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4.1  ·  Rating details ·  269 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
"Dan Fante is an authentic literary outlaw." —New York TimesFrom Dan Fante, son of novelist John Fante, comes an exploration of his family’s legacy—one of boozing, passion, writing, and survival. Long before his father achieved literary recognition for Ask the Dust or The Road to Los Angeles, and before Dan had conceived his novels 86’d, Chump Change, and Mooch, their diff ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Harper Perennial (first published August 2011)
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Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Utterly fantastic. So much of what passes as writing -- no matter the genre -- these days is contrived, commercially considered, wrought by marketing and easy handles and where it's to be shelved. This is not one of those books.

Yes -- there is the built-in intrigue about the Fante family, and readers hungry for details won't be disappointed. But this beautiful book has what too many books lack: a furious, pounding, flawed, and desperate human heart. If every you've felt like a maniac in your own
Alex Kudera
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think this is Dan Fante's best--lots of good stuff here on father John, son Dan, Hollywood, the seedy underside of NYC, and cameos from plenty of other 20th century American writers. At times, Dan's real life seems crazier than the life of his fictional Bruno Dante; there are a few paragraphs that would get half your students giggling and tweeting like mad geese while a few sourpusses complain to your department chair. In other words, at least sections of it could fit into many different kinds ...more
Max Nemtsov
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-books
Разухабистый и незамысловатый, прямой, как палка, мемуар об изгнании собственный демонов — не столько о Джоне Фанте, конечно, сколько о себе самом. Больше всего напоминает книгу Рока Бриннера о Юле, только — ну да, незамысловатее. Что не отменяет ценности книжки для пытливого ума.

Некоторые обстоятельства и ситуации, знакомые, к примеру, по отзвукам от Буковски или собственным текстам Джона Фанте (человека гораздо более трудного, сложного и неприятного, судя по всему, чем мы привыкли считать), ра
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
While there are some interesting family anecdotes in this memoir, particularly for John Fante fans, it gets bogged down in a hurry when the rest of the Fantes recede into the background and we're left with just Adult Dan Fante at center stage. As a writer, Dan Fante is a poor man's John Fante, consumed with all the same basic literary themes and plagued by some of the same real-life demons. Dan goes through a tough childhood. Dan grows into a womanizing alcoholic with a bad temper and no sense o ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this look at the Fante family, as I'm a John Fante fan and have read a couple of Dan's books, too. Unfortunately, some of this reads like the literary version of those drunk-a-logues that many of us in recovery have heard at meetings--alternately boastful and self-effacing without a whole lot of insight offered. I know he had struggles with his father. I know he came to love his father deeply. I don't feel that I was given much understanding regarding how that developed. When the author ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting book on a lot of different levels. After reading Dan Fante's (largely autobiographical) fiction, I'm willing to pick up anything he writes. To my mind, he's established himself as a talented, not to mention unflinchingly gutsy, writer, without needing to rely on his father's name. But this book offers a window into the lives of both great writers, and the painful relationship between them. It's inspiring that Dan Fante has been able to write like this after so many years o ...more
Todd Kalinski
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just surviving being a Fante was hell enough. Dan Fante's struggle with his father, the great writer but arguably wretched human being, John Fante, battles with alcohol, drugs, women & shitty jobs, nearly did him in many times. This is a beautiful and dirty memoir about enduring when there seemed as if there was nothing left. Jean Paul-Sartre said, "Hope is the first sign of despair." Fante didn't ask for that, he just kept on moving.
May 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, Dan Fante, for sharing your slice of the human condition in such an open way. Brutal and to the point, yet inspiring in the end.
Olav Nilsen
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A must read. Great book
Don Pintor
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este libro se acaba de colar a mi top 10 no sólo del año si no de la vida.

Es honesto, divertido, ágil y cabrón pero sobretodo entrañable.

Comparto este párrafo que creo sintetiza bien el tono del libro:

"My dad, the man I loved most in the world, a man who refused to compromise himself for anyone, the man who had showed me by example what it was like to be a true artist, was gone. We had become a loving father and son after a rocky thirty-year start. John Fante's gift to me was his ambition, his b
Guy Salvidge
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this because I was interested in the life of John Fante, but unfortunately this is 5% about the author of Ask the Dust etc and 95% about his fuck-up son. It isn't even well written either (cliches, ahoy). I guess it was an entertaining and diverting read.
Vinicius Gonçalves
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dan Fante traz as memórias da família Fante, com um breve relato sobre a vida de seus avós, passando por seus irmãos, porém com o foco principal em sua própria. No entanto, no decorrer de todo livro sempre há capítulos sobre John Fante, ou seja, trata-se de um apanhado biográfico da família.

