I have often heard the term "raw" being used in describing movies, books and talent but I am not sure I have ever come across a book that I could only use that word to describe it. Dan Fante has written a book that he says is a look into his family's legacy of writing, drinking and surviving but it is really more a look into his own life of the same. It is very honest, sometimes graphic, sad, and yes, raw. But, I could not put it down. Was it like watching a train wreck? Maybe.
Dan Fante is the son of writer John Fante, who wrote a few novels back in the 1930's & 40's and screenplays in the 60's & 70's. He was a heavy drinker, a mean & mostly absent dad & a bad husband. Dan Fante writes that he had his first beer at age four, when alcohol became his drug of choice. Although, let me say that liquor wasn't his only vice !
Dan Fante's life is like the wildest roller coaster you have ever been on. An alcoholic drug user that blacked out most days of his young adulthood right into his forties, got tangled up with the Black Panthers, the mafia, hookers & pimps...you name it. AND he actually lives to tell about it.
He writes about his parents& siblings, his father's writing acheivements and some of John Fante's most famous /infamous brawls but the saddest part of the book is that it is a true story of a life wasted. If you ever had any doubts about the dangers of alcohol, you won't after reading this book. Well written and worth the read.
***I am so looking forward to the release of Gregory Maguire's Out of Oz, tomorrow November 1st. I have it pre-ordered on my Kindle so hopefully I will receive it right after midnight tonight. Some sleepless nights ahead !!***