The One Inside
This reader knows Sam Shepard mainly through his fine work as a thoughtful actor, but he has written more than fifty-five plays and three story collections. This book is well written but surprisingly candid about his scurrilous relationships. Much of the book is dreamy in nature, and I could not conclude how much of the book was based in fact and how much was surrealist. The facts are that his father was a pilot and that he is a famous actor, writer, and celebrity. These facts are shared by the book’s narrator. The strange parts of this story are that the hero as a young man lusts after his father’s young mistress and consummates this affair with her, that he is being blackmailed by the recipient of his taped phone sex, and that he is off and on again with a much younger woman. This narrative leaves this reader very much at sea with the strangeness of this story. For fans of Shepard, they will find out much more about his conscious and subconscious longings. Or, perhaps, since this is fiction, nothing at all.