Motel Chronicles
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Motel Chronicles

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  406 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Motel Chronicles reveals the fast-moving and sometimes surprising world of the man behind the plays that have made Sam Shepard a live legend in the theater. Shepard chronicles his own life birth in Illinois, childhood memories of Guam, Pasadena and rural Southern California, adventures as ranch hand, waiter, rock musician, dramatist, and film actor. Scenes from this book f...more
Paperback, 110 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by City Lights Publishers (first published 1982)
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Skyelis Tyler
god damn! this writing is perfect, bittersweet, humble, exhilarating. shepard creates a world you will not quickly forget - the other reviews i read of motel chronicles on this site echo my sentiment: you'll recall your first time meeting this book like you would a good friend. great for dingy busrides or quiet fall evenings with a bottle of whiskey.
Danny Lindsay
The book is a masterpiece. A collection of elegiac musings on a disappearing world populated by car thieves, chain-smoking gas station attendants, motels, laundromats, and bars. The desert is the main character here, in all its geological grandeur. Throughout the short diary entries Shepard is consistently diminished by the ancient drama of his surroundings, rock formations eroding slowly while Shepard erodes rapidly. The lonely ghost towns are all "carved into like all the rest", as windstorms...more
You know how some people talk about books as being their friends? This one always feels like a good buddy I haven't seen in years. Best memory: the first time I read it, sitting in the basement of the library at NCSA. Coming upstairs feeling like I'd been somewhere.
Garry T.
Such great short quips, poems, or long stories, all created from the creative playright known as Sam Sheppard. Took a while to find a print of this for some reason. 'Twas recommended to me (indirectly) by Karl Hyde of Underworld. A good, good break-from-the-norm book.
Beautiful, man, just beautiful. It is Shepard's elegant and clean prose the lift his sketches of life to great heights. It is something you can read and re-read in years to come with great pleasure.
Read this one when you're looking for something different. Only one piece even reaches the length of a short story. The rest are little snippets of travel, the American west, life, and they're often quite powerful.
Journal entries from the late 70's-early 80's written as fiction or poetry. An interesting insight into Shepards attempts to reconcile with his roots, and the competing impulses of authenticity and mythology.
Classic Shepard- I loved so many of these short stories- he makes it all seem so easy (writing) (storytelling) the dust, the road, the musing... This one is definitely a keeper.
I think that this is one of the greatest memoirs every written. So candid and what a great voice but Hard To Find! Any ideas?
¿Puedo enamorarme de un libro? Yo lo estoy de éste.
Es alucinante, quizá pueda influir lo obsesionada que estoy por los States y especialmente por el oeste americano pero pensándolo bien no, es un libro magnífico por sí mismo sin necesidad de que el lugar te fascine más o menos.

Este libro se compone, como adelanta la sinopsis de Anagrama, de trozos de vidas, sensaciones y anécdotas de personajes que nunca llegan a ser introducidos del todo. Se intuye por ejemplo que el padre que se menciona prime...more
Reading what so ever written by Shepard means going through a shortened social history of America after ww II, and up till the end of 20.century. Plots are so simple and dialogues are not very much sophisticated. Maybe some of works by Shepard are not as interesting as the others, but for those whom are interested in sociology, and drama as writing-art, will enjoy reading or watching works by Shepard. Reading simple and plain plays by Shepard gives you dare to sit and write about whatsoever plot...more
Andrés Cabrera
De lejos, una gran recopilación de cuentos, extractos autobiográficos y poemas de carretera. El descanso, el hecho de detenerse y estar en un sitio, se convierte en una condena. El hombre necesita movimiento. Necesita conectarse con su lado más humano...penetrar en sí mismo. Los cuentos son el reflejo del monótono sur norteamericano; visto bajo la lupa de alguien que se examina a sí mismo en el proceso. Libro corto, entretenido, pero por encima de todo, muy vivo, demasiado vivo...tanto que asust...more
Can't describe it,
so read it!
My God this is good.
This is a great place to start with Sam Shepard. Using the short form he sketches out the world that is so beautifully realized later in the Wim Wenders masterpiece Paris, Texas. This book in combination with the early Will Oldham recordings were hugely influential on me. I think it's time to revisit this collection.
Reading a collection of Shepard's work is like diving into his brain. Motel Chronicles is possibly the best as his often fragmentary, scattered works are tied to an engaging pathos regarding his mother, who reoccurs in characters, as guides, and manners of existing among the dissolution and degradation of the landscape that Shepard loves.
Worth reading, just for his voice and choice of words. But it's a mistake to read this like you normally read a book. It's a sketchbook of words, an unpacking of images and memories that could be read in any order. It's vast the way the west is vast and compact like a man feels in the face of the big western sky.
This is my first brush with Shepard apart from the masterpiece film "Paris, Texas," which he wrote and was based on some of the stories here. If you loved the elegiac, heartfelt tone of that film, you can't go wrong with this collection of lyrical stories and poems. Highly recommended.
Honest, and sometimes raw, portrayals via poetry, essays, short stories and bits of biographical info. Very moving, and sometimes difficult to read due to its frankness and sometimes negative view of life. The man is a genius, among other things.
I return to the Motel Chronicles from time to time for it's spare sad prose. It's not for everyone. The easy way to describe this slim book to people is: If you enjoyed the movie, Paris, Texas, you'll love the Motel Chronicles.
Louis Pz
Read this in Chicago, traveling by myself, sitting alone in a hostel listening to sad songs just days before Christmas. If you have the oppertunity I highly reconmend reading it in that exact situation.
Jeff Tucker
I'm a fan of Sam Shepard but this book didn't do much for me. Written like entries in a diary it contains poetry, prose and a few photographs.
Vincent Eaton
A re-re-read, and still tingling all the bells.

Probably his best prose work outside the plays. Dreamy, skilled, potent.
little snippets and poems. is this guy REALLY this cool? like some sort of Ulysses straight out of a failing texas sourghum farm.
outstanding. good playwrights don't waste words. quiet journey through a charged landscape; a beautiful, bravely fragmented book.
I was much much less into the poetry in this collection, but I sort of liked the stories.
Jason Kruger
Brilliant short stories by one of my favorite authors. One of a kind.
Jordi Via
Muy recomendable, es mi primer Shepard y voy a por más

Didn't enjoy this as much as anticipated.
Mary Shanley
poems and journal writing from the west.
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Sam Shepard is an American artist who worked as an award-winning playwright, writer and actor. His many written works are known for being frank and often absurd, as well as for having an authentic sense of the style and sensibility of the gritty modern American west. He is an actor of the stage and motion pictures; a director of stage and film; author of several books of short stories, essays, and...more
More about Sam Shepard...
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“Mi papá vive solo en el desierto. Dice que no se lleva bien con la gente.” 2 likes
“Rondó por la piscina
Del Holiday Inn
Y de golpe se sintió completamente inútil

La imagen de una piscina
A medianoche
En Texas

Pobre Texas
Como todas las demás

San Marcos, Texas”
More quotes…