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Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante

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The first biography of one of the great outsiders of American literature. In the first comprehensive biography of John Fante, one of the great lost souls of twentieth-century literature, Stephen Cooper untangles the enigma of an authentic American original. By turns savage and poetic, violent and full of love, such underground novels as The Road to Los Angeles; Ask the Dus The first biography of one of the great outsiders of American literature. In the first comprehensive biography of John Fante, one of the great lost souls of twentieth-century literature, Stephen Cooper untangles the enigma of an authentic American original. By turns savage and poetic, violent and full of love, such underground novels as The Road to Los Angeles; Ask the Dust; and Wait Until Spring, Bandini simultaneously reveal and disguise their author. Born in 1909 to poor Italian American parents in Colorado, Fante ventured west in 1930 to become a writer. Eventually settling in Los Angeles' faded downtown area of Bunker Hill, Fante starved between menial Depression-era jobs while writing story after story about the world he knew-full of poverty, hatred, and the madness of love. His first stories were published by H. L. Mencken in the American Mercury, but Fante also made a career in Hollywood working with the likes of Orson Welles and Darryl F. Zanuck. By the time of his death, though, he was nearly forgotten. Fortunately, readers such as Charles Bukowski began to recognize that Ask the Dust stands alongside the best work of Nathanael West and Sherwood Anderson. This exacting and vivid biography will help secure Fante's place in the American literary pantheon.


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The first biography of one of the great outsiders of American literature. In the first comprehensive biography of John Fante, one of the great lost souls of twentieth-century literature, Stephen Cooper untangles the enigma of an authentic American original. By turns savage and poetic, violent and full of love, such underground novels as The Road to Los Angeles; Ask the Dus The first biography of one of the great outsiders of American literature. In the first comprehensive biography of John Fante, one of the great lost souls of twentieth-century literature, Stephen Cooper untangles the enigma of an authentic American original. By turns savage and poetic, violent and full of love, such underground novels as The Road to Los Angeles; Ask the Dust; and Wait Until Spring, Bandini simultaneously reveal and disguise their author. Born in 1909 to poor Italian American parents in Colorado, Fante ventured west in 1930 to become a writer. Eventually settling in Los Angeles' faded downtown area of Bunker Hill, Fante starved between menial Depression-era jobs while writing story after story about the world he knew-full of poverty, hatred, and the madness of love. His first stories were published by H. L. Mencken in the American Mercury, but Fante also made a career in Hollywood working with the likes of Orson Welles and Darryl F. Zanuck. By the time of his death, though, he was nearly forgotten. Fortunately, readers such as Charles Bukowski began to recognize that Ask the Dust stands alongside the best work of Nathanael West and Sherwood Anderson. This exacting and vivid biography will help secure Fante's place in the American literary pantheon.

30 review for Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante

  1. 4 out of 5

    Charis

    It was truly the last 50 pages that earned it that 4th star. Slow start...I found it surprisingly dry for a book about my very favorite author. But those last 50 pages were a stand-out. Learned a lot about a man I find fascinating.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anfri Bogart

    John Fante era un ometto terribile e sua moglie una specie di santa. Probabilmente se non avesse sprecato il suo talento scrivendo scialbe sceneggiature per Hollywood, oggi avremmo molti più racconti e romanzi di qualità, ma lui era fatto così: amava prima di tutto godersi la vita, l'arte veniva un po' dopo. "Non mi piacciono i film, non mi sono mai piaciuti né mai mi piaceranno. Ma vado in delirio per gli stipendi che pagano." Una bella biografia, ricchissima e documentatissima, scritta con amore John Fante era un ometto terribile e sua moglie una specie di santa. Probabilmente se non avesse sprecato il suo talento scrivendo scialbe sceneggiature per Hollywood, oggi avremmo molti più racconti e romanzi di qualità, ma lui era fatto così: amava prima di tutto godersi la vita, l'arte veniva un po' dopo. "Non mi piacciono i film, non mi sono mai piaciuti né mai mi piaceranno. Ma vado in delirio per gli stipendi che pagano." Una bella biografia, ricchissima e documentatissima, scritta con amore.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jason Robinson

    This was a very well written bio of a great, though underrated author.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ken Titt

    A little too much literary criticism until about the last third of the book. Still, a good read about an awesome writer.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Guy Salvidge

    Perhaps not the most entertaining biography I ever did read, but a fascinating account of a great but troubled writer nonetheless.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    Excellent work on a great writer too long ignored BY a great writer and teacher whom I knew when I lived over in LA/LB. Definitely recommended!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steve Roberts

    Turns Fante into a real person. If you prefer the legend, i dont recomend. I liked it though.

  8. 5 out of 5

    victor

    this book was long. i took a break to read another book (dreams from bunker hill by john fante). the pages started falling out because i would fall asleep on the bus with it open. it took me way too long to read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eva Schaap

    A very well written biography of a very complicated man and Italian American author.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Nichols

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephen J.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steven Forbes

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tony

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kendal

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gail Helm

  17. 5 out of 5

    James

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ric

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paolalicia Lombardo

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tony

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bas

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gaia Castagnoli

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Layden

  28. 5 out of 5

    Allyssa

  29. 5 out of 5

    Danny Hutto

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marco

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