Long Drive Home by Will Allison
A Novel


6 Critic Reviews

...Allison's effortless prose and playful genre mixing showcase a burgeoning talent.
-Publishers Weekly


In this New York Times bestselling psychological thriller, “a gripping morality tale that raises questions about race, conscience, and the responsibilities of parenthood” (People), a happily married man makes a split-second decision that sends his life into a devastating tailspin.

In his riveting new novel, Will Allison, critically acclaimed author of What You Have Left, crafts an emotional and psychological drama that explores the moral ambiguities of personal responsibility as it chronicles a father’s attempt to explain himself to his daughter—even though he knows that in doing so, he risks losing her.

Life can change in an instant because of one small mistake. For Glen Bauer, all it takes is a quick jerk of the steering wheel, intended to scare a reckless driver. But the reckless driver is killed, and just like that, Glen’s placid suburban existence begins to unravel.

Written in part as a confessional letter from Glen to his daughter, Sara, Long Drive Home evokes the sharp-eyed observation of Tom Perrotta and the pathos of Dan Chaon in its trenchant portrait of contemporary American life.

When Glen realizes no one else saw the accident, he impulsively lies about what happened—to the police, to his wife, even to Sara, who was in the backseat at the time of the crash. But a tenacious detective thinks Sara might have seen more than she knows, or more than her parents will let her tell. And when Glen tries to prevent the detective from questioning Sara, he finds himself in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game that could end in a lawsuit or prison. What he doesn’t see coming is the reaction of his wife, Liz—a panicked plan that threatens to tear their family apart in the name of saving it.

But what if the accident wasn’t really Glen’s fault? What if someone else were to blame for the turn his life has taken? It’s a question Glen can’t let go of. And as he struggles to understand the extent of his own guilt, he finds himself on yet another collision course, different in kind but with the potential to be equally devastating. Long Drive Home is a stunning cautionary tale of unintended consequences that confirms Will Allison’s growing reputation as a rising literary talent.

About Will Allison

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Will Allison’s debut novel, What You Have Left, was selected for Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers, Borders Original Voices, and Book Sense Picks, and was named one of 2007’s notable books by the San Francisco Chronicle. His short stories have appeared in magazines such as Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, and One Story and have received special mention in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories anthologies. He is the former executive editor of Story. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, he now lives with his wife and daughter in New Jersey. Learn more about Will Allison at www.willallison.com.
Published May 17, 2011 by Free Press. 226 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Long Drive Home
All: 6 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Below average
on Jul 01 2011

I didn’t entirely buy the conceit that a man so protective of his daughter that he becomes her school’s crossing guard would risk her safety by pretending to pull out in front of a maniacally speeding car.

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Publishers Weekly

on Feb 28 2011

...Allison's effortless prose and playful genre mixing showcase a burgeoning talent.

Read Full Review of Long Drive Home: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

on Jun 24 2011

In Long Drive Home, Allison focuses on the brutally quick unraveling of Glen’s peaceful existence, filling the reader with not only dread but also the desire to discover what terrible — or hopeful — development awaits on the next page

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20Something Reads

on Feb 16 2012

It seems that a good book transports and entertains us, while a truly excellent read has the power to change us in some profound way. This story certainly qualifies as excellent.

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MostlyFiction Book Reviews

on May 18 2011

Don’t plan on doing anything else once you start this novel. If you’re like me, you’ll give up eating and sleeping until it’s finished.

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The Rumpus

Below average
Reviewed by Katharine Noel on May 31 2011

Why was he unable to shrug and let the other vehicle pass? That missed chance haunts this good, flawed character and this good, flawed book.

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