The Driver - Part V - Ayn Rand relics and stock prices.
Click here for Part IV of my review of The Driver.
Chapter III of The Driver is heavily influenced by Ayn Rand relics. I will not identify them for fear of spoiling the fun of seeing them for yourself. The items that appear in Driver that foreshadow the Rand novels do not reflect poorly on Rand. Rand's plots were all her own, with only an element or two from prior novelists. Rand's novels were unique. She built on elements from prior authors, but she created something new and distinct. Ayn Rand's basic plot originated in Red Pawn during the 1920's, was repeated closely in Anthem and appeared in much more complex form (with many new elements and alterations) in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Rand's basic plot does not mirror the plot of The Driver (although the main character's battle in Driver featured some elements that would later appear in Fountainhead).
Much of The Driver involves the familiar drama resulting from the rise and fall of stock prices. At one point in Chapter III, a minor character remains notable for her silence until she asks a question that our own veterans of the 1990's stock market bubble (and its aftermath) will find very familiar - "What is the price of Great Midwestern today?" [p. 73]. This was no piece of casual dialogue. The near obsession of the characters with fluctuations in a stock price, especially in the aftermath of a general crash, has implications for our own times.
Other people have lived through stock market crashes in the past. They have sometimes found solutions instead of messiahs. Those solutions have become the subject of fiction and literature. While there is no magic solution in Driver, there is perspective.