Official Review: Just Drive by Deke N. Blue

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gen_g
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Latest Review: Just Drive by Deke N. Blue

Official Review: Just Drive by Deke N. Blue

Post by gen_g » 26 Jan 2019, 20:37

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Just Drive" by Deke N. Blue.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Public transit experiences are usually told from the perspective of the passenger, but Deke N. Blue offers a fresh and unique spin on the same experience – by telling it from the driver’s perspective. Just Drive: Life in the Bus Lane is a chronological compilation of blog posts from Blue’s blog, “From the Driver Side”, which logs his experiences as a bus operator in Portland, Oregon. These posts cover a large variety of topics, such as politics, the economy, race, and even everyday life. He also lists the pros and cons of being a bus operator, such as the occupational health risks, job security, union benefits, as well as the various safety issues that arise during the course of his job.

Firstly, this book is a joy to read. As a bus operator, Blue sees people from all walks of life when he is out on a run (read: driving a bus route), and this serves as inspiration for his posts. As a result, his posts are generally brutally honest, refreshing, and most importantly, informative. “A Battle Hymn for Us All” is one post that is especially enlightening; in it, he discusses the minimum wage, and he breaks down the negative stereotypes surrounding transit workers, helping the readers to better understand the life of a transit worker.

In addition, Blue also includes a couple of blog posts about his personal life, which I think is a nice touch, as it helped me to form a clearer image of his personality. With it, he becomes a multi-faceted personality who is easier to relate to, instead of being merely a bus driver. “Twitterpated” is a fine and heart-warming example of this; even if it only tells the simple story of his wife riding his bus by chance one day, his love for her shines the brightest with every word written.

Moreover, the language used is succinct and straightforward, and therefore, hard hitting. There were also very few grammar errors, most of them being very minor punctuation errors, which made reading smooth and delightful. Blue is also adept at weaving a story, and he knows how to hold the reader’s attention by painting unbelievably clear pictures with his descriptions of various scenes.

However, the book is not without its flaws. As previously mentioned, Just Drive: Life in the Bus Lane is a collection of blog posts about Blue’s experience in the driver’s seat. Being just over 400 pages long, it did get slightly repetitive due to the same issues being brought up again and again.

I also believe that Blue’s writing is overly defensive at times. Whilst we are given a crystal-clear insight into his perspective, I think he seems to be unable to view issues with an objective eye; this is not to say that he is knowingly prejudiced, but he seems to be fettered by his own position, preventing him from viewing matters from the other side.

Furthermore, a couple of his posts are clearly emotional rants, and he even goes so far as to label people “boneheads”. It would be better for a piece of writing to possess aplomb and impartiality, instead of being emotional, which clouds judgement. However, this is not to invalidate Blue’s writing; it is simply saying that he could make more of an effort to step into the other's shoes to provide a more balanced piece of writing. Nevertheless, one must also remember that these are originally blog posts – the products of venting after a tiring day.

Therefore, I rate Just Drive: Life in the Bus Lane 3 out 4 stars. I decided to subtract a star due to the occasional topic repetition, as well as the presence of subjectivity in some of his blog posts. Still, despite these flaws, this is a book that is certainly worth reading for the fresh perspective and depth of insight. I highly recommend this to people who want to know more about the hidden side of the public transport industry – in fact, this is the perfect place to start!

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Just Drive
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Post by inaramid » 29 Jan 2019, 06:30

"...this is not to say that he is knowingly prejudiced, but he seems to be fettered by his own position, preventing him from viewing matters from the other side."

This was such a keen observation -- and a valuable insight into the flaws of writing nonfiction. But since the book originated as blog posts, the subjectivity would be expected I guess. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Sarah Tariq » 29 Jan 2019, 08:14

A bus driver covering so much diverse topics, amazing! It really provides a lot of insight about the life of a bus driver and other transit workers, and the problems the face in their day to day life. Thanks for this great review.
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Post by kandscreeley » 29 Jan 2019, 08:45

I can only imagine the stories that come from having driven a bus for that long. I'm positive that it's not all sunshine and roses, so I'm not surprised there's a bit of ranting including. I'm not sure if I would enjoy this book or not. I will keep it in mind for the future, though. Thanks.
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Post by kdstrack » 29 Jan 2019, 09:54

Being a bus driver certainly gives the author a window on human nature. He must witness rude behavior and kind gestures on a daily basis. I can empathize with his occasional urge to gently call other drivers "boneheads!" I like that this book presents a unique perspective about life behind the wheel. Thanks for your insightful review.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 29 Jan 2019, 10:33

This book reminds me of "Speed" with Keanu Reeves. I wonder if there's a story there about a bomb on the bus, or a terrorist threat. How wonderful to watch the everyday world from a driver's perspective! I'm been driving for a while and agree that the road makes for an exciting setting for interesting stories.

