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The Motel Life: A Novel by [Willy Vlautin]

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The Motel Life: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 240 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a gritty debut, Vlautin explores a few weeks in the broken lives of two working-class brothers, Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan, who abruptly ditch their Reno motel after Jerry Lee drunkenly kills a boy on a bicycle in a hit-and-run. The two are case studies in hard luck: their mother died when they were 14 and 16, respectively; their father is an ex-con deadbeat; neither finished high school. Frank has had just one girlfriend, motel neighbor Annie, whose mother is an abusive prostitute. An innocent simpleton, Jerry Lee is left feeling suicidal after the accident, despite his younger brother's efforts (à la Of Mice and Men's Lenny and George) to console him: "It was real quiet, the way he cried," says Frank, "like he was whimpering." On returning to Reno, an eventual reckoning awaits them. Vlautin's coiled, poetically matter-of-fact prose calls to mind S.E. Hinton—a writer well-acquainted with male misfit protagonists seeking redemption, no matter how destructive. Despite the bleak story and its inevitably tragic ending, Vlautin, who plays in the alt-country band Richmond Fontaine, transmits a quiet sense of resilience and hopefulness. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Booklist

Author Vlautin, a member of the critically acclaimed alt-country band Richmond Fontaine, has crafted a beautifully artless first novel. It tells the story of Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan, who are on the run because of a hit-run-and-run accident in which Jerry Lee was involved. Eschewing compound sentences and even similes, Vlautin illuminates the lives of two decent young men from Reno who have been dealt a very bad hand; their mother died when they were teens, and their father, a thief and an inveterate gambler, left years before. They live in down-at-the-heels motels, drink too much, and work at dead-end jobs. Jerry Lee is a self-described "loser"--but with a conscience. He fails at suicide occasioned by grief, but Frank is there, inventing naive stories to keep him going. It's as ineffably sad as a lyric by Willie Nelson, but it's also a richly compassionate and sweetly sad meditation on what Billy Clyde Puckett in Dan Jenkins' Semi-Tough (1972) called "life itsownself." If there's any justice, anywhere, The Motel Life will be widely read and widely admired. Thomas Gaughan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B005HF54M2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Perennial; 1st edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 27, 2011
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 7137 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 228 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 240 ratings

About the author

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Willy Vlautin has published five novels, THE MOTEL LIFE, NORTHLINE, LEAN ON PETE, THE FREE, and DON’T SKIP OUT ON ME. THE MOTEL LIFE was turned into a major motion picture starring Kris Kristofferson and Emile Hirsh in 2012. The movie version of LEAN ON PETE will be released this spring starring Charlie Plummer and Steve Buscemi. Vlautin lives outside of Portland, Oregon and is the founding member of the bands Richmond Fontaine and The Delines.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
240 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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veracity
4.0 out of 5 stars His books have such heart .
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 1, 2022
Billy
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, despite being a little tame
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 26, 2014
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Dr. J. Crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Little Book
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David C
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art
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Paul
1.0 out of 5 stars Double Dutch or German
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 13, 2019
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