Monday, December 22, 2008

Motel Life

That's the title of Willy Vlautin's first novel, originally published in 2006. Northline is the title of his second. If you read my article on Richmond Fontaine for Refueled Magazine a while back, you may recall Vlautin's name. He's the singer for Fontaine and a helluva novelist. I usually have to stop by the bookstore on Christmas Eve to pick up last minute gifts for my dad, and while I wouldn't recommend these for your father if he's anything like mine (he prefers Russian spy-novels to ones about modern American drifters), if you think your guy or gal or brother or sister might like two short books about hard luck brothers (in the case of Motel Life) and on-the-run ex-girlfriends (Northline) then pick these up. They're my two favorite books of the last year and have drawn comparisons to Steinbeck, Carver, Fante, and Denis Johnson. Great stuff.

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