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S A Robinson

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Driving with Shannon
by S A Robinson   

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Literary Fiction

Publisher:  PublishAmerica ISBN-10:  1591296129 Type: 


Copyright:  Jun 1 2002

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Here in lies the story of Sven Anarki and Dave Skank, two run-away Punk Rockers from Maine in 1984. They head out on their cross-country trip armed with $242, 40 saftey pins, a can of Aqua Net, and two razor blades. Along the way they discover the raw underbelly of America, the meaning of Punk, and ultimately, themselves.

Dave Skank and Sven Anarki are two straight edge, suicidal teenage punk rockers from an isolated small town in Maine. One day in December they decide to quit school, and just start driving south...with no destination whatsoever. Over the next six months the boys find various ways to feed themselves with no jobs, meet the various Do It Yourself punk rock locals, and try to remain as inconspicuos as possible, while dressed in ripped clothing, chains, eyeliner smeared eyes, and hair sticking a foot straight up. The boys sleep in cars, laundromats and squater's flats. They are confronted by the police, drug dealers, transvestites, violent rednecks and child molesters. The boys make brief stops in Portland, Maine, Boston, Rhode Island, New York City, Virginia Beach and Savannah, Georgia before finally heading out west. They have enough money from sporadic menial jobs to get as far as Phoenix, Arizona, where they find themselves submerged in a world of drugs, slam dancing and street-wise hustlers. Excerpt
Neither one of the boys had yet been in the pit. The front of the stage was three deep, and probably forty deep on each side of it. Unlike the East Coast, there were no people off to the side pushing. The circle ran in a counter clock-wise fashion, and seemed pretty non-violent. Most everyone was giving everyone else room enough to skank; right arms held above their heads, going around in a miniature version of the pit itself. They waited for FEAR to get on stage. While everyone else in the band got their instruments ready, the singer, Lee Ving, dressed more like he was an extra in the movie Rumblefish than someone at a punk show, entertained the crowd. “You all look like a bunch of fucking homos,” he told the audience. The crowd cheered. “C’mon, be truthful, who here is a faggot?” Everybody’s hand shot up. The guitarist, Philo Cramer, leaned over to get at mic level. “Y’know, my grandmother…” Lee Ving interrupted him. In the time it takes to say ‘applesauce’, he said “One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four!” and the band slammed into “We destroy the Family.” Dave and Sven ran into the pit. They were instantly separated. Dave was slamming his shoulders into others; Sven was grabbing the jackets ahead and to the side of him, and shaking them. There was one person, a guy who looked to be about twenty, whose natural red hair was in dinosaur spikes all over his head, some ten inches high, who was going the wrong way. He didn’t hit anybody on purpose, he just moved through the crowd in the opposite direction. He received more punishment that way than if he’d been slam dancing in its most violent form. Dave and Sven caught up to each other the second time they passed him. They put their arms around each other’s shoulders, and Dave’s free right arm, and Sven’s free left swung around in exaggerated circles. They plowed into, and picked up, everyone in front of them as they went around. They kept this up for forty-five minutes. Dave was breathless and Sven was seeing stars, neither of them having done anything that physical for that long in a very long time. FEAR was about to play their last song. “We’ve got your money, and this is our last song. I want all you mother fuckers up on stage…” Lee said, and two hundred people scrambled up to comply. Sven was too far off to the right to jump Lee, but managed to get up on stage, and stood directly next to Derf Scratch, the bassist. The pig pile buried Lee Ving, and you could hear people on the bottom of the pile screaming, telling everyone to get off. Dozens more were jumping on. Derf turned to Sven, still playing, and shook his head. Sven wanted to tell Derf that he’d loved FEAR ever since the first time he’d heard them, that he couldn’t believe that he, a kid from a small town in Maine, was standing next to someone he’d grown up listening to on records. Someone he’d modeled his actions and attitudes on. The moment passed, and Sven was glad that Derf’s amp was too loud, and he didn’t get the chance to act star struck. It was definitely cooler just to stand next to him as an equal. After the song, Lee was extricated from the mob, and everybody streamed outside, looking for cooler air. Sven found Dave near the entrance, looking pissed. “What’s wrong?” “I lost my fucking wallet.” “Where?” “In the pit, I think.” They headed back inside to look around on the floor. Dave kept saying it was hopeless, but didn’t stop looking. “Maybe Michele found it, did you see her leave?” “No, I think she’s in line for the bathroom.” Sven left Dave and went into the Ladies room to see if Michele was in there. The line was eight long. The bathroom had been graffitied so many times; the stalls were now black, not white. Everybody was smoking. The girls didn’t seem to mind that Sven was in here. There was a couple having sex in the far stall, and another making out on the sink. The girls in line didn’t even take notice of him, just like the couple making out didn’t notice that the sink was three-quarters filled with vomit. “Michele!” Sven yelled. Two girls in line looked at him, wondering how he knew their names. “I’m looking for Michele Dumont! She’s got big cow eyes and flabby…” “Sven, what the fuck do you want?” a voice came from one of the stalls. “Have you seen Dave’s wallet?” “Why the fuck would I have seen…” Sven was already out the door. Ten minutes later Michele came outside with Kyle, Jim and Banshee. “Did you find your wallet?” Michele asked. “You lost your wallet? Oh, man, that fucker’s gone!” Jim said. “Did you try the lost and found?” No one really believed that Kyle’s suggestion would pan out, but Dave tried it anyway. He came out fifteen minutes later with his wallet. All of his cash and IDs were still inside.

