Book Review - Turn Left on Green
by Doug Belliveau
June 19, 2003

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Book Review
Turn Left on Green
By Clyde Bolton

In his seventh novel, veteran sportswriter Clyde Bolton takes a stab at combining stock car racing with a traditional love story. Although not a future classic novel, Turn Left meets its goal by providing an entertaining, uncomplicated plot centered around the wonderful world of NASCAR.

The basis for Boltonís book is quite simple. It is a love story based on a rekindled relationship from several years ago. The two main characters include a former dirt track racer whoís made it big in the Winston Cup Series, and a college-aged woman who is now assigned to cover the NASCAR beat. The story also throws in an overpowering unethical team owner, a zealous rookie driver and an old-timer crew chief. Although a plot with fictional characters, the book stitches in references to real NASCAR people.

My only beef with the book is relative to its length. At 197 pages, I was able to digest the entire story in about 3 hours on an airplane flight. I thought the book could have been a bit longer, which would have allowed more time to develop the characters and their relationships. Specifically, it seemed unrealistic that the woman in this story was seemingly instantaneously able to redevelop her love for the racecar driver after a seven-year period of not even knowing what became of him.

Length aside, I found the book to be entertaining and an enjoyable light read. I praise the author for not trying to turn this into an overblown love story as found in The Titanic. As this novel is naturally tailored to the race fan, there is plenty of action both on and around the track, with several tracks on the NASCAR circuit represented. With all of Boltonís experience covering NASCAR, his descriptions of the tracks, the cars and the racing is superbly detailed and accurate.

I would recommend this book to any racing fan, or even a non-racing fan for that matter. Just keep in mind that this is not a novel that will be required reading in future classrooms, nor is it a juicy tabloid romance. If youíre in the mood for a light story that involves stock car racing and a decent storyline, this is the book for you.

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The author can be contacted nascar@autoracing1.com

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