book cover of The Motel Life
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The Motel Life

A novel by

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.

Genre: General Fiction

Praise for this book

"Full of tenderness, truth, and life. I haven't read a novel this good in a long, long time." - Guillermo Arriaga

"This guy writes like the secret love child of Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Conner - just plain, true, tough, irony-free, heartrending American fiction about people living in the third-world sections of our country. It's a book that makes you feel like you've been shot but will probably recover." - Michael Gruber

"The finest American novel I've read in some time, so simple, so spare and so honest." - David Peace

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