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Driving in Reverse - The Life I Almost Missed -bookcover

By: Lindsay Wincherauk

Driving in Reverse - The Life I Almost Missed

Pages: 313 Ratings: 4.6
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Author Lindsay Wincherauk is down on his luck and headed for midlife collapse. Working two dismal jobs to pay his trendy Yaletown rent, grieving the sudden loss of two friends and family members, and dumped by the love of his life – Lindsay looks for the nearest exit. He decides on a whim to escape to Europe with his buddy Dave. By a twist of fate, his life turns completely upside down when he attempts to renew his passport and discovers he’s the main character in a dark family secret.  Reeling from the shock, Lindsay grabs his bags and blasts through 11 countries in 31 days. Wincherauk’s story moves at breakneck speed as the author describes his flight through pain and madness, spinning into surreal side trips where he meets an inferno of wild characters. Back in Vancouver, while driving a suicidal man to work, a light goes on and Lindsay knows what he must do: write his story. He’s come precariously close to self-destructing and knows that until the hidden pieces of his life are uncovered, something would be missing. Writing his way through the dark chapters, with wit and candour, he breaks through to the other side – “reborn”.

LINDSAY WINCHERAUK is an author, journalist, and one-time bartender; he loves writing about the world as he sees it. He was a contributing writer to 24 Hours Vancouver. He co-authored a book titled: SEED’S SKETCHY RELATIONSHIP THEORIES – A GUIDE TO THE PERILS OF DATING (HOW NOT TO BECOME A BAR REGULAR) (2004).

FUN FACTS: Lindsay quarterbacked high school, junior, and university football teams, winning city, provincial, and national championships. He holds the record for the longest touchdown pass in Canadian junior football league history, 108 yards. Amazingly, he’s blind in one eye.

Customer Reviews
22 reviews
22 reviews
  • Book Viral

    There is a carefree audacity to the way in which Wincherauk writes and in throwing away the rule book he delivers something that is genuinely extraordinary. Eschewing a traditional memoir structure, it’s admirably adventurous as we see Wincherauk’s life through an ever-widening lens and with many meaningful reflections strewn throughout we are left in little doubt as to the calibre of the mind behind the pen. Very few writers are so adept at capturing their emotions or communicating them with such unabashed honesty and on this level Wincherauk’s overarching theme is that of loss and discovery through which style and memoir find alternative expression as he delivers a complete, absorbing and above all cleverly nuanced account that rebukes mechanical writing.

    Paying due deference to the intricacies of his experiences and the eclectic characters he has met he invites us to peer closely at them. To know them as pivotal, as opposed to bit players, in his intriguing life story with each chapter conveying something tangible and notable.

    A truly original memoir that makes for a highly entertaining and thought-provoking read Driving in Reverse - the life I almost missed is recommended without reservation.

  • Karen Lynn

    Mesmerizing, maddening, funny and true!
    Get ready, folks. Lindsay Wincherauk’s writing style is in your face. His prose is spot on when capturing how people relate to each other, especially when discussing dating, sex, difficult family issues, his blindness in one eye, use of drugs, trips to sandy beaches with a war waging on, as well as his perpetual visits to operating rooms (his knees are toast).
    This book is packed with exciting stuff … plus a bombshell concerning his family. There are hints of a Holden Caulfield here, which this reader welcomed.
    Wincherauk makes friends easily, some of them caring, others, not so much. He seems to trust what all people say, but the truth is he’s just hoping they aren’t lying. He cried for 64 days, straight, due to losing his unfaithful lover. Yes, you want to scream, “Enough, snap out of it!” And it’s right at that point when the author, given his deprecating humour and true love of humanity does snap out of it, if only for a brief respite … Then, you turn the page and he’s off to a drug room maligning him for going to a drug room. It is his glaring humanness, open and bloody at times that reels you back in.
    This Canadian-born memoirist is especially adept at describing visitations with some random people, like a fellow he befriended on a park bench who was a better listener and more caring than people he’d known most of his life. There is goodness out there. Right outside your door. Life is like that. You just know somehow that Wincherauk will find his way. Hold onto your seat.


    A unique and compelling, intensely personal and exceptionally candid memoir, "Driving in Reverse - The Life I Almost Missed" is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary life. Deftly written, complex, thoughtful and thought-provoking, “Driving in Reverse - The Life I Almost Missed” will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf.

  • Alex Reid

    Lindsay's memoir draws you in from the beginning. The intro puts it all into perspective, where he is coming from, the struggle to publish and sticking to his guns about the style necessary to express his life in a way that gives it an authentic voice. Those with a bit more Avant Gard or creative flair would enjoy the very different format it is written in. It took a while to adjust, especially with the beginning letter. But as you get to know Lindsay, you understand why he does it. Whether it's the alcohol, the drugs or depression. his fragmented voice adds to the story. You do feel like you know him, and I found my mind reeling from his stories - from childhood and his heartbreaks. Seeking love, Lindsay doesn't give up and I found myself cheering for him throughout. His story is a testament to how having a good support system is necessary, whether it is family, friends or lovers. You move through the story and long for his happiness. Lindsay is sarcastic and honest, sometimes a bit too honest and the characters in his life at times seem larger than life. That a person can look back years and really reflect on their life to the extent that he has is impressive. I wish I had read this in paperback as the photos on Kindle were hard to see, as they wouldn't enlarge when touched. I've recommended this book to friends who struggle with depression, to remind them that they aren't alone, there are others with similar experiences and that it is possible to fight for yourself to heal.

