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Motel Chronicles Paperback – January 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers; First Edition edition (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872861430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872861435
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sam Shepard was born in 1943 in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He moved to New York from California just as the off-Broadway theatre scene was emerging. He has written more than forty plays, of which elev en have won 'Obie' awards, besides collections of stories, prose writing and screenplays. His plays include Buried Child, The Late Henry Moss, Simpatico, Curse of the Starving Class, True West, Fool for Love, A Lie of the Mind, and States of Shock. His screenplay for Paris, Texas won the Golden Pa lm Award at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival and he directed his own screenplay, Far North, in 1988. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Shepard received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy in 1992, and in 1994 he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Francisco Miguel Valada on December 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Motel Chronicles is a fine example how aubiographical stories can be well written and it is an excellent trip through real America: the long roads, the Indians, the Cowboys, the desert... Sam Shepard is an excellent playwright and he also writes scripts for movies. It is a surprise for all who are used to his "hard prose" in theatre and in cinema reading the softness of his prose and the almost "delicacy" of these chronicles. After this book, I do recommend you all "Cruising Paradise".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "deadkerouac" on August 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite collections of playwright-actor Sam Shepard (the others being CRUISING PARADISE and HAWK MOON). This is a collection of short stories, poetry, rants, observations, etc., from Shepard's own life. Each section is separated by date and city (though NOT in any particular order, as sections skip from the '70s to the '80s and back again to the '70s); my favorite is "9/24/80, San Francisco, Ca." (in my edition, pp. 43-46), a short story detailing a boy's train ride to his grandparents' home in Chicago, during which he meet a beautiful barefoot girl who looks like Tuesday Weld.
Some of the other stories in this collection formed the basis of Wim Wenders' 1984 film PARIS, TEXAS, which Shepard wrote, and which happens to be one of my all-time favorite films. MOTEL CHRONICLES would be a wonderful introduction to Sam Shepard; I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever wondered about the desert, the road, and America (the beautiful & the ugly).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
I had always been drawn towards Sam Shepard's plays but this collection of short prose and poetry went one further step for me. The beauty is in the telling of the story, the conjuring of an image and the creation of emotions that almost transport one to the desolate and shifted locations where these scenes take place. I have taken this book with me to many places, have constantly thumbed through it and never fail to find joy in it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Ebeling on December 2, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
MOTEL CHRONICLES was recommended on a website devoted to journal writing. It is non-sequential and many of the entries have the shape of honed work but all the same it is a good example of a writer's sketchbook, one used for practice and inspiration. More importantly, it is a window on Shepard's frame of mind in the years immediately following the Pulitzer Prize for BURIED CHILD. The seeds of later works can be found in this book.
The entries swim back and forth from 1978 -1982, mapping the writer's peripatetic movement around the country, mostly in California and the west. It captures bits of his early identities, military childhood on the move, waiter, cowboy, actor, writer, friend, lover, husband, father. It is framed by portraits of being a child, the first entry is one of his earliest childhood memories in his mother's arms; the last is the adult caring for a mother felled by a brain aneurysm. This is no confessional or revealing autobiographical piece, however, just a writer at work pulling out inspiration from experience. Shepard is highly articulate, his portrayal of the contemporary west is priceless, and his poetry is not bad at all. The writing has an honest, non-star-turn quality to it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul D. Moyer on July 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
I was drawn to this book more than a decade ago because of its link to that precious, spectral, surreal, fundamentally American film, "Paris, Texas." If you liked the film, this book will recreate and deepen the experience. If you know nothing of the film, or little of Shepard's work, and seek the realism of someone like Bukowski, without the same depth of cynicism, then you'll like this book. More of a short, powerful montage than a cohesive whole, it combines prose vignettes and poems with cryptic black and white photos to achieve an effect best described by the author (quoting his favorite poet, Cesar Vallejo) near the frontspiece: "never did far away charge so close." A good little book for those struck by that special sense of dislocation, silent sadness, and heavy joy that define the Western American spirit, or maybe those who just spend a lotta time in motel rooms.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
Somewhere between a diary and a journal, this book is a must for Shepard fans. Loaded with well-written passages, memories and observations. His reactions to Hollywood are especially insightful and telling. The geography is all over the map and sequence of events shifts, but the quality of the writing stays true. It deserves a much larger following, but it did inspire Wim Wenders to make "Paris, Texas."
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