Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yellow Flag by Robert Lipsyte

Kyle has grown up in a racing family starting with his Great Grandfather. He loved it as a kid, but at some point, after racing cars for several years, he decided he'd rather not do it anymore. It was a hard won battle and he got heavily involved playing trumpet in the band. Now he's 17 and in a jazz quintet that could be going places. He's sort of loving his life. Then his older brother has a bad wreck. Not only is that scary in its own right, but he's also got some intimidating and life changing decisions ahead of him. Does he drop everything to race for his brother? Does he refuse his family and stick to his guns? Kyle thought he had everything figured out, but as he's drawn back into his family's racing business the more he discovers he really hasn't got a grasp on anything.

I think it's possible that Lipsyte is the only author that could have possibly gotten me to enjoy a book about car racing. He has such an incredible talent for describing action and raising the tension until you absolutely must know what happens next. The racing action was superb, as was the behind the scene details of what racing entails - the sponsors, the car maintenance, the different jobs people have to do to support the person driving the car. I also felt it was a realistic portrayal of the pressures a child would face when he is born into a family that has focused their entire beings on car racing.

My only real complaint was a character that was a friend of Kyle's that responds to everything with, "saw that movie..." and goes on to name a movie, name the actors, etc., in what one assumes is an attempt to relate to a situation. It completely irritated me.

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naomibates said...

I didn't care for this one, but then again, I don't care for racing. Wonder if guys will read it just for the subject?

Patti said...

I am totally not a nascar fan, but I thought he did a good job of making it interesting. I don't think its his best book by any means.