Thanks, gen_g, for being a driven reviewer!

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Post by Bianka Walter » 29 Jan 2019, 15:57

Blog posts can definitely be a way of venting some pent up frustrations. I think you handled this review so well. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
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Post by Jessacardinal » 29 Jan 2019, 22:22

Reading about the transit system from the drivers point of view would be an eye opening experience. However, since the author blogged from his own point of view, I'm not convinced he is required to understand anything from anyone elses point of view.
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Post by gen_g » 29 Jan 2019, 22:44

inaramid wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 06:30
"...this is not to say that he is knowingly prejudiced, but he seems to be fettered by his own position, preventing him from viewing matters from the other side."

This was such a keen observation -- and a valuable insight into the flaws of writing nonfiction. But since the book originated as blog posts, the subjectivity would be expected I guess. Thanks for the review!
I agree, the subjectivity is inevitable. Thanks for stopping by, Inaramid! (:

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Post by gen_g » 29 Jan 2019, 22:45

Sarah Tariq wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 08:14
A bus driver covering so much diverse topics, amazing! It really provides a lot of insight about the life of a bus driver and other transit workers, and the problems the face in their day to day life. Thanks for this great review.
It was a really inspiring read; thank you for stopping by!

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Post by gen_g » 29 Jan 2019, 22:46

kandscreeley wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 08:45
I can only imagine the stories that come from having driven a bus for that long. I'm positive that it's not all sunshine and roses, so I'm not surprised there's a bit of ranting including. I'm not sure if I would enjoy this book or not. I will keep it in mind for the future, though. Thanks.
Yes, I agree; ranting is inevitable in his line of work. Thank you for stopping by nonetheless!

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Post by gen_g » 29 Jan 2019, 22:47

kdstrack wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 09:54
Being a bus driver certainly gives the author a window on human nature. He must witness rude behavior and kind gestures on a daily basis. I can empathize with his occasional urge to gently call other drivers "boneheads!" I like that this book presents a unique perspective about life behind the wheel. Thanks for your insightful review.
Indeed! It was a refreshing read, and I enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by.

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Post by gen_g » 29 Jan 2019, 22:51

Miriam Molina wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 10:33
This book reminds me of "Speed" with Keanu Reeves. I wonder if there's a story there about a bomb on the bus, or a terrorist threat. How wonderful to watch the everyday world from a driver's perspective! I'm been driving for a while and agree that the road makes for an exciting setting for interesting stories.

Thanks, gen_g, for being a driven reviewer!
Ooh, I must say that I have yet to watch that! I'm not sure if he has experienced a bomb on his bus, but I must say that there is a post that talks about terrorism threats and safety measure that are currently in place (which was really informative). I agree, you really get to see many different kinds of people and situations on the road!

Thanks for stopping by, Miriam, I appreciate it always!

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Post by gen_g » 29 Jan 2019, 22:54

Bianka Walter wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 15:57
Blog posts can definitely be a way of venting some pent up frustrations. I think you handled this review so well. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
I think, for the author, the outlet was sorely needed. Still, it made for an enlightening read! Thank you for stopping by, Bianka! I definitely appreciate it.

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Post by gen_g » 29 Jan 2019, 23:29

Jessacardinal wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 22:22
Reading about the transit system from the drivers point of view would be an eye opening experience. However, since the author blogged from his own point of view, I'm not convinced he is required to understand anything from anyone elses point of view.
I do not think that the author is required to believe in the other perspective, but personally I thought that it would be better for him to possess at least an understanding of the other perspective for better comprehension of the overall issue. Still, he did mention having a corporate past. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment, nonetheless!

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