Stories from a Chicago Cab
By Dmitry Samarov
(University of Chicago Press, Hardcover, 9780226734736, 124pp.)
Publication Date: October 2011
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An artist and painter trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Samarov began driving a cab in 1993 to make ends meet, and he's been working as a taxi driver ever since. In "Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab," he recounts tales that will delight, surprise, and sometimes shock the most seasoned urbanite. We follow Samarov through the rhythms of a typical week, as he waits hours at the garage to pick up a shift, ferries comically drunken passengers between bars, delivers prostitutes to their johns, and inadvertently observes drug deals. There are long waits with other cabbies at O'Hare, vivid portraits of street corners and their regular denizens, amorous Cubs fans celebrating after a game at Wrigley Field, and customers who are pleasantly surprised that Samarov is white--and tell him so. Throughout, Samarov's own drawings--of his fares, of the taxi garage, and of a variety of Chicago street scenes--accompany his stories. In the grand tradition of Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, Mike Royko, and Studs Terkel, Dmitry Samarov has rendered an entertaining, poignant, and unforgettable vision of Chicago and its people.
Cab drivers often find themselves playing amateur therapist, confession-taker and witness. In his new book Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab, long-time cabbie Dmitry Samarov shares his tales from the road. More at NPR.org
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