then.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bridget Jones Light Aug. 9 2005
By Dianne Kochenburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It's difficult to write funny. The best most people can do is mildly amusing. That's about where I'd rate this attempt at writing funny. Dan Rhodes produced this very slim novel as Danuta de Rhodes (wink, wink) so maybe we'll think it was the translated work of a breathless French coquette. The main character, Veronique, is a very young (French) woman with a problem. She thinks she may have killed the princess (Diana, of course) after getting stoned and breaking up with her weird boyfriend, Jean-Pierre. That's the set up. Don't you just love it? (No, not me.) The point of the novel is sort of slippery or perhaps non-existent altogether but I think that maybe Uncle Thierry is the lynch pin of it all.

As I read it I was vaguely reminded of Bridget Jones, Helen Fielding's brilliantly zany young British woman. Of course Fielding called on Jane Austin for back-up. All Rhodes had was Uncle Thierry. There are no big laughs but occasionally this book is mildly amusing. Put it way down on your reading list, if at all.

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