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Driving with Dead People: A Memoir Paperback – Mar 4 2008

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (March 4 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416955127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416955122
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #527,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Death lurks everywhere in Holloway's childhood. A neighbor boy accidentally shoots and kills a train conductor; a little girl is mowed down by a motorist. Her father's main hobby is filming grisly car wrecks and natural disasters, and her best friend's family runs the town mortuary. Observing the dead in their coffins, Monica wonders: would she be better off in a casket than alive in her parents' home? In this memoir, Holloway (an actress turned writer) tackles the horrifyingly familiar story of father/daughter incest: the secrecy that surrounds it and the ways it corrodes families from the inside out. Even though her memories of the abuse were repressed, evidence cropped up everywhere, from her chronic bed-wetting and compulsive lying as a girl to her adult attraction to abusive men; when her older sister, JoAnn, comes forward with her recollections, Holloway begins to remember her own trauma. As a writer, Holloway might not be in Mary Karr's league, but her blunt sentences deliver the unvarnished truth. In coming to terms with her tragedy, Holloway writes, "Knowing there is no cavalry is much better than hoping for a cavalry that never comes." Her memoir sings with the power of a disenfranchised woman finally finding her own voice, and her brutal memoir is hard to forget. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Holloway's candid story starts out innocently enough as she describes her eccentric family, especially her father, who loved "talking gore" and kept a movie camera in his pick-up for filming gruesome wrecks. Monica, too, has an obsession with death, and revels in her friendship with a mortician's daughter and their access to postmortems. When Monica reaches her teen years, her parents divorce. Her mother then decides it's "her turn," and she goes back to college, often leaving Monica and her next oldest sister alone. Holloway perceptively writes about hurtful moments embedded in her memory, such as her parents repeatedly telling her that her birth was a "mistake," and her mother's selfish refusal to pay for treatment for a kidney infection. The final piece of this dysfunctional family's puzzle falls into place when the oldest sister begins to remember being molested by their father; so, too, does Monica. Amidst a burgeoning number of abuse memoirs, Holloway's shines because of her deft handling of the small details while painstakingly assembling the larger picture. Deborah Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If anyone ever said you can't sell a book merely by the title they were wrong. Here's proof! `Driving With Dead People' is the most intriguing title I have seen in, well, ever! Coupled with the cover of this book how could you not buy it. I anticipated a witty account of a bizarre, unconventional family where a little eight year old girl finds comfort and fun playing in a mortuary/funeral parlor with her best friend. The premise is priceless. Fodder for all kinds of funny stuff. What I got was the first half of the book almost everyone was throwing up. It appears Ms. Holloway has a fascination with this bodily function which, unfortunately, I do not find amusing or interesting and with zero literary appeal. The second half of the book was so horrendous I almost didn't finish it. Had I known the story would spiral into a tale of incest and degrading misery I would never have started it. Having paid for the book I was bound to finish it, but I wish I had never bought the thing. Had the word `incest' appeared anywhere in relation to this book I would have known not to buy it since this is not my choice of reading material.
I am truly sorry that Ms. Holloway had such a terrible life and I am very pleased that she overcame unimaginable odds and has a lovely life now. She did manage to treat some of her daunting experiences with wit and humour, good for her, but it was not enough to save the day for me. In fact some things, truth be told, are just not funny!
I can't say the book is not well written, because it is, but, if you are looking for a book to make you smile this is not it. The `Driving With Dead People' was such a tiny part of the story I feel I was misled by the title. I wish I had just admired the cover of the book and congratulated whoever came up with the title.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 92 reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touches all of your senses March 17 2007
By authorwork - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book with rapt attention. The young girl's voice was so authentic and innocent, I found myself fully engaged by the end of the first page. The writing is excellent and the humor is expertly placed throughout. This girl is real and human and courageous beyond belief. I cheered to see her come out on top after crying with her and her sister in the struggle to get there.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book! March 5 2007
By AEGT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is a joy to read; not a thing typically said of a book about family violence and sexual abuse. Somehow Monica recalls her turbulent childhood and her struggles to reach adulthood with such grace and humor that you find yourself crying and smiling at the same time. The book is definitely sad at times, but never depressing. I loved it, and found myself loving Monica and her sister with all my heart. The hope and love and determination shown by these girls, now women, shines through! This book is a keeper!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner. March 16 2007
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Driving with Dead People is the book you want for your long plane ride or a bad weather day because it will keep you turning the pages and not wanting it to end. The story is revealed in a unique way, keeping a serious subject as light as possible. This is a must read!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ride Along Feb. 27 2007
By Jerri Farris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Monica Holloway takes us along on the ride of her life, and it's oh-so-worth the trip. She's a fabulous story teller and she has amazing stories to tell. Some of them made me wince; some made me laugh; others made me cry.

In the middle of a chaotic weekend, I stayed up into the wee hours for two nights to finish this book. My advice? Buy Driving with Dead People. Take the phone off the hook and cancel your plans. All you're going to want is more.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triumph of the Human Spirit March 20 2007
By Ilonka M. O'Neil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Holloway performs the delicate balance of making you laugh hysterically, as you read about her very tragic childhood. Not easy to pull off, but she does it seamlessly.

This book is so good. Once you start, it's impossible to put it down. You love the girl Monica was and the woman she becomes.