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Motel Chronicles

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  552 Ratings  ·  40 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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Butcher's Crossing by John Edward WilliamsMoby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman MelvilleStoner by John Edward Williams2666 by Roberto BolañoBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
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313th out of 314 books — 36 voters


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Community Reviews

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Skyelis Tyler
May 06, 2009 Skyelis Tyler rated it it was amazing
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.
M. Sarki
Nov 27, 2014 M. Sarki rated it really liked it
The story, and the longest in the collection, tells about the injury to the brain of his mother-in-law Scarlett, Johnny Dark's wife, and their family alliance for all chipping in, bringing her home after surgery, and helping to bring her back into the world. A wonderful story. And one of several well-worth reading in this collection.
Meagan
Feb 04, 2008 Meagan rated it it was amazing
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.
Michael
Jan 28, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
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.
Meesh
Mar 09, 2013 Meesh rated it it was amazing
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.
Garry T.
Dec 03, 2010 Garry T. rated it it was amazing
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.
Carrie
Oct 13, 2007 Carrie rated it really liked it
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.
Austin
Jan 12, 2010 Austin rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
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.
Flor
May 04, 2016 Flor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este es un hermoso libro de historias cortas, algunas autobiográficas (que tranquilamente podrían ser parte de su diario íntimo) y otras no tanto situadas en el oeste Americano, muchas de ellas comparten personajes, pero hay que aguzar bien los sentidos para descubrir quién es quién.
Las historias están escritas de un modo simple, en un lenguaje claro y ágiles a la hora de leer. Cada escrito que contiene el libro es una imagen que el autor nos regala, son tan ricas en detalles que nos ayudan a c
...more
sonia
Mar 05, 2011 sonia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¿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
علی
Jun 13, 2007 علی rated it liked it
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
Sep 22, 2015 Andrés Cabrera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Jeb
Jun 23, 2015 Jeb rated it it was amazing
Shepard is truly a modern master.
Ardimon
Mar 29, 2014 Ardimon rated it it was amazing
Can't describe it,
so read it!
Alix
Nov 16, 2015 Alix rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2015
This is the place to be, he thought. Right here. In the middle. Smack in the belly of California where he could eyeball both from a distance. He could live inside the intestines of this valley while he spied on the brain and the genitals.
Elliott
Jan 05, 2016 Elliott rated it it was ok
A taciturn blend of Carroll's "The Basketball Diaries" and Vlautin's "The Motel Life," "Motel Chronicles" fittingly falls in the middle of my respective ratings of those books.

WARNING! The following message is shamelessly self-promotional.

Read my review of "The Basketball Diaries" here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... and my review of "The Motel Life" here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... JUST DO IT!
Jeff
Mar 19, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, the-west, cool
My God this is good.
David
Jun 07, 2008 David rated it really liked it
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.
Hank
Jun 16, 2013 Hank rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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.
Mick
Jul 24, 2013 Mick rated it liked it
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.
David
Aug 24, 2013 David rated it really liked it
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.
Jane
Apr 23, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing
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.
raul
Mar 03, 2011 raul rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2007 Louis Pz rated it really liked it
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
Feb 21, 2010 Jeff Tucker rated it liked it
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
Jan 11, 2010 Vincent Eaton rated it it was amazing
A re-re-read, and still tingling all the bells.

Probably his best prose work outside the plays. Dreamy, skilled, potent.
Mary Shanley
Sep 28, 2014 Mary Shanley rated it it was amazing
Sam weaves poems and touches of memoir. Good example for writer, in
how to handily include different forms in one book.
Tuck
May 24, 2010 Tuck rated it really liked it
little snippets and poems. is this guy REALLY this cool? like some sort of Ulysses straight out of a failing texas sourghum farm.
dom
Mar 14, 2007 dom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
outstanding. good playwrights don't waste words. quiet journey through a charged landscape; a beautiful, bravely fragmented book.
Abby
Mar 07, 2010 Abby rated it it was ok
I was much much less into the poetry in this collection, but I sort of liked the stories.
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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
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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
Excavada
Como todas las demás

3/79
San Marcos, Texas”
1 likes
More quotes…