Hack Review
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I don’t think there’s a single person out there who hasn’t thought about walking away from his or her job and trying something totally different. Like opening a coffee shop. Or joining the pro bowling circuit. Or mixing drinks in the bar at a tropical resort. Or becoming Lindsay Lohan’s personal assistant.

Okay. Maybe not the last one.

When Melissa Plaut lost her advertising job, she knew she could always look for another advertising job—but she didn’t want to. Instead, she decided that she wanted an adventure. She wanted to stop worrying about what she was going to do with her life. She wanted to do something totally different. She wanted to become a cab driver.

Plaut’s book, Hack, chronicles two years in the life of an unconventional (female and US-native) New York City cab driver. After going through the arduous process of getting a cab license, Plaut took to the streets, where she learned a lot about New York…and about her fellow New Yorkers…and about herself. As you ride along, you’ll meet plenty of Melissa’s quirky passengers—and you’ll also meet some of the other cabbies who take to the streets every day. You’ll even get to see some of the pictures that Melissa took while on the job.

Plaut may not look like the typical cabbie (as her passengers are often quick to point out), but while you’re reading Hack, you’ll find that it’s not all that difficult to picture her behind the wheel of a yellow cab. She seems to have the personality of a cabbie. She’s sometimes reserved and sometimes brash and crude—but she’s always tough and bold. And after navigating a cab through the streets of New York for a couple of years—fighting for passengers and battling fare-jumpers and trying to keep from colliding with gutsy pedestrians or other vehicles, all while transporting the tired, the weary, and the wildly drunk to their destination—how could she not be?

Plaut often writes in an aside-filled, stream-of-consciousness style that some readers might find hard to follow at times—and some of her stories are more interesting and/or relevant than others. But she has an easy style, and she writes with wit, wisdom, and a fair amount of sarcasm. She does such a good job of bringing her stories to life that you’ll be able to picture yourself in the passenger seat, riding along (and holding on for dear life).

After you pick up this entertaining and eye-opening little book, one thing is certain: you’ll never look at a cabbie the same way again.

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