What a little gem! This unassuming novella will suck you in with its humor. John Redstand can really spin a yarn, and the way he interweaves the present day adventures of the protagonist and his grandfather with the tales from the past is keeps this book moving at a brisk pace. In fact, I’d planned to put aside an hour or so every night to read it, but ended up reading it straight through. I’m not sure if it was because I wanted to hear the end of Grandpa’s war stories or if I wanted to find out what kind of weird situation they’d end up in next.
The premise could lend itself to over-sentimentality, but it doesn’t make that mistake. In fact, there are few cliches in the narrative. Grandpa isn’t always right, and everything wasn’t better “back in the day.” In fact, if anything, Redstand reveals that 90-year-old Grandpa is still the youthful joker underneath the decades of living and experience, and still very much open to learning something new (even if you have to take him all the way to the courthouse for him to learn that).
Humor is the focus of “Driving Grandpa,” and although it’s certainly family friendly, it’s quite lively. I think this is because the story is told from the point of view of the 40-year-old “kid.” This keeps the humor contemporary and fresh. Grandpa’s stories are a riot, ageless and relateable, and well timed within the present day events.