The One Inside by Sam Shepard

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Admittedly I’m not all that familiar with Sam Shepard’s work. I have seen him in a few movies and TV shows but I have never read or seen any of his written work. The One Inside, if I’m not mistaken, is his first novel.

It reads like a long dream sequence with several tangents and flashback and I think flash forwards though I’m still not sure. It’s about a man who has returned to his father’s home after he dies and meets his father’s young girlfriend and they begin what I can only describe as a crappy relationship. Neither the man nor the girl seem to be well liked and often dislike each other. They are both looking for companionship and comfort but neither know how to give it and it tragically ends.

Patti Smith writes the forward and describes the character as

a loner who doesn’t want to be alone

I think that’s why the book resonated with me as much as it did. After a time of being alone you obviously don’t want to be alone, but at the same time you become comfortable in the quiet and become unsure of how not to be alone. You answer to no one and no one answers to you, the responsibility of having someone around can become too much of a weight after a while and you start to crave the solitude you had before.

The One Inside

Sam Shepard

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