Book Reviews of Velocity

Author: Kristin Mccloy
ISBN-13: 9780394570228
ISBN-10: 0394570227
Publication Date: 9/12/1988
Pages: 256
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Random House
Book Type: Hardcover
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Helpful Score: 1
From Amazon.Com:
The simplest plots can be the most fascinating: small town girl [Ellie] returns to her North Carolina town to deal with family tragedy after several years on her own in the big city. Out of place with her family and former friends and feeling distant from the life she left behind in New York, she consciously and with premeditation begins an affair with a typical Harley-riding bad boy. The character of Jesse is a little cliche-ed, but it is Ellie who is the heart and soul of the story. Her thoughts, actions, and justifications for the choices she makes keep the reader in the moment, moving along with the story. Though Ellie's affair is initially the focal point of the story, a second, more careful reading will reveal other themes--above all loss, grief, and recovery. Ellie's relationships with her father, her boyfriend back in New York, and a co-worker are all very complete and real, in contrast with her relationship with Jesse. She keeps these various parts of her life compatrmentalized, separated from one another. When they inevitably collide, Ellie must face up to the choices she's made. Throughout, she is a likable and sympathetic character. McCloy very accurately portrays the human need to separate oneself from the place where one came from, only to find comfort in returning to that place, however painful. What could have been simply a novel of erotic obsession is given depth by exploring the circumstances that lead to that obsession. The erotic scenes themselves are given credence by Ellie's emotional need. If you liked McCloy's second novel, Some Girls, then don't miss this one. The prose is infused with the same sense of urgency that sets McCloy apart from other writers.

From Publishers Weekly
Her compelling, erotic first novel marks McCloy as an accomplished writer who is not afraid to handle a difficult subject. In a spare yet lyrical prose style that reflects the intensity of the narrator's emotions, it tells of a few weeks in the life of 25-year-old Ellie Lowell, who has come home to North Carolina after her mother's sudden death. Alone with her father, a loving but taciturn policeman, Ellie is unable to deal with her grief and sense of overwhelming loss. Though she is an aspiring film director in Manhattan, Ellie takes a daytime job as a waitress in a seedy local restaurant. At night, in the grip of an uncontrollable need she makes no effort to deny, Ellie sneaks out of the house to a shack down the road where she seduces Jesse, a tattooed, menacing, half-Cherokee drug dealer and member of Hell's Angels, whose Harley motorcyle symbolizes Ellie's need to speed past her sorrow into the mindless fulfillment of sex. Images of velocity abound in the slim text: Ellie's mother died in a car accident, "the rush and shock and smash of the rest of her life accelerating to meet her head-on through the windshield." As the weather grows hotter day by day, so does Ellie's carnal heat and unappeasable lust. In sustaining a highly concentrated focus, McCloy makes Ellie's feverish behavior inevitable and credible. She is equally successful in depicting the hermetic atmosphere of a small Southern town and the people who live there. Movie rights to Chartoff Productions; Literary Guild featured alternate; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Love, and the pain of its loss, are at the heart of this exceptional first novel. When her mother dies in a car accident, 25-year-old Ellie Lowell leaves her lover and work in New York to spend the summer with her father in her North Carolina hometown. But Ellie and Tom Lowell, never close, offer each other little comfort; he's a cop who works overtime for distraction, she's a waitress who finds no balm for her grief at work. Vulnerable, she's drawn to and soon obsessed with a half-Cherokee drug-dealing biker; she finds herself risking reputation and relationships as she drowns her sorrow in sex. McCloy draws these characters beautifully in clean, spare prose, which is alternately deeply sensual and achingly moving. A striking literary debut. Literary Guild Alternate. Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.