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The Real Animal House: The Awesomely Depraved Saga of the Fraternity That Inspired the Movie

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  320 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
The Real Animal House: The Awesomely Depraved Saga of the Fraternity That Inspired the Movie
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2006)
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Dec 22, 2011 Barney rated it liked it
Why is Animal House my favorite film? The following three exchanges:

Jennings: I took this job until I finish my novel
Boone: How long ya been working on it?
Jennings: Three years
Pinto: It must be very good
Jennings: It's a piece of shit

Katy: Boone, I think I'm in love with a retard.
Boone: Is he bigger than me?

Pinto: They won't even let us enter a float in the homecoming parade.
Boone: Watch a bunch of zombies ride a pile of Kleenex down the street? Rah rah.

Well, I saw this book (written by the real
Mark Leffler
Apr 25, 2014 Mark Leffler rated it it was amazing
I have been a huge fan of Chris Miller's Lampoon stories since I discovered them at sixteen, in the National Lampoon monthly magazine. A few years later the movie he wrote with Harold Ramis and Doug Kenney came out: Animal House. I loved the movie and it was a huge hit. That year Chris Miller wrote and published the novelization of the screenplay in his loose and witty nattative style, honed over those many years of Lampoon writing. I lost the initial copy years ago but thanks to Amazon, now own ...more
Felix Medina jr.
Jan 23, 2014 Felix Medina jr. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Not for those who are easily offended or are disgusted easily
I was surprised by the eloquent writing intermixed with the scenes of "booting," genitalia exposure, and general drunken shenanigans. There is so much more going on this novel, it was about the music of the time, but also about order and chaos. Or a pocket of chaos on this college campus, while the world around them tried to hold onto a sense of order and control. This book also showed me that people actually enjoyed having recreational sex during the olden days. Like I said, very eloquent and s ...more
Vincent O'Neil
May 12, 2016 Vincent O'Neil rated it really liked it
Tremendously funny book. The first couple of chapters are a little slow, but things pick up rapidly once rush week starts. There are a few incidents described here that are really quite disgusting, but the coming-of-age storyline more than redeems it.
Phil Overeem
Jun 09, 2015 Phil Overeem rated it really liked it
Hilarious about 70% of the time, much, much different than the movie, and containing a surprising amount of popular music commentary.
Chris Edwards
May 18, 2017 Chris Edwards rated it did not like it
Watch the movie and skip this horrendous book.
Sean O'Hara
Mar 05, 2010 Sean O'Hara rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Morons
In the mid-70s, Chris "Pinto" Miller penned a series of semi-fictionalized accounts of his college years for the National Lampoon. These articles later became the basis for the film Animal House. Now he's written a memoir of his sophomore year in college, revealing the true story behind the film.

At this point, any fan of Animal House should be saying in a Flounder voice, "This is going to be GREAT!"

Enh. Not so much. (Warning -- if you have a weak stomach, you might want to quit reading now. Even
Enty Quadrophenia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2011 Miles rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was a true guilty pleasure. Miller tells his tales of joining the Alpha Delta fraternity ("AD") at Dartmouth in the early 1960s. Miller would go on to co-write Animal House, based on his days at the house and his subsequent articles in National Lampoon. Miller was known as Pinto at the fraternity and in the movie. This book tells the true stories of the legendary house, most of which were far too depraved to ever make it onto the screen. If you loved the movie, and enjoy frat-boy shena ...more
Mike Moskos
Jun 26, 2010 Mike Moskos rated it liked it
Shelves: book
This isn't a novel per say, more like a bunch of anecdotes. If you were in a fraternity, or when to college in the late 70s to mid '80s when things were crazy, you'll love it.

My favorite paragraph is on page 62: "And then I noticed something else--I was the only sophomore in the room. The guys around the bar were the brothers who were too cool for rush! They preferred drinking with their friends to making conversation with dopey strangers. The official rushing things all fraternity upperclassme
Lori Anderson
Nov 07, 2008 Lori Anderson rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
I absolutely hate gross-out movies, but for some reason love Animal House. So I prepared myself for some ick and waded in.

A lot of it was flat out hilarious. Enough that I wanted to give this book a five star rating. But I still hate grossness, and the sheer amount of barfing, gratuitous sex, and oh yeah, more barfing, made me knock it down a few. Because while I laughed my head off, I'd be afraid to recommend this to anyone I know -- they'd probably get a totally different view of me then!

I cou
Nan Silvernail
Jan 20, 2013 Nan Silvernail rated it really liked it

It is one thing to watch the movie and another thing to read the graphic novel of the film (containing the deleted Landis Cafeteria Wimpoid scene, which should have been left in, goddammitall!). But this, if we believe Chris Miller, is the real story.

The thing I loved was the request to protect the current reputations of the perpetrators "to allow our brothers plausible dependability." - an elegant phrase and very useful.

A few times, I ROTF, helpless with mirth. Some spots were sad,
David Kopec
Aug 09, 2013 David Kopec rated it really liked it
Jovial and Depraved

Well, I certainly laughed, but I was also disgusted. This is not a book for the faint of stomach. Miller uses composite characters and features many stories that sound exaggerated, begging the question - how much of this 'real' version of the animal house saga is actually r e a l? Ultimately, it does not necessarily matter, because the content is engaging and funny either way.

As a member of a Dartmouth fraternity I was able to relate to the setting, and some of the plot-lines
Nov 16, 2012 Bob rated it really liked it
Extremely gross, and dragged in spots, but often hilarious. Also, Miller's heart is in it; you'll be able to tell from the "Where are they now?" section at the end.

