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It is helpful to read Patti Smith’s foreword to Sam Shepard’s “The One Inside”. There are autobiographical elements to the novel. The characters, other than the author, are presumably Mr. Shepard’s father, Felicity, both father and son’s jail bait girlfriend, and Blackmail girl, a 20-year-old actress and love interest during a movie shoot with presumably the 70-year-old Shepard. The characters are partly developed through sketching and shading and are secondary to the author, who is narcissistic.

Mr. Shepard is descriptive of the Western vista and his dialogue reflects his experience as a playwright. It is like “Waiting for Godot” in style but without anything to say. Surprisingly the novel still holds your interest and propels you forward.

To the extent that the novel accurately reflects Mr. Shepard’s personality, it is not flattering. In this regard, he would be honest with the reader. There are no apologies. There is no emotion. Amoral.