Friday, November 07, 2014

Friday's Forgotten Books, November 7, 2014



THE MOTEL LIFE, Willie Vlautin

After seeing the movie on Netflix, I had to read the book. It seemed like a film that was amazingly faithful to the book, and indeed, it was.This was the first novel of musician Willie Vlautin and written in 2006.

Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan live a meager existence in Reno, Nevada, staying in cheap motel rooms, working at odd jobs  and drinking heavily. One night, while driving drunk during a blizzard, Jerry Lee accidentally hits and kills a teenage boy. Although the accident is the boy's fault, there are no witnesses, and Jerry Lee is certain that the police will arrest him. This accident drives the plot of the novel for both brothers.

Both men are so damaged by their difficult childhoods that they are incapable of making good decisions. They drink too much, hang around with the wrong people, gamble. And yet they are likable and your heart goes out to them. There are few evil characters in this novel for all its angst. Most of them try hard to do what's right. It's circumstances that undo them.

One of the nicer features of this book is that Frank tells Jerry fictional stories throughout the novel.  Stories meant to allow them both to escape their lives.

THE MOTEL LIFE is an excellent character study of young men who live on the margin of society and demonstrates ably how escaping THE MOTEL LIFE is darn near impossible.


Sergio Angelini, THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT, Robert B. Parker
Yvette Banek, I AM THE ONLY RUNNING FOOTMAN, Martha Grimes
Brian Busby, Harlequin books
Mark Carstairs, ARCADIA, Sandy Dengler
Bill Crider, THE LAST PLACE GOD MADE, Jack Higgins
Martin Edwards, LIGHT FROM A LANTERN, Jonathan Stagg
Curt Evans, THE HANGING CAPTAIN, Henry Wade
Ray Garraty, ROUGH CUT, Ed Gorman
Ed Gorman, DANGER IS MY BUSINESS, Lee Server
Rick Horton, VENUSBERG, Anthony Powell
Jerry House, KILLDOZER!, Theodore Sturgeon
Randy Johnson, THUNDER HAWK, Tom Austin
Nick Jones, CAT CHASER, Elmore Leonard
George Kelley, DEFENDER OF THE INNOCENT, Lawrence Block
Margot Kinberg, THE  SUSPECT  Michael Robotham 
Rob Kitchin, FLASHMAN, George Macdonald Fraser
B.V. Lawson, SPENCE AT MARLBY MANOR. Michael Allen
Evan Lewis, ALONG THE RIVER TRAIL, Hugh Pendexter
Steve Lewis, BLACK FIRE, Lawrence Goldman
Todd Mason, BEST OF ROBERT BLOCH
Neer, ASHENDEN, Somerset Maugham
J.F. Norris, WHERE THERE'S LOVE, THERE"S HATE, Casares and Ocampo
Juri Nummelin, THE MOST DANGEROUS THING, Laura Lippman
James Reasoner, TRAIL BOSS FROM TEXAS, Barry Cord
Richard Robinson, THE SEVENTH SACRAMENT, James Bradbery
Ron Scheer, RINGER, Jenny Shank
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS
TracyK,  A FEW FORGOTTEN BOOKS
TomCat, THE INVISIBLE SLAYER, Edward Multon
Prashant Trikannad, HEMINGWAY IN SPACE, Kingsley Amis

7 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I ordered some "forgotten" books recently but still haven't received them and I'm frustrated!

John said...

Mine's up now:

Where There's Love, There's Hate - Adolfo Bioy Casares & Silvina Ocampo

P. C. Hosmer said...

What a wonderful feature in a wonderful blog. Bravo! You have added to my reading list in the most splendid way. Thank you.

Todd Mason said...

Up and and at 'em with one that's been in the cylinder for a while:

Robert Bloch: THE BEST OF ROBERT BLOCH and SUCH STUFF AS SCREAMS ARE MADE OF

http://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2014/11/ffb-robert-bloch-best-of-robert-bloch.html

Yvette said...

Six hours later, my post is up, Patti. Life has slowed almost to a halt around these parts.

Todd Mason said...

The Vlautin does sound interesting...I've missed both novel and film so far.

Margot Kinberg said...

Love the variety here!