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The Little Driver [Paperback]

Martin Wagner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Review

The Little Driver is a gem. -- Andrew Brackenbury - Ergo

A delightful fairy tale... highly recommended for children and adults alike. -- Carbusters

Like all great children’s books this one is for adults too. -- Spokes

Recommended. -- Earthmatters (Friends of the Earth Magazine)

About the Author

Martin Wagner is a writer and film-maker. He made the award-winning short film Summer, and published his first novel, Rachel s Machine in 1997. He just completed The Little Politician. He resides in London, UK.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Joe opened the door of his red car for the little girl and she climbed in. When he had taken his seat and started the engine, he noticed that she had not put on her seat belt.
‘Put on the seat belt.’
‘Why?’
‘You’ve got to. It’s the law.’
‘Why?’
‘Why? You sound just like...’ Joe realised that he wanted to say, ‘You sound just like me,’ and that he had stopped asking questions since he got his new car. Why exactly did you have to put on seat belts? ‘Otherwise, if there’s an accident,’ he explained, ‘you’d fly through the window.’
‘Is there going to be an accident?’
‘I don’t know. I hope not.’
‘But there could be?’
‘But there probably won’t.’
The girl didn’t listen. ‘What if there’s an accident and the people in the other car haven’t got seat belts on?’
‘That’s their business.’
‘And what if we hit a human?’
‘A human?’
‘A person who is walking.’
‘A pedestrian.’
‘Whatever. What if we hit one of those?’
Joe sighed. ‘They know they have to be careful. They have crossings and things.’
‘And what if there isn’t one and they want to cross the street?’
‘They just have to walk to the next one.’
‘What if they’re in a hurry?’
‘What if? What if?’ Joe was beginning to get angry. ‘They still have to walk to the next one.’ Joe thought of the old man having to go for a ten-minute walk to get a pint of milk. Couldn’t be much fun, come to think of it.
‘Why do they have to?’
‘The cars come first.’
‘But why?’
‘They just do.’
‘Cars should come second. Humans were here on earth first.’
The little girl tried to put on her seat belt but didn’t seem to know how. Joe reached over and gave her a hand. He wanted to be on his way again.‘Haven’t you ever been in a car before?’ he joked impatiently, clipping the belt into place.
‘No,’ the little girl replied and, as if to confirm this, she began trying all the buttons within her reach.
When she started to examine the clutch, Joe drew the line.‘Don’t touch that.’Joe put the car in reverse and backed out of his parking space.
‘Stop!’ the girl shouted.
‘What?’
‘You almost hit that woman there.’ A pedestrian had walked behind the car and Joe hadn’t noticed.
‘There was miles of space,’ he said, but looked more carefully before pulling out again.
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