driving on the right/left (was RE: Charles de Lint)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sun Mar 13 17:11:07 EST 2005

This was about *The Little Country* originally, but I have had a DWJ query
for a while that happens to fit.

Rosie wrote
>and someone else driving in the rain with the driver's side window open
>and getting their *left* arm wet!

There's a scene in *A Sudden Wild Magic* in which we meet Zillah's feral
driving, and she "stalked a motorcycle ... at ninety miles an hour" and
"caught the motorcyclist where the road bent, passing him well over to the
right, and absently dodged the Bedford van coming the other way".

My copy is the American edition, and I happened to notice this.  I know
it's set in England where we drive on the left, so overtaking on the right
is what ought to happen and it shouldn't in fact be changed regardless of
the readers living in a country where they drive on the right, but does
that bit of driving make people who drive on the right gulp somewhat?  I
know that I would be very disconcerted, even if only for a moment, and I'd
have to pause and think "oh, yes, that is the overtaking side, they drive
on the left over there".  Do American readers get that feeling, or is
overtaking on the right just one more strange British Thing in a book set
in England and not worrying at all?


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