The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin

I've been on a long hiatus reading-wise. Ever since SXSW, I've been so wrapped up in listening to music constantly that I've found little time to dive back into reading.

At the recommendation of a friend, I recently picked up "The Motel Life" by Willy Vlautin. I guess this somewhat ties into music as Vlautin is the lead singer/songwriter for the Portland band Richmond Fontaine. I own a number of RF records, including the fantastic "Miles From". It's clear from Vlautin's records that he has a keen sense of storytelling. However, I must say that my expectations weren't too high. I guess that's primarily based on prior novels penned by musicians ("Cash" being the exception).

Boy was I wrong. Vlautin writes with pure simplicity and develops the two main characters beautifully. "The Motel Life" is the story of two brothers struggling to find understanding, a place in the world, and guilt brought on by their mistakes. It's a simple book and it's a simple story. But it's coated with humanity, humility and a bond that only siblings can share. Vlautin's been making records and touring for over a decade, yet this is his best work to date.