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How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel

How I Learned to Drive

by Paula Vogel

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This is one of my favorite plays of all time. It's a perfect combination of humor and pathos. Using a driver's manual as a way to navigate life, Vogel creates a witty, smart extended metaphor that embodies Gardner's "vivid and unending dream" that we strive to find in good fiction. Read this for the unforgettable characters, the masterful dialogue, and the magic. One of the best. ( )
  lefaulkenberry | Jul 27, 2016 |
This is one of those plays where everyone is dying to know - is it autobiographical? Because whenever a play is written about sexual abuse of a child, people definitely poke around hoping to find the author in the story. I don't know if it's autobiographical; I do know that it's a powerful and unforgettable play, where the driving lessons are actually a metaphor for the coming of age process. The author bends time and place, and throws linear structure out the window, and it works. The format lends a surreal nature to an all too real story, and makes it perhaps more bearable. A well written play, perhaps a bit underwritten which isn't always a bad thing. ( )
1 vote Devil_llama | Sep 25, 2013 |
The play describes the sexual relationship between a young girl and her Uncle Peck in rural Maryland in the 1960s. Uncle Peck also makes a move on her cousin Bobby during a fishing trip. ( )
  TonySandel2 | Feb 11, 2013 |
This play has been my favorite contemporary play since I first read it about four years ago. It tells the story of Lil' Bit and her relationship with her uncle Uncle Peck which begins when she is very young and continues until she is in college. Though she is clearly a victim of molestation, the story is much deeper than that of a victim and her perpetrator. Vogel lets to audience into Lil' Bit's dysfunctional family in which her grandfather is over-sexed and her grandmother is at the beckon call of his sexual urges. In addition, Lil' Bit's mother gives her advice on sex and men that is misguided due to her own failing as a wife. The only family member that Lil' Bit can turn to is her uncle who loves her as more than a niece. The two begin a relationship before Lil' Bit even reached puberty. Though Lil' Bit knows that the relationship is wrong, Uncle Peck is her only advocate and support.

The play is told through various scenes that are not chronological. Vogel chose to do this in order to question the audience about at what point does their relationship become inappropriate. She wanted the audience to view a scene and think "is this wrong" and then escalate to a more graphic scene in order to raise the question "now is it wrong". With each scene, Vogel is asking the audience when does the relationship cross the line. While there is not a great deal of action, it is one of the most thought-provoking plays. I cannot give it enough praise!!

www.iamliteraryaddicted.blogspot.com ( )
1 vote sorell | Mar 11, 2010 |
I was pretty sure when I started this one that I would dislike it, but surprisingly enough, I found myself really enjoying this piece despite the incredibly difficult subject matter involving pedophilia. Vogel wrote it in such a way that it truly speaks to people, even if you cannot directly relate. ( )
  cinesnail88 | Dec 23, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 082221623X, Paperback)

The 1950s pop music accompanying Li'l Bit's excursion down memory lane cannot drown out the ghosts of her past. Sweet recollections of driving with her beloved uncle intermingle with lessons about the darker sides of life. Balmy evenings are fraught with danger; seductions happen anywhere. Li'l Bit navigates a narrow path between the demands of family and her own sense of right and wrong.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:13 -0400)

Balmy evenings in rural Maryland are frought with danger; seductions can happen anywhere from a river bank to the front seat of a car, where a young self-conscious girl is learning to drive. To Li'l Bit, the radio is the most important part of the car, but the pop music of the '50's can never quite drown out the harrowing images in her mind.… (more)

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