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Chump Change (Bruno Dante #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  842 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Fiction. The book follows the exploits of Bruno Dante. In New York his life is a train wreck and is turned into an upheaval when he gets the call from Los Angeles that his screenwriter father is in a coma and not expected to live. The next three weeks on the streets on the streets of L.A. will change Bruno Dante's life forever. The book expresses the bewilderment of its he ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Sun Dog Press (first published November 1st 1996)
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You Really Are Full of Shit, Aren't You? by Karl WigginsNobody Asked Me, But .... by Karl WigginsSelf-Publishing In the Eye of the Storm by Karl WigginsAsk the Dust by John Fante2005 - Thanks for the Vodka by Harpie
Books to read on the Shitter
32nd out of 45 books — 9 voters
GRIT The Banter and Brutality of the Late-Night Cab by Karl Wiggins2003 - Thanks for the Vodka by HarpieGoodnight, and Thanks for the Vodka by Harpie2004 - Thanks for the Vodka by HarpieAsk the Dust by John Fante
Grit-Lit - Writing that Bleeds
29th out of 90 books — 26 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,143)
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Jan 11, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking at the author photograph of Dan Fante -- which depicts a sixtysomething, moon-faced, grimacing bald man in a leather bomber jacket aiming a pistol indiscriminately upward while just behind him four seagulls spread their wings in a cloudless sky -- I was first struck by his intangible Martin Balsam quality, and then as is often the case with books such as Chump Change, I was revisited by the question of authenticity. (i.e., Is this guy for real?? I mean, c'mon...)

Dan Fante is the son of J
Feb 11, 2016 Vinicius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FANTE, de fato.

Bruno Dante, o alterego de Dan Fante, filho do digníssimo John Fante é uma junção escatológica de Bandini (John Fante) e Chinaski (Bukowski).

"What I want to say here is that there is a place beyond control and beyond concern that people can go, where the values and the needs of everyday life change completely. Where what matters is moment-to-moment survival to avoid mind pain."

O abuso do álcool é uma constante no livro e guia todas as ações positivas ou negativas (a maior parte) d
Óscar Brox
Aug 26, 2016 Óscar Brox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Releyendo de nuevo a Fante, el hijo, me doy cuenta de hasta qué punto una obra como esta (frontal, de una sensibilidad hiriente) supone el intento más desesperado de afrontar creativamente (con palabras, con frases cortas que prácticamente hablan solas: con palabras que dan cuenta de la vida) en qué consiste ese sentimiento de orfandad que tarde o temprano nos toca asumir. De vacío, o de miedo al vacío que se proyecta tras la alargada sombra de John Fante/Jonathan Dante. Y si bien ya hay otro li ...more
Ronald Wise
Jul 24, 2011 Ronald Wise rated it really liked it
I am hard-pressed to think of any other protagonist that has elicited in me as much disgust as Bruno Dante does for the greater part of this novel. And knowing that he has an autobiographical basis means that author Dan Fante is really putting himself out there. I began to wonder if Fante wasn't trying to elicit a hatred of him, but then remembered that, like in an AA testimonial, the storyteller is the protagonist and that hopefully former person he describes the antagonist.

The dialog and other
Jun 19, 2009 Stop added it
ead the STOP SMILING interview with author Dan Fante

Q&A: Dan Fante
By Anthony Reynolds

Novelist, playwright and poet Dan Fante is the second son of John Fante.
He is well regarded in Europe and his novels include Mooch, Chump Change and Spitting off Tall Buildings

Stop Smiling: As both a novelist and a screenwriter, what are the main similarities between the processes? And what are the major differences?

Dan Fante: I don't mean to be overly unkind here, but screenwriting is a process quite unlike
Patrick O'Neil
Sep 29, 2009 Patrick O'Neil rated it liked it
Dan Fante's writing lands somewhere between Bukowski and Dan's father, the late John Fante - which is a odd place to be as Bukowski practically stole John Fante's style, and Fante sold his soul for the lucrative money of Hollywood scriptwriting and really didn't fully pursue his career as a novelist. Not that his books aren't amazing, particularity Ask The Dust - but this isn't about John's books, this is about his son, Dan - who writes like the bastard son of both Bukowski and his father - if t ...more
Apr 25, 2016 Henry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was fun. Narrator/protagonist Bruno Dante was unlikable for much of the novel but I warmed up to him by the end.

I'll consider reading more of the younger Fante's works. That being said, in the pantheon of low-life schmucks turned authors, Dan Fante is outranked both by his father, John Fante, and Charles Bukowski.
Dec 29, 2012 Justin rated it liked it
Despite a mostly unlikeable protagonist who spends the majority of the book wallowing in booze and self-pity, this was a rather engrossing read. Like Bukowski, Fante manages to portray a drunk, pathetic loser in way that at times disgusts the reader and at other times somehow glorifies his hedonistic behavior.

