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Motel Life by Willy Vlautin
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Motel Life (original 2006; edition 2010)

by Willy Vlautin

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2811140,152 (3.8)9
Member:Tigh
Title:Motel Life
Authors:Willy Vlautin
Info:Berliner Taschenbuch Verl (2010), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin (2006)

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Vlautin liked Bukowski, and even more Carver. If one would like to read something that is a blend of the two, then this might appeal. ( )
  Lasitajs | Feb 1, 2014 |
I picked up this book a while ago and when I've seen the movie trailer for it this year, I figured I would read it before I watch the movie. Eh. This book was so so. The basic premise is a story of two brothers where one accidently hits a kid late at night and kills him. The rest of the book is the brothers trying to figure out how to hide from the authority. The main character is clearly an alcoholic and winds up trying to scrape enough money to help his other brother out.

For the rest of the review, visit my book blog at: http://angelofmine1974.livejournal.com/64456.html ( )
  booklover3258 | Dec 26, 2013 |
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. ( )
  Ireadthereforeiam | Jun 5, 2013 |
On the one hand this is a book that plods along rather monotonously and which struggled to hold my attention for long sections. It also contained a lot of ‘stories within a story’ – one of my literary pet hates (alongside descriptions of characters’ dreams) – by their very nature they do nothing to advance the plot and at best contain symbolism that’s likely to go right over my head. On the other hand I can’t dismiss it with a shrug as since finishing it I have found my thoughts drawn back to it again and again.

It’s the story of two brothers living in motel accommodation in Reno - I’m guessing that’s the equivalent of social-security funded B&B here in the UK – their downbeat existence and their attempts to cover up a crime. It’s all a bit depressing, the sort of thing that ought to come with a free razor blade for every reader. These are guys whose expectations of life and themselves are low, and consequently, one might say, they don’t have a lot of luck. Maybe it’s because whenever they do get money a pack of beers is always on their shopping list along with the essentials.

I got the feeling many people in society really are marginalised or living without a great deal of investment in the future as these characters do, though I didn’t think the book advanced much in the way of theories as to why it’s the case. It did however paint a picture of the kinship and trust between people on society’s bottom rung, and the seedy side of gambling hotspots. Interesting too to reflect that the narrator Frank comes across as a nice guy – his actions however idiotic are always motivated by kindness – but that’s because we’re inside his head, seeing him on the street he would look like another drunken bum with a dog on a piece of string.

The cover of this was brave – no synopsis, no blurb, no reviews, nothing about the author (and none inside either). Sort of like having a shop on the high street and blacking out the front window. Having enjoyed some of his other work I would have bought it no matter what, but it seemed an odd move, and wonder whether it put off potential readers. I was a tad disappointed by the story, but still keen to read more by this author. ( )
  jayne_charles | Oct 9, 2012 |
This is a wonderful, funny, sad book. While my own life experiences are nowhere near those of the Flannigan brothers, I definitely related to the strong bond between the two main characters, and with the devastating effects of feeling "tattooed" with guilt and failure. ( )
  huntersun9 | Sep 22, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Willy Vlautinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arensman, Dirk-JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Chuck Holt
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The night it happened I was drunk, almost passed out, and I swear to God a bird came flying through my motel room window.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061171115, Paperback)

With "echoes of Of Mice and Men"(The Bookseller, UK), The Motel Life explores the frustrations and failed dreams of two Nevada brothers—on the run after a hit-and-run accident—who, forgotten by society, and short on luck and hope, desperately cling to the edge of modern life.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Brothers Frank and Jerry Lee are on the run after a hit-and-run accident. Interweaving past and present, Vlautin unfolds the story of their unhappy lives--lives afflicted by drink, bleak economic circumstances, and family misfortune.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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