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86'd (Bruno Dante #4)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  330 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In Los Angeles, struggling telemarketer-writer and part-time drunk Bruno Dante is jobless again. The publication of his book of short stories has been put off indefinitely. Searching the want ads for a gig, he finds a chauffeur job. When Bruno calls the number in the ad, he discovers the boss is his former Manhattan employer David Koffman, who is opening a West Coast branc...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by HarperCollins e-books
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There is a literary subgenre (Subgenre? What the hell does that mean? I don’t know.) I would call “Fucked up alcoholic guys who somehow still get laid while banging on cheap laptops/typewriters in cold water flats (do those exist, still?) about shitty jobs and their misfortunes and bad decisions in their pursuit of meaning outside of conventional interaction.” Yes, I know that’s a long name for a subgenre, and I apologize to any bookseller who would struggle to place such a subgenre’s name on, s...more
Ronald Wise
This was my first exposure to author Dan Fante. I avoided knowing anything about him before reading this book, as I wanted to experience it without preconceptions. The first-person narrative is from Bruno Dante, and starting with my efforts to keep the names of author and narrator straight, I had the uncomfortable feeling that the autobiographical and fictional content may also be an inseparable blend. In other words, too much information.

In this novel there is no building tension to end in a ti...more
This was going to be a two star rating until the ending, which gave the Bruno Dante character a hint of redemption. I left the book hoping that it was a transformative ending for the character. But for long stretches I had a hard time rooting for Bruno, who comes off as less sympathetic than the elder Fante’s Bandini character, who in turn is less sympathetic than Bukowski’s Chinaski character. Bandini and Chinaski both felt like products of their time and place, with their flaws and genius beat...more
Peregrine 12
Dec 04, 2010 Peregrine 12 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People that love a good story, but a stomach for the lowest levels of human struggles
Recommended to Peregrine 12 by: NPR interview with the author
I liked this book. The subject matter isn't likely to captivate mass market audiences (topics of alcoholism, unemployment, self destruction, self loathing, and general loseriness), BUT: ignoring all the side distractions (Fante's father, autobiographical fiction, etc), 86'd was just a damn good story. The character is highly unusual, and, in the end, very empathetic. If the greatest aspect of reading literature is the ability to see life through the eyes of another persona, doesn't this story de...more
Fante Jr. is a contemporary classic, but that's okay - you keep reading that Palahnuik schmaltz & leave the good stuff to the rest of us...
Ara Molina
I didn't like it as much as Chump Change or Mooch, and his cab driver stories were a lot more entertaining in Short Dog.
I confess that I don't really get the point of this book. It doesn't even have a good plot to redeem it. The protagonist spends most of his time drinking, popping prescription pain pills, having meaningless sex with women he cares very little for, and generally being a very unpleasant person. There is some moderately interesting stuff about AA programs, and a few interesting passages concerning the art of short fiction, but otherwise this book is one continuous fount of misery. I won't pronounce...more
Tom M
Bruno Dante is an alcoholic writer with an occasional drug usage problem. To pay his bills, he works as a driver for a limo service, schlepping Los Angeles' elite around the town. He formerly worked in New York City for a boss who is opening a Los Angeles branch of the limo service. One of the stipulations is Dante has to stay clean and sober. This does not happen and he grows dissatisfied with this job, and is usually drinking a few fingers of bourbon along with some Vicodin to get through the...more
Colin N.
In "86'd" Bruno Dante struggles with his demons (alcoholism, drug abuse, the violent voices in his head) as he attempts to hold down a job with a limo service in LA. Those familiar with Fante's other works (which all feature Dante as protagonist) will welcome a return to the sordid, darkly comic world of this character.

Fante has to be careful about not repeating himself. "86'd" revisits much of the tone and topics of his other works. Nevertheless here Dante is involved in a new profession, enga...more
Andrea Mullarkey
At the end of Chump Change I wondered if Fante would be able to keep up the pace for 3 more semi-autobiographical novels. I also wondered whether I could keep up if in fact he did. Now having read them in close succession I can say that he’s kept it interesting without wearing me out. Bruno Dante continues to be a serial juicer with a masochistic edge and a deep dislike of people. With women, his relationships (if they can be called that) are cruel and dehumanizing, almost as bad as the jobs he...more
Josie Boyce
The second two books of the Bruno Dante quadrology, if it is such a thing are a bit less horrifying but much smoother in tone, voice. Better written than the first two. 86'd being the last one is a really great denouement to the whole saga. Recovery is fricking tough. Despite having none of the substance abuse problems of the main character, I grokked his struggles to become the writer he wants to be under all the self loathing and addictions. I grok that hard. I recommend reading them all.
Alan Partlow
The troubled son of yet another troubled writer, Dan Fante autobiographical books come disguised as fiction. This is a smart move on Fante's part and protects him from the James Frey syndrome.
From the school of Selby and Bukowski, Fante's protagonist Bruno Dante floats from one odd job to another in a drunken stupor leaving wreckage both literal and figurative in his wake. I admire the fact that Fante pulls no punches when describing his pointless and damaged life, but ultimately I feel nothi...more
As far as the 'drunken down and out thinly-veiled-autobiographer sadomasochist' subgenre goes, this rates as Unremarkable. It was a page turner, but nowhere near as visceral or poetic as a Chinaski or Bandini story, which it aspires to be. Credit where it's due though, the characters were realistic (conversely, they lacked the proper fiction/fantasy/exaggeration normal to this genre), and it was a good story (even though it lacked tension). The ending pulled it from three stars to two.

If this ge...more
this was a fast paced read that really kept me going. i really never wanted to put it down once, but it was easy to read for short amounts of time and pick right back up.

this was my first dan fante book and I am led to believe that his other books are similar in style and all are semi-autobiographical. i like that.

the story here was good, it was kind of like life, i expected characters to come back into the fold, especially portia, but in life there are characters that are there and important an...more
20th Century Crime and Punishment, California style.

Internalized, drug addled, narcissistic, genuine and . . .

" . . . To our right was a hundred miles of Pacific Ocean. There'd been a storm and the sea was choppy. I began counting the sets of waves as they crashed in on the shore. We headed south back toward Los Angeles."

Bruno Dante may be a hero to some, to me he's just a crazy fool. I didn't find this book hysterically funny as advertised, however, I did read it and was fascinated by Dante's endless depravity, his ability to emerge out of sticky situations only to screw up again and again. The capacity we humans have for self-destruction is pretty amazing and the insanity of many people who may appear perfectly normal is truly beyond imagining. Author John Fante (get it: Fante, Dante) supposedly knows what he'...more
James Curtin
fante has been sober for 23 years now but he just writes about what it's like to be a raging alcoholic. typcial stuff like coming out of a blackout naked in a prostitute's apt. in a ghetto and finding your wallet gone, sweating, shaking, throwing up in her plants then walking to a bar to get a drink to sober up and then literally shitting yourself but still going in because you absolutely need a drink and then hustling the bartender for just one double. who hasn't done that? wish he would write...more
Jesse Houle
Oct 01, 2009 Jesse Houle marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jesse by: NPR's Fresh Air.
He read the poem "Asking" that is amidst the many 'secret tracks' at the end of the book and it caught my ear. It concludes with "God, for me, turned out to be a conscious choice, a self-evoked experience, just like love." He also talked about his experience at a monastery and the awakening he had and, especially given his past and his father and the source recommending, I figured I should read something he's written.
Robert Clancy
Hunter Thompson meets Frederick Exley in this trip through the late-night streets of L.A., with Bruno Dante nursing on a bottle of Schneley Whiskey behind the wheel of a private limo Town Car, chauffeuring coked-up rock stars, Mephistophelesian producers, call girls, librarians, old ladies, and the movers & shakers of La-la-land. Dante/Fante doesn't need a 12-Step Program - his should be at least 24.
Manheim Wagner
Being a sound writer and the son of one of America's greatest novelist doesn't necessarily guarantee a quality book. 86'd is a quick and fun read, but the character of Bruno Dante is a bit pathetic and lacks the charm and sarcasm of Hank Chinaski. That being said, Dan Fante can write well and I'd like to read another novel by him does not have the Bruno Dante persona in it.
On the micro level, Dan Fante overdoses on the word "snarled" to describe how people talk. Most of his characters apparently have rabies. I think the repeated use of "filibuster" is also strange.

Taking a wider view, the book is entertaining in a salacious, over-the-top sort of way, but isn't substantial enough to be grade-A material.
Absolutely loved it. Such dark humor, and the main Character is so brutally honest, its funny.
Great idea, great story - brings a little humor to an all too real situation that a lot of people battle with. Lucky for me, I do not have any of the vice's Bruno has, but I can relate - either way, what a wonderful book! Loved it.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theliter... listened to this interview and then read Dan Fante's work. I loved his father's work, and have to say I really love his work as well. Will definitely check out more! I highly recommend this book.
A novel of the downward cycle of recovery and inebriation. I mistakenly picked up this book thinking it was by John Fante (one of my favorites and Dan Fante's father). Dan's style is very much like his father's (with a good dose of Charles Buckowski thrown in). R-rated; narrative is very gritty.
probably my favorite fante yet. a real page turner. bruno is at it again. limo driver to the stars. personal. rotten. the finale was underwhelming but expected. apparently there are only twelve steps.
The son of John Fante. Dan writes with a mix of his old man and Bukowski in modern times. It worked. I laughed and it was a quick read. Dante Bruno is mix of Henry Chinsski and Aruthro Bandini.
I have to say I do enjoy Dan Fante. I thought this was going to be just another in the series of Bruno Dante and it was to a certain extent but with a positive message I didn't expect.
bruno dante, the protagonist of this book, reminds me SO MUCH of my dad. always trying to stay one step ahead of his demons. usually failing. i need to send him a copy.
Dan Fante is one of the only authors whose work can make me literally cringe at times--it's raw and honest, and, yes, downright despicable. I like that.
Brianna Soloski
I was not a fan of this book. I'm not a prude, but the cussing was unnecessary. It was also poorly edited and felt disjointed to me.
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