86'd
Dan Fante
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Buy *86'd* by Dan Fante online

86'd
Dan Fante
HarperPerennial
Paperback
272 pages
September 2009
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Rarely does the offspring of a famous writer ever make a name for himself. Relatives of everyone from Kurt Vonnegut to John Steinbeck have ventured out on their own only to return with tails tucked behind them. But Dan Fante, son of legendary novelist John Fante, is different. He has made a name for himself by pursuing a style that falls somewhere between Hubert Selby, Jr. and Charles Bukowski, a prose that is full of life and anger and honesty.

In his fourth novel, Fante once again dons his alter persona, Bruno Dante, to take the reader on a high-octane run through the streets of Los Angeles. Dante is a limousine driver, a drinking, drugging, foul-mouthed but tremendously likeable fellow who has made close friends with hard luck. He can't seem to get out of his own way, and the harder he tries, the farther he falls.

Fante's writing is simple and uncluttered. Here is how he begins his tale:

A fucking cosmic shit shower.

Up to the minute I opened the e-mail from Canonball Press I'd thought the five years and three hundred pages it had taken to put my book together had been worth it. Only three months before the pricks had sent me their acceptance letter and a token five-hundred dollar advance. I would finally be a published short story writer.

Wrong.
Concise. Powerful. No punches pulled.

He may have literary blood flowing through his veins, but Dan's is a completely different color and type than was his father's. This is a brutal read but compassionate in the telling. You won't forget this one, nor the re-release of his three previous works: Chump Change; Mooch; and Spitting Off Tall Buildings.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2009

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