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View Diary: What are you reading? Oct 30, 2013 (51 comments)

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  •  funny. i just read snow crash for the first time (4+ / 0-)

    and it was only my second stephenson novel, the other being cryptonomicon....

    i thought snowcrash was a pretty good read and i enjoyed the premise of linguistic hacking, but he really can't write women; YT and Juanita were pretty stereotypical and the male/female dynamics were teen level at best.  however, two paragraphs of cringing in an otherwise wildly inventive look at the future.  given that it was written in 95 it holds up well in terms of avatars and on-line worlds.

    currently perusing a John Fante Reader.

    Born in 1909.

    After many unsuccessful attempts at publishing stories in the highly regarded literary magazine The American Mercury, his short story "Altar Boy" was accepted conditionally by