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Reader Reviews for "Driving with Shannon"

Reviewed by Thomas Mooney 1/18/2010
I loved the book. Have you ever seen the movie "SLC Punk"? i dont know if its supposed to be real events or anything, but i live a couple hour drive from salt lake city, and as far as the punk scene there goes, its just like the movie
Reviewed by KATE PIERSON 1/24/2005
so relieved to see that some people are willing to pay for that book you wrote. aren't you glad you didn't take any of my advice? Klutz von B. emailed in a frenzy cuz she thought the Amazon excerpt was you writing about little old me... ah well you always loved Sue more. she is cuter. appearently Amy told Klutz's mom that you used everyone's REAL NAMES and she was so curious she actually bought the book! hope this means you're well supplied with hot dogs, Fluff, pizza and smokes. at least you're not freezing your a** off in a storage space. or are you? oh, Madame Rand sends her love. nice cover photos. where is this new story collection anyway? love to Dave, too. your first love,kate (if you don't count that other girl)
Reviewed by Ray Taylor 11/8/2004
Hey Sven this is Banshee! From your book remember me ? Remember 2nd ave and central and Jim Bigelow ?
Call me 757-344-3629 hope you get this
Reviewed by Erin Elder 6/8/2003
Here is a novel that reads like a television reality show about a few months in the lives of a group of punk rockers.
S. Robinson makes you feel like you are right there. For those who want a true experience with graphic detail, this is a jewel. If you are uncomfortable looking at life in the real world life for people that live differently than most of us, read it anyway, you might learn how much alike we all are. S. Robinson succeeds in putting humanity and heart and much humor into this story about punk social movement, and reminds us all what it’s like to be young, to feel powerless, and what it takes to make those early life decisions. You will root for the characters, laugh with them, fear for them and feel joy when they find a moment of happiness. And that’s just good reading.

Reviewed by S Robinson 5/24/2003
Publish America Review by Frank
Los Angeles (2/19/2003)
I defy anyone to not smoke while reading this book.It brought me back to my youth and all the painful feelings that only punk rock could alleviate. I felt that I was privy to the perspective of youth and wondered when I got cynical.I would love to again be in a backseat screaming a Social Distortion song and feeling the freedom that Sven and Dave felt while driving with Shannon.The lyrics at the beginning of each chapter were a great device and allowed my personal relationship to the songs to be included in the telling.I was drawn in from the beginning and could not put it down. I was sad when I left the characters at the end because, I enjoyed our journey together. A book for punks, from punks.
Reviewed by KrYsTi 4/23/2003
This was one of the best books that i have actually read, I normally dont read books but i could not put this one down! I fell in love with Sven and Dave while reading this book. I reaaalllly enjoyed reading it. Thank yiu soo much for writing it. :)
Reviewed by Bing! 4/15/2003
Sven...I am so impresssed...the detsils you remember from our history in Orono is fantastic! I can't beleive you used every one's real names. You know I still miss Glenn I can't belive he passed away it took me a while to get over it...i'll never really be over it reallly...and i miss mick & pete too...Thank you so much for your honest efforts in writing Driving with Shannon...What a lovely walk down memory lane..I had the biggest crush on you!
Reviewed by Robin Rao 1/26/2003
Spellbinding, humorous, horrifying, and screaming of truth

If you want to experience, or perhaps relive, the eclectic mixture of GLAMOUR, DESPAIR and FIERCE DETERMINATION that made up the mid 80’s punk rock scene, let Sven Anarki tell you all about it, he knows.
When boredom and distain for constraints of any kind drive two
desperate teenagers to drop out of high school, they hit the road in a last ditch effort at life, disguised as a random cross country search for anarchy. Follow their cigarette butt strewn path from one American punk scene to the next as dwindling funds make the difficult choices between food, smokes, soap and Aquanet (both for ever lengthening Mohawks) become more obvious.
Keeping their demons at bay with razor blades, gritty determination, and a bizarre sense of humor, they manage to focus not only on the daily survival game and relentless pursuit of girls, but on their own evolving relationship, eventually realizing that what is saving them is not the will to survive, but their allied effort in the struggle not to give up.
Written with no affectation, it is pure storytelling, and with such vivid descriptions and frightening detail, it will make YOUR hair stand straight up.
Reviewed by Lori Paris 12/2/2002
So intense, so compelling...fantastic!
Reviewed by William Overby 12/2/2002
Wow, Sven, this excerpt is really fascinating. I was an 80's teen myself; sounds like you lived the dream many of us had then. Sounds like a great read!
Reviewed by Susan Weekley/ author 11/25/2002
A very vivid account of life for teenagers in the '80's. Exceptionally written by someone who lived it!
Reviewed by Feather Foster 11/22/2002
Ok, Ok, I am sold. You are one talented dude! Even an old lady like me knows a creative soul when I see it!
Reviewed by bruce farnsworth 11/14/2002
You little fudgepacker! Entrmesis means literally "enter messy". Now make me another
flauta fantastico and quit writing so many books.
Reviewed by James Filegar 10/31/2002
Wow! Takes me back. I used to work at a 'road house' in the early eighties... we had a 'punk' band there one weekend... yep remove the tables and the chairs! The owner of the bar {A college professor to boot almost had a stroke when he saw them moving the tables to the outside!} Wasn't his 'cup o' tea' though! Went back to rock'n bands after that!

Anyway, I like the way you bring your story out. Your book should do well. It is one thing to write, but to write and bring the reader into the scene, well that is the thing! You have done it well!

Good luck!
Reviewed by M. Toone 10/30/2002
Take the chairs out of the club it's SLAM NIGHT! An era in my life I wouldve been better off not telling anyone about. Sven your story brought me back! Great story!
Reviewed by jivetalk 8/8/2002
I'll trade you an msm med rare for a shot of jagermeister.
Reviewed by Lynn Barry 8/4/2002
Kind of a radical "Bill and Ted's" Mis-Adventure...Cool! I like what I've read so far...awesome!Good luck...looks like a lot of fun in reading material...

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