Our very own RSG senior contributor John Ince has written a new book, Travels with Vanessa: An Uber and Lyft Driver Tries to Make Sense of it All. The book is one in a series of four upcoming books, which chronicle passenger stories, John’s personal recollections and societal observations. You can purchase the book here, and for our review and an exclusive interview with John Ince by RSG contributor Melissa Berry, continue reading below.
When you first start reading Travels with Vanessa by John Ince, the title leads you to believe this will be a story about a rideshare driver and, presumably, a passenger named Vanessa. This is both true and not quite true, as Vanessa actually ends up being the name of John’s GPS. Her voice is at first jarring to John, but becomes a tether for him while he drives all around San Francisco as an Uber and Lyft driver.
While Travels is a long book, it’s really a collection of stories. It’s easy to pause after a story and return without losing your place. The first in a four-part series, Book One begins with John’s start as a rideshare driver. His description of starting as a rideshare driver, without any guidance from the companies on what that looks like, is very familiar to anyone who remembers their first few weeks of rideshare driving.
If you’re familiar with John’s writing, particularly his Treasure Chest article, you’ll know that John has been collecting stories from passengers for a long time. Travels is the first book where John shares these stories, plus other societal and personal observations. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a rideshare driver, you should check out this book and read about some of the strange encounters John has had. As he mentions in the book, “sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.”