Some aspects I especially enjoyed:

The local color regarding Hanover and the surrounding environs, and campus life at Dartmouth circa 1961. Most of this stuff obviously could not be used in the movie, which was set at the mythical Faber College in Faber PA.

Details that help flesh out some of the seemingly random scenes in the movie --
Douglas Castagna
Mar 25, 2014 Douglas Castagna rated it really liked it
The sub title on the book states, "a mostly lucid memoir" and that is how it reads once Chris Miller makes it to Dartmouth and becomes a pledge for the famous and infamous Alpha Delta Fraternity made famous by the icon movie. It is brash, wild and raucous, just like the movie, though it tends to be a bit much at times. By much meaning, not that I was grossed out by the events but it was a lot of the same, and I am sure that is how it was, but perhaps it could have been pared down a bit. What sav ...more
David Ward
Feb 12, 2016 David Ward rated it really liked it
The Real Animal House: The Awesomely Depraved Saga of the Fraternity That Inspired the Movie by Chris Miller (Little, Brown & Co. 2006) (371.8). This is the real deal! For all those who pledged a fraternity or sorority and found it to be an experience for the ages, this book is for you. It tells the story of the author's fraternity at Dartmouth circa 1960; this was the house that served as the model for Delta Tau Chi in Animal House. Happily, most of the brothers seen in the movie are based ...more
Christopher Fox
Sep 10, 2013 Christopher Fox rated it liked it
If you remember the John Belushi film, "Animal House" all your favourite character types are here in droves. All the sexual, juvenile, testosterone-fueled antics; the disregard for life and limb (of anybody and everybody); the same view of property owned by whomever as personal play essence a totally hedonistic, self-pleasuring life style is once again laid out in resplendent college glory. Being a book, there's a lot more detail and description here than in the film. And the amount of ...more
Jul 27, 2010 Unwisely rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, 2010
Fun, quick read. I know I often read books in a day, but I did that with this one, on a day when I was squiring a houseguest to touristy sites.

Basically it's the memoir of this guy's fraternity days in the early 60s (back when they were still mostly the 50s). And, OMG. The behavior was pretty appalling by my college-in-the-90s standard; I can't believe these guys are still alive, let alone had successful careers.

One thing I learned: apparently "booting" means "puking". Hunh. Oh, and why Pinto wa
Jun 30, 2013 Stacy rated it it was ok
I think my expectations were too high for this book. I loooved the movie, and could definitely see which of his friends the characters were based on. However, as funny as it was, it wasn't written very well. But then again, it could have been the subject matter. I didn't find the constant booting (puking) these guys did very amusing, but there were some very funny stories. I hope my girls avoid frat guys when they grow up!
Apr 30, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I should have a shelf for "listen to".
I loved the movie Animal House. I liked the book. I was a little overwhelmed with the non stop barfing stories and the urination stories. But it was interesting. The interest in music doesn't come across in the movie but was a nice part of the book. The ending "where are they now" was at times sad and sweet. (and I found it funny that the narrator made the Otter in the book sound just like Otter in the movie.
Nov 14, 2008 Amanda rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Written by the co-writer of the Animal House script retells his college days at Dartmouth. While I certainly have a personal interest in the book, I just got tired of the author's voice. I felt he was trying too hard to be cool and relevant. The stories, no matter how contrived, are just silly and scary that those things could have remotely happened.
Kimberly Ann

Crass and vulgar for the sake of vulgarity? Maybe/maybe not, depending from whose eyes....

Juvenileistic pranks, rude & crude....hey let's get drunk as a skunk!

This is suppose to be funnier than the movie? I think not. The boys in the movie seemed to be borderline "lovable" losers.....not so in the "real" story.
Aug 08, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing
This book is a great collection giving you further insight behind the fraternity that spawned the classic film Animal House. The author gives even better tales of mischief and debauchery than those exploited in the film. The best part of the book is that the author lived through or discussed in detail most of the stories in the book.
Nov 15, 2007 Gary rated it it was amazing
If you lived in a fraternity house, this is possibly the single greatest book in the history of time. If you didn't but appreciate college humor, this still might be the greatest book in the history of time.
Nessa Borealis
Jan 21, 2008 Nessa Borealis rated it it was amazing
This book taught me that life as a member of Alpha Delta Phi was as raucous in the early 60s as it was in the early 80s. And that adding women into the picture didn't mess with that at all. Miller is a great memoirist, and hilariously funny to boot. (Maybe "boot" is not the best verb here. Heh.)
May 15, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok
"He knew it sounded silly and sophomoric, but he truely believed that if people would just unclench a little more often and enjoy themselves, stop taking everything so seriously, a lot of the world's problems would blow off like fog."
Jul 01, 2016 Enzo rated it really liked it
Hilarious! Compared to today's millenniums' and their safe spaces, these guy where far out even for their time and above all "fun"! Something people and college students have forgotten about.

It was funny and a good summer read.
Apr 27, 2008 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, memoirs
The movie doesn't tell the half of Chris Miller's real-life experiences at Dartmouth. Readers of a certain age may remember some of these stories from National Lampoon magazine, but for younger readers they'll be a swell revelation.
OK, it made me laugh in a couple of spots. Still, nothing to write home about, not nearly as deranged as they would have you think. A lot of vomiting and drinking, creative sophomoric craziness. Frankly depicted sex, but not earth-shattering- I've seen more graphic descriptions in romances.
A.L. Waddington
Sep 28, 2011 A.L. Waddington rated it really liked it
If you thought the movie was funny, you will absolutely LOVE this book! It starts out a little slow but once it takes off, you'd better hold on cause nothing and no one is safe from the antics. You will laugh til you cry in pure disbelief!
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