Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.
Showing posts with label Let the Dog Drive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Let the Dog Drive. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The Sunday New York Times contained an obituary for the writer David Bowman.  It seems he died in February of a cerebral hemorrhage, but the public announcement is only being made now.  I didn’t know him, but I know several people who did.  I recall reading his novel Let The Dog Drive, and thinking it was pretty good, though in fact I remember almost nothing about it.

Oddly enough, I discover in the obituary that David Bowman once found himself in much the same position toward his book.  In the summer of 1989, having more or less finished writing the novel, he was on vacation in Montauk, on Long Island.  He went for a walk and was hit by a car.  He was in a coma for a month and when he came out of it he was suffering from all but total amnesia.  According to Bowman’s friend Dr. Eric Schneider, “When David first read his manuscript, he didn’t recognize a word of it.  It was as if someone else had written it.”

Well, one way or another, Bowman got his memory back and went on to have a writing career.  He  published only one other novel Bunny Modern, although he apparently finished a new one shortly before his death.  Bunny Modern is a futuristic satire containing nannies whose infant charges are so precious they need to be protected with Glocks and sawn off shotguns.  

This novel is hardly the place to look for a serious meditation on the risks of pedestrianism, but it does contain the lines: “I remember how fathers wandered the streets strapped to their Walkmans; how moms knelt at the household TV, channel-hopping through network product.  My own mother did the network kneel, but my dad never did the Walkman walk.”

I can’t help wondering if there was some connection between the car accident of 1989 and this year’s brain hemorrhage, and I can’t help wondering if Bowman was wearing a Walkman when he was hit by that car.