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Chump Change (Bruno Dante #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  612 ratings  ·  49 reviews
A blackout brought on by a Mad Dog binge that ended with a self-inflicted steak knife wound bought Bruno Dante another stint in the nuthouse, no different from all the rest. Now it's done, and his wife, Agnes—taking time off from her personal-trainer lover—has come to pick Bruno up and to deliver a message from the West Coast: his screenwriter father is in the hospital in...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published November 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,524)
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David
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...more
Fewlas
Mi ero sbagliata qualche anno fa, quando riposi il libro sullo scaffale solo dopo poche pagine. Avevo troppa paura del confronto con il padre. Fortunatamente mi ritrovo a dovermi ricredere: non c’è il minimo intento di imitazione o di riproposizione. Dan Fante ha le sue cose da dire e, nonostante le enormi responsabilità richieste dall’eredità letteraria lasciata al mondo da suo padre, parla con una voce onesta e singolare, nuova. I tentativi di accostamento sono molteplici: ha la sincerità del...more
Stop
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...more
Patrick O'Neil
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
Jim
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.
Chris
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...more
Jim Ament
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
Ronald Wise
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...more
Daniele
http://www.lastambergadeilettori.com/...

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...more
Jesús Santana

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...more
Jakki
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...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
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
David
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
Evan Wright
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
Y
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...more
Tom
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...more
Josie Boyce
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
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
Justin
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...more
Y
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?
Given in a poem by the teenage stuttering...more
Stephen Platt
If you were ever wondering how the author of "Ask the Dust" and Hollywood screenwriter John Fante died, (I mean really died), then read this book written by his wayward but literary son, Dan.

(Hint) the way John died was not the romanticized way he envisioned that his own father died in the book "The Brotherhood of the Grape." Mostly, John wasted away in an unremarkable Cedar's hospital bed, feeling like a failure, but probably realizing that his son and his dog loved him.
David
It must be hard for a writer to carry the name of such an giant father, what Dan Fante does incredibly well with CHUMP CHANGE is marry his own narrative to those created by his father John. He does it in a way that creates a legacy, a link between Arturo Bandini and Bruno Dante but in a way that's individualistic, gritty, and powerful. Great writing, great writer.
Oliver
It was a great read
R.d.
Jan 27, 2008 R.d. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a functioning brain
Because of my familiarity with Bukowski I had read many of the works of John Fante, which led me to his son Dan. Chump Change is a loosely auto-biographic novel about growing up in a dysfunctional has-been show biz family. It spares no punches. Fante knocks it out of the park as far as I'm concerned.
Regan
Palahniuk, Bukowski, Thompson mood? This one's great. Not for everybody, some gross vulgar parts but oh, I agree with one of the back cover blurbs (by Gerard Guegan of France) - "Not a word comes out... that one would correct... it is sublime."
Tim
Life is a combine harvester with a cinder block lashed to the gas pedal. You can run out ahead of it, or try to climb up on it when it passes, or sleep and eventually get mulched.
Jason
Better than Bukowski in my opinion.
I know I lost you right there.
As good as his Dad?
Damn near.
A slightly different (filthy) flavor to his prose.
Completely under the radar...
Ara Molina
El libro con el cual descubrí a Dan Fante. Muestra de una forma nada convencional el enfrentamiento de su alter ego (Bruno Dante) a la muerte de su padre. Realismo sucio bien llevado.
Max F
Brutal read, this book is not for the weak-of-heart...I was tempted to put it down, but it shined in the end. Did you ever see Barfly with Mickey Rourke? Wow...
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La Stamberga dei ...: Angeli a pezzi di Dan Fante 1 7 Sep 26, 2012 09:38AM  
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