  • Olaak

    Lindsay Wincherauk's book is real, raw and emotional. The first few chapters of the book are chaotic and confusing, but I think that was a reflection of Lindsay's own life. Very incoherent. The story is about the life of a young boy growing up in Canada. All his experiences, chronologically expressing all the good and bad times. The youngest of his siblings. His story is so relatable. The inferiority complex he felt as a child, disdain, that I personally interpreted as jealousy from his older brothers. The sad and gut-wrenching experience of watching his parents literally waste away from illness. Still knowing that they are going to die does not prepare him for the loss. The reckless of mind, spirit, and body as grief takes over and pushes him into depression. It was a remarkable read for me. Very emotional as I have experienced a little bit of that in my life. Lindsay takes us all the way down to drunkenness and drugs, self-destructive behavior and then back up to the moment that he begins to heal—for all the pain and make peace with his life and experience. I will recommend this book to anyone having a hard time or struggling with depression. You are not alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Katy Nicola

    Lindsay Wincherauk's book, Driving in Reverse, really made me stop and ponder life. Sure, Driving is entertaining, as it is filled with cynical fun, literal highs, and so many self-described poor choices; but it is also deeply marked with pain, heartache, and death. Although written in a stream of consciousness style, this intriguing memoir is well-organized and easy to follow. Lindsay uses such openness and vulnerability as he writes that I feel comfortable calling him by his first name. This creatively woven story plays with the timeline in an entrancing manner. Different scenes pause and crisscross, although the reader, is not abandoned or left confused. Lindsay takes the time to provide the dateline and offer a brief catch-up/check-in, for reference, which surprisingly lacks any and all redundancy. As a reader I felt involved and valued. Reading reveals a man who has a knack for inviting people into sharing with raw honesty. His life roams through multiple employers and international experiences and always seems to include friends, girls, drugs, alcohol, death, and adventure. Ultimately this book is about a soul seeking to discover his true identity as a simple rip in a page leads to family revelation. The family secret is continually mentioned as a carrot hung in front of your little beady reading eyes. Don't worry, the answer eventually appears, and you'll not find boredom in the journey along the way. Lindsay is very forthright in his descriptions regarding his life lived while seeking stability and kindness, so I would recommend this book for an adult audience only.

  • D Malone

    …and one that should be taken with great patience. You can almost feel the frustration and… While at first, it felt as though the authors thoughts came about in a disjointed manner, I found the insight to his manner of reflection rather interesting. The first couple chapters had been a flurry of chaos in which it was difficult to really understand what was going on because it kept switching time frames. Once he started talking directly about his family, his parents in fact, his thoughts became much clearer. It was obvious that his upbringing was littered with tumultuous events and nightly fights between his mother and father, leaving him basically alone. His college adventure made me really feel for him. Not only dealing with Cancer knocking on his door as it ate away his father's life... but to live in the shadow of his brother and be treated as though he were going to be making the same mistakes. When his mother passed on, his life seemed to go in a downward spiral. You almost think he's going to climb out of it, but even that breaks. Then, to top it off he accidentally finds out that he's adopted. Now you get taken on a journey of finding his real parents. (He finds his father). It's a hell of a ride, and one that should be taken with great patience. You can almost feel the frustration and grief through the words the author shared. The pensiveness over meeting his father. The silence that followed. It's a good read that I'd recommend.

  • Julie S

    Driving in Reverse: The Life I Almost Missed Author: Lindsay Wincherauk Publication Date: December 5, 2017 Book Length: 452 pages A Close Look at the Plot/Story – The premise of Driving in Reverse: The Life I Almost Missed is one that is original and honest in approach. The best kinds of reads are those books that offer insight and encouragement to all who can come into contact with them. What this autobiography does very successfully is to tell the story of someone who has a one-of-a-kind life story that is monumental. The narrative is spot-on and delivers too. Who is the main character or goal in this book? The main character is no other than Lindsay Wincherauk. Lindsay Wincherauk is an interesting person in his way. The author invites readers into his life. He can face the darkest aspects of his own life with grit and determination. Truth is stranger than fiction with this book. Driving in reverse can get you back to going straight in life. What is the primary objective of this book? The objective of the book is simple. Lindsay Wincherauk fights his pain and madness with strength and endurance that would inspire many. He can move forward and do it with lightning speed. The objective of this book is to offer valuable encouragement and understanding to all those who are in similar situations in life. Don’t give up on you. You can survive anything and make it through. Resilience is possible. My Personal Experiences – Can I relate to the characters or goal in this book? Yes, I can relate to the character in this book, because I’ve suffered many painful experiences in my life. Lindsay Wincherauk is made stronger from his.

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