While at first I was completely put off by Bruno Dante, I couldn't help but chuckle a sick depraved laugh at his actions, particularly the things he liked to shove into his wife's purse. B
Jim Chin
Apr 07, 2010 Jim Chin rated it liked it
Vulgar ..... self absorbed .......yet ........ I find at times quite touching or at least familiar.... Definitely not for everyone. Maybe good enough for a few. Poor Rocco.........

By the by you can read it in less than a day 200 or so pages. Though I believe this is a series of books, this being the first. Basically a story of a seriously troubled soul who can't lay off the bad liquor. A personal struggle at a trying time.
Aug 20, 2016 Eric rated it liked it
Well....let me start out by making this clear - this book is not for everyone - it's depravity is graphic and I'm sort of uncertain what the purpose of it was - well, I guess from what I've read about the author, the events are supposed to be sort of autobiographical.

I picked this novel up because it had a Michael Connelly blurb on the cover.

The book deals with the nasty life of writer Bruno Dante, while he is dealing with the self-created downward spiral of his life, which includes dealing wi
Dewayne Stark
Sep 23, 2015 Dewayne Stark rated it really liked it
Discovered this by total accident. On the shelf next to "Dreams from Bunker Hill" set this Fante book and I just grabbed it thinking it was by his father. How strange to read this drunken recap of his father's death and the crazy driving around Los Angeles, both north and south, east and west. The spending was a ditto of his father's spending and blowing money.
Toni Cifuentes
En realidad no lo he terminado de leer, pero Goodreads parece no tener la opción de "libros abandonados". En fin, poco que ver con el padre. No tiene fuerza, avanza a trompicones, en algunos momentos se desvela esa magia pero detrás se nota el artificio, la mecánica para parecerse a Bukowski, pero sin alma. No he podido avanzar más allá del primer tercio del libro, y no me parecía que fuera hacia ninguna parte. Es verdad que esto puede ocurrir con otros libros de Fante, que no sepas muy bien qué ...more
Mar 17, 2015 Arely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ismael
Dan Fante es hijo de John Fante, lo que, desde mi punto de vista, hace que tenga unos zapatos muy grandes por llenar. John Fante es de mis escritores favoritos, coincido con lo que escribió Bukowski en el prólogo de Preguntale al Polvo: "Pero cierto día cogí un libro, lo abrí y se produjo un descubrimiento. Pasé unos minutos
hojeándolo. Y entonces, a semejanza del hombre que ha encontrado oro en los basureros
municipales, me llevé el libro a una mesa. Las líneas se encadenaban con soltura a lo lar
Tracy Shapley
Jul 02, 2016 Tracy Shapley rated it liked it
Shelves: alcoholism
Have I ever read a book that needs more trigger warnings? I surely can't think of one. I read Chump Change by Dan Fante because I'm working on an alcoholism / sobriety related post for Book Riot and this came highly recommended as a good book about a drunk.

I mean, yeah, it certainly followed a drunk around for a few weeks but he is exactly the kind of drunk that I don't want my post to showcase. Not that he's not a real drunk - this was autobiographical - but it describes the end stages of alcoh
Jan 31, 2012 Chris rated it liked it
Framed as an anti-hero from the off, Bruno Dante is a drunken loon, moulded to the same form as other alter egos, such as Bukowski's Chinaski, and of course the author's father's own paper twin, Bandini.

However, what sets the protagonist apart in this story compared to the leads of the classics 'Post Office' and 'Ask the Dusk' is the lack of realism. The debauchery feels forced and steeped in Dan Fante's desire to write with the same authenticity of his father, John.

What isn't fake or forced i
Jim Ament
May 27, 2011 Jim Ament rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Los Angels Times called Chump Change “passionate, obscene and quite wonderful.” It is passionate and obscene...and well written, but wonderful? I must admit that my brief forays into Charles Bukowski and John Fante, the author’s father, have taken their toll. I keep remembering that one of my best friends in college, a bright and for a time successful businessman, ended up a derelict on the streets of Cleveland. He died too young because of alcoholism and left his wife—a friend also—and daug ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Daniele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Dan Fante è il figlio di John Fante e fa lo scrittore come il padre. Basterebbe questo per far strizzare gli occhi in un conato di nausea da diffidenza acuta. Ci sta tutto in effetti. Un po’ come per la regola cinematografica dei sequel nel quale si dice che il secondo film è quasi sempre inferiore al primo. Ammetto che personalmente sono stato molto combattuto prima di acquistare il libro. Molto probabilmente se non si fosse chiamato Fante non gli avrei d
Jesús Santana
Jun 29, 2013 Jesús Santana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Dan Fante es el hijo del mítico escritor y uno de los mas importantes representantes del realismo sucio John Fante a quien Charles Bukowski bautizó como “mi dios”, creador de uno de los personajes emblemáticos de la literatura norteamericana Arturo Bandini. Dan Fante deja Los Ángeles a la edad de veinte años y decide dedicarse a vender de puerta en puerta, taxista, vendedor vía telefónica y una larga lista de empleos de poca paga mientras por las noches se dedicaba a vomitar sobre la pagina en b
Manel Haro
Feb 27, 2016 Manel Haro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La novela condensa la amargura, la decepción, el fracaso, la ilusión, la esperanza y, sobre todo, la posibilidad, siempre latente, de poder cambiar las cosas en cualquier momento mientras el reloj avanza deprisa. "Chump Change" es una novela brillante de un escritor que impone carácter y que, esperemos, sirva para hacer justicia a la memoria de John Fante y a la obra de su hijo Dan. Cada uno de ellos debería sentirse orgulloso del otro.
Jul 13, 2013 Jakki rated it did not like it
I fail to see how this is such a revered book. I am a huge fan of John Fante so I went into this with high hopes.

Dan Fante is trying far too hard to be his father (thinly veiled in the book as "Dante")and edgy. Nothing "shocks" or "offends" me; but this book is just trying to be "offensive" with no real story behind it. Predictable. Doesn't offer the edginess people know from his father's books and even Bukowski. Feels orchestrated and unreal. What I liked best about his father's work is John Fa
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Sep 26, 2012 La Stamberga dei Lettori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: daniele
Dan Fante è il figlio di John Fante e fa lo scrittore come il padre. Basterebbe questo per far strizzare gli occhi in un conato di nausea da diffidenza acuta. Ci sta tutto in effetti. Un po’ come per la regola cinematografica dei sequel nel quale si dice che il secondo film è quasi sempre inferiore al primo. Ammetto che personalmente sono stato molto combattuto prima di acquistare il libro. Molto probabilmente se non si fosse chiamato Fante non gli avrei dato una chance. Invece l’ho fatto e in f ...more
Jul 23, 2015 Caleb rated it it was amazing
This is one firecracker of a novel. Fante's style is gritty, hard-hitting but poignant. Gripping and exciting. Bruno is a lovable mad man. Highly recommended to fans of Bukowski, Hemingway, and of course, John Fante.
May 26, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't be fooled by the grit, this book has some real soul to it. Though at times I wondered a bit about the main character because his rage actions didn't always seem to jibe with his calm, articulate narration, I really got into reading about the guy. I think it really shows some good writing when someone can make me that interested in a guy I wouldn't want to be in the same room with, must less like. This is my first experience with Dan Fante and I'll be looking for others. I'm impressed. The ...more
Sep 13, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it

Mix of John Fante and Bukowski. Much sparser than JF, and without the heart of Bukowski. An interesting read but seemed almost try-hard, or at least less relatable. Not a much read in any way.
Evan Wright
May 02, 2009 Evan Wright rated it it was amazing
I have been friends with Dan for several years and read this in manuscript form. I think he perfectly captures LA and actually surpasses his father's book, Ask the Dust. In fact, the story of Ask the Dust has always struck me as a cliche. I know this is a heretical opinion, but there it is. It's my view critics have a tough time understanding Dan's work because it is so raw, and there is so much hero-worship of his father. I was friends with Dan before he showed me the manuscript. When he gave i ...more
Dec 28, 2013 Y rated it it was amazing
I love it when an author can turn the germ of predictable short story into a novel worth reading. The plot is unsurprising, as are the characters; what makes Chump Change a pleasure is the poetry inherent in the Malibu/Canyon/Santa Monica area...that remote and lonely stretch of No Man's Land known as PCH. I know it well, know all the stops, and like to follow Bruno's weaving trail of woe in my mind, the arid desolation of postcard perfection.
Best line?
It's given in a poem by the teenage, stut
Manheim Wagner
Apr 16, 2015 Manheim Wagner rated it it was ok
The only thing that kept me interested in this book was the back history of John Fante. Other than that, Bruno Dante is a pathetic character.
Jan 23, 2012 Tom rated it really liked it
Chump Change is the well-written work of a passionate author. It flows well, demands emotional investment, and leaves a lingering impression. And all this without a protagonist worthy of your care.
Bruno Dante is unlikable, despicable and loathsome. You will not like him, and hopefully you never identify with him. Still, you will root for him in spite of who he is and what he does. You will root for him for the sake of the family who loves him and has accepted, and enabled, him to be the shell of
Josie Boyce
May 26, 2014 Josie Boyce rated it really liked it
Gritty like Bukowski, with a real crusty heart. I liked this book better than any of Fante the father's books. Great characterization, and dialogue. Poor doggy.
Andrea Mullarkey
Aug 03, 2012 Andrea Mullarkey rated it really liked it
Whoah! This is the book that Bret Easton Ellis wanted to write. A raw, semi-autobiographical portrait of an addict spiraling out of control. John Dante is a an alcoholic, recently released from an institution and returned to Los Angeles to deal with his father’s imminent death. His marriage is rupturing, his relationship with his parents and brother are unresolved at best, and his career is non-existent. The travails he faces and the cast of characters he encounters them with are unrelenting. Ed ...more
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La Stamberga dei ...: Angeli a pezzi di Dan Fante 1 7 Sep 26, 2012 09:38AM  
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