The One Inside

  • by Sam Shepard, Patti Smith - foreword
  • Narrated by Bill Pullman, Patti Smith - foreword
  • 4 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The first work of long fiction from the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright - a tour de force of memory, mystery, death, and life.
This searing, extraordinarily evocative narrative opens with a man in his house at dawn, surrounded by aspens, coyotes cackling in the distance as he quietly navigates the distance between present and past. More and more, memory is overtaking him: in his mind he sees himself in a movie-set trailer, his young face staring back at him in a mirror surrounded by light bulbs. In his dreams and in visions he sees his late father - sometimes in miniature, sometimes flying planes, sometimes at war. By turns, he sees the bygone America of his childhood: the farmland and the feedlots, the railyards and the diners - and, most hauntingly, his father's young girlfriend, with whom he also became involved, setting into motion a tragedy that has stayed with him. His complex interiority is filtered through views of mountains and deserts as he drives across the country, propelled by jazz, benzedrine, rock and roll, and a restlessness born out of exile. The rhythms of theater, the language of poetry, and a flinty humor combine in this stunning meditation on the nature of experience, at once celebratory, surreal, poignant, and unforgettable.
With a foreword written and read by Patti Smith


What the Critics Say

"The gravelly voice of narrator Bill Pullman sets the mood for this introspective monologue of an aging actor who dreams of his late father and contemplates the women who remain vivid in his memory. Pullman finds the soul of this short novel, pulling out the rhythm of the prose, transforming it to poetry.... Don't expect a straightforward plot - the beauty of this audiobook is in Shepard's words and Pullman's performance. An extra treat for listeners is author-musician Patti Smith's deft reading of her insightful foreword." (AudioFile)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Pullman is a GREAT choice for capturing late-act Shepard's dry snarl. Patti Smith's intro is worth the price of the whole book. That Everlastingest Eulogy/Elegy for her old flame and kindred spirit is a love letter to Letters and to her Sam himself. Gabriela DeCuir 's direction is spot-on as usual and Kelly Gildea's skillful "sheparding" of the whole project is certainly in evidence.
Read full review

- bon vivant

A Brilliant Woven Tapestry

First Bill Pullman does a remarkable job with this piece. I listened to it twice one right after the other as with Shepard it is pealing an onion.

So many layers!
The last book or written collection published prior to Sheppard's death in July 2017 is so true to who he was as a man and a writer.

It also made his very first place make sense (Rock Garden)

Don't expect a neat bow at the end. It's left open as if there will be more. And to that I suggest we return to his writing before all of this happened
Read full review

- Gramercy1234

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-07-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio