Motel Girl

Motel Girl

5.0 2
by Greg Sanders
     
 

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These stories take the reader on journeys realist and absurd, meta-fictional and post-modern. Motel Girl is peopled by the colorful, the transcendent, the sane and insane—by egoists, self-deprecators, demons and drunks, by the well-meaning, and by monsters. From a Muscovite torn between the affections of her live-in bear and her boyfriend to a

Overview

These stories take the reader on journeys realist and absurd, meta-fictional and post-modern. Motel Girl is peopled by the colorful, the transcendent, the sane and insane—by egoists, self-deprecators, demons and drunks, by the well-meaning, and by monsters. From a Muscovite torn between the affections of her live-in bear and her boyfriend to a corporate bureaucrat who discovers the secret to immortality in a decrepit art museum, from a vengeful adolescent motel clerk to a legal proofreader poisoned on a subway platform, these short stories play by rules that might seem unorthodox to some, refreshing to others. This collection is proof that the form is alive and well—and breaking new ground—in the first decade of the 21st century.

Motel Girl amounts to an exploration of the contemporary laws of romance, longing and sex, of how the computerized, branded universe is now fully integrated into the fabric of our thought and behavior. Join in the journey, a frenetic and disarming joy ride. Taken as a whole, these stories create a new paradigm for the American short story, an expansion in narrative reach, creative power, and experimentation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Sanders has a way of fixing on a point, a detail (pimples, discolored teeth, tightly coiffed hair) and moving outward into the cosmos of human attributes; restlessness, a tendency to startle easily, ferocity. There is a kind of violence in every story, different kinds; and it is always surprising how the physical violence is the least disturbing kind. Sanders' characters have a youthful ease of movement; they toss things and roll and jump and greet strangers easily. Once in orbit around other characters, however, they almost always fail to obey physical laws. "Open your mouth for my gun," says the girl at the front desk who has yet to grow into her true beauty. The man will be lucky if he gets out of there with all his teeth. 
—The Los Angeles Times
 

 

Greg Sanders's prose will make you wake up and smell the latté... It's an especially rejuvenating discovery if your senses have been dulled by one too many short-story writers who just don't seem interested in language, or whose flat vocabulary appears to be dumbed down in service of their "ordinary" characters. Sanders's debut story collection Motel Girl inscribes its characters with rich inner lives and appealing texture....Whether dramatic or meditative, these stories are deft, enigmatic lyrics that pivot on an image or insight. Tired of a diet of addiction memoirs? Curl up with this collection—"with soy milk but almost no foam"—to let the literary senses revive.
—Rain Taxi Review of Books

Greg Sanders has hit the bullseye with Motel Girl. The stories—original, often surreal, yet thoroughly convincing—are tone-perfect, exuding a marvelous, full-bodied authority. An astonishingly fine debut.
Janet Fitch, author of Paint It Black

Greg Sanders's stories are ingenious and original—but more important, he's a fabulist with a heart.
—David Gates, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Wonders of the Invisible World, Jernigan and Preston Falls.

Publishers Weekly
Realistic absurdity ties together the short stories Sanders's intelligent and funny collection. Throughout, unsuspecting protagonists become entangled in bizarre (and yet vaguely believable) situations. There's Nadya, the Moscow-based freelance translator narrator of "Choco" who adopts a circus bear; Alan, who, in "Aesthetic Displeasure Unearths Lack of Marital Fortitude," visits an old college friend in the woods and discovers that rumors of a wandering robot might be true; and the anonymous insurance filer in "The Gallery" who finds a portal of rebirth triggered by an erotic sculpture. Between boring jobs and sexual depravity, it seems at first blush that the characters are doomed to unfulfilling, pitiful lives, but, upon closer inspection, it appears there may be something redeeming about them after all. Skillfully narrated and concisely written, this collection of short stories is at once comical, cringe-worthy, relevant and weird.
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Alicia Conroy
Sanders sharply renders characters, from actuaries to Frisbee-tossing college women, whose inner lives chafe against their outward behavior. Whether dramatic or meditative, these stories are deft, enigmatic lyrics that pivot on an image or insight. Tired of a diet of addiction memoirs? Curl up with this collection—"with soy milk but almost no foam"—to let the literary senses revive.
Susan Reynolds
Sanders' characters have a youthful ease of movement; they toss things and roll and jump and greet strangers easily. Once in orbit around other characters, however, they almost always fail to obey physical laws. "Open your mouth for my gun," says the girl at the front desk who has yet to grow into her true beauty. The man will be lucky if he gets out of there with all his teeth.
n/a n/a
Realistic absurdity ties together the short stories of Sanders's intelligent and funny collection...Between boring jobs and sexual depravity, it seems at first blush that the characters are doomed to unfulfilling, pitiful lives, but, upon closer inspection, it appears there may be something redeeming about them after all. Skillfully narrated and concisely written, this collection of short stories is at once comical, cringe-worthy, relevant and weird.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597091114
Publisher:
Red Hen Press
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Edition description:
1
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Greg Sanders lives in the East Village and earns his living as a technical writer. His short stories have appeared in Mississippi Review, Epiphany Magazine, Pindeldyboz, Essays & Fictions, Opium Magazine, two fiction anthologies published by Red Hen Press, and a number of other publications, both print and on line. He is currently at work on a novel, a second collection of short stories, and other creative projects.

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Motel Girl 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great collection of stories, full of imagination but believable at the same time. I don't normally enjoy collections of short stories because they become repetitive but these kept me interested from start to finish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book literally kept me up much of the night. 'I'll just read one more story...' Greg Sanders' writing is beautiful and his stories are funny, weird, sad, and all completely different. I can't wait until the next one comes out!