Opening like an early Tom Waits barstool-tale, "The Motel Life" tells the story of two brothers, Frank and Jerry Lee, who take to the road in an attempt to escape the hit and run accident caused by Jerry Lee.
With intense feeling and compassion, Vlautin explores the lives and frustrations of the two brothers - one a natural storyteller, the other an aspiring artist - and renders perfectly the sense of entrapment they feel.
Will the kid's death shock them out of their torpor or send them ever deeper into trouble?
Can Annie James, a girl from their past, offer them any sort of redemption, however slim?
Interspersed with drawings that form an integral part of the narrative, "The Motel Life" is a moving and beautifully naive debut that should come to be seen as a classic of downbeat American prose.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 224 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Publication Date: 06/04/2006
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780571228072
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by Ireadthereforeiam
This was a good find. Coming to me via the authors other vocation as member and songwriter for the band Richmond Fontaine, I was immediately drawn to the literary side after reading his work described as "gloriously sad". And that it is. Frank has had some bad luck, more than his share really. When his brother arrives at the motel where he lives with a huge problem, he is compelled to help and so begins the story. The two brothers are all each other has, and have had each others backs since they were young. Their backstory is revealed alongside their current dilema, revealed slowly and calmly in spite of its ghastliness. If you are looking for a feel good story, do not go near this one, but if you are after gritty real life "wrong side of the tracks" stuff, its all here. I didnt feel like I got right inside the main character, but his story was still wonderfully told.