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The Motel Life

Willy Vlautin

‘Heartbreaking.’ The Times

‘Full of tenderness, truth and life.’ Guillermo Arriaga

‘Sweet and aching.’ Irish Times

‘A future classic.’ Dazed & Confused

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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 . . .’

Narrated by Frank Flannigan, The Motel Life tells the story of how he and his brother Jerry Lee take to the road in a bid to escape the hit-and-run accident which kick-starts the narrative. Written with huge compassion, and an eye for the small details of life, it has become one of the most talked about debuts of recent years.

‘That rare beast: a book with the cadence of an old, well-loved song. Sad, haunting, and strangely beautiful.’ John Connolly, author of The Black Angel

‘A serene and assured piece of minor-key Americana . . . Not many people do anything similar over here, with the same sense of small town big-sky melancholy. So British readers looking for a shot of post-Beat generation blues should reach with confidence for Vlautin’s book.’ Jonathan Gibbs, Independent


Willy Vlautin is the author of five novels, including The Motel Life; Lean on Pete, which was shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and made into an acclaimed film by Andrew Haigh; and Don’t Skip Out on Me, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Vlautin lives outside of Portland, Oregon, and is the founding member of the…

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