Plaut decided to become a New York City cabbie after getting laid off from a job as an advertising copywriter, then began posting about her interactions with patrons on a blog that forms the backbone of this memoir. The anecdotal structure has its weaknesses, repeating the cycle of passengers getting in the cab, engaging in conversation with Plaut, then leaving either a generous tip or a lousy one. There are also a number of scenes set at the garage, where she slowly develops a friendship with a 62-year-old transsexual driver while struggling to avoid another senior cabbie with bladder control problems. Plaut's growing dissatisfaction with the job provides the memoir with an emotional undercurrent. She has trouble shaking off the feeling that she's wasting her potential, and the drain of interacting with abusive passengers and a hostile police force eventually sets her to dreaming of dying in a car crash. In the end, however, she's grown more comfortable with her fate, ready to continue circling the streets looking for fares. Her storytelling technique may be uneven in this debut, but it shows promise. (Sept.)The only bone of contention I have with this review is the reference to
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repeating the cycle of passengers getting in the cab, engaging in conversation with Plaut, then leaving either a generous tip or a lousy oneThat's what the life of a cabbie is. A multitude of interactions with strangers. Every hour of every shift. Ad nauseam.
Snippets of life.
"Let's all be careful out there!"