Para aqueles que já tiveram contato com suas outras obras, sabemos como a maneira de escrever de Dan é cativante e aqui reencontra-se diversos fatos que já foram nos apresentado com seu alterego Bruno Dante e
Oct 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I bought this book under the impression that it would be similar to You Can't Catch Death by Richard Brautigan's daughter... There are a lot interesting and well written pieces about John Fante in the memoir. However Dan Fante (the son) seems to think that stories about him driving taxis are more interesting than the life of his father...

I've read some of Dan Fantes work before and this seems to be a complete regurgitation of his previous over the top, I'm an average writer who has to write ext
Steve Poltrock
Aug 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Dan Fante is the son of a famous author, John Fante, who wrote about his father and his own tough life. In this book Dan Fante follows this same approach, writing about John Fante and Dan Fante's own tough life. This is a family of alcoholics, and there is little in their lives that is inspirational. Dan Fante describes himself as a serious screwball, destroying himself and those around him with alcohol and nearly killing himself several times. Nonetheless, he had some talents. He learned to sel ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dan Fante isn't as accomplished a writer as his father, John Fante. Nevertheless "Fante" is a fascinating account of growing up in a literate but dysfunctional family, and the author's descent into alcoholism and occupational failure. Thanks to AA, Dan Fante eventually became "dry" and went on the become the author of a number of fine novels. This book is an enjoyable, but at times harrowing read. Thank goodness the author's suicidal ideation didn't result in his premature demise, as the world w ...more
Sara Habein
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is a good, entertaining book. I reread many chapters, and I find the included family photos interesting. Now, would his siblings have a different version of events or say he is glossing over some of his own issues? Maybe, but what he presented was compelling. Repeatedly I've said that I like knowing the life stories of people. I like knowing what shaped their character, and Fante is a 2-for-1 deal. Well played, Dan.

(My full review can be found on Glorified Love Letters.)
Patrick Inman
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A boozy chip off the old block.

Dan Fante's autobiography is a rambling, drunken, rage powered revelation. I bought this book on a whim on Amazon because I had read and admired his father's work. I had no expectations it was going to be one of the best books I've read in the last year. I heartily recommend it to anybody who can appreciate the courage it took to write a book this honest and this unflinching.
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I started this book thinking it was a biography of John Fante, but in reality John appears only occasionally throughout Dan's memoir. This is, of course, a consequence of their father-son relationship. I was not, however, disappointed, as Dan's life, while not enviable, is unbelievable. His writing is gritty, honest and to the point. Worthwhile for sure.
Ciaran groarke
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
very interesting view of the life of the great writer John Fante and his family. alcohol,depression, emotional abuse are sad, but all too familiar subjects in artist biographies or memoirs as this is called. Not knocked out by Dan Fante's writing style- but a solid picture of the times, and the life behind the novels.
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it

If you are a John Fante fan, this is not necessary to read to further your enjoyment of his stuff. If you don't know his son's material, this will make you want to read it. Dan Fante's no-holds-barred account of his life and family is terrific.
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really, really like Dan Fante's work right now... Blunt. Entertaining. I loved this because he weaved his life with his father's and I appreciated his honest account of how he became a writer paralleled with his father's route.
Mark Selby
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Typical memoir of an alcoholic. Lots of drama and mistakes. Hope all is working out for him now.
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
A must read for any Fante fan!
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting stories but sloppy writing and poor editing. If your familiar with father and son Fante's work there is not a lot you won't have read before.
Kevin Wilder
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A perfect book. Deserves more stars!
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love every part of it- The history of Los Angles and Hollywood, his father's career, Dan Fante's battles, his raw writing style and passion for writing!
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Adam Matthews
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Drops a star as having read all his other books a good few stories are retold here. Though a great book and insight to the Fante family legend
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“My dad, the man I loved most in the world, a man who refused to compromise himself for anyone, the man who had showed me by example what it was like to be a true artist, was gone. We had become a loving father and son after a rocky thirty-year start. John Fante’s gift to me was his ambition, his brilliance, and his pure writer’s heart. He had begun life with a drunken, self-hating father, backing out of the hell of poverty and prejudice. Now he was ending it as the best example of courage and humility I had ever known. John Fante was my hero.” 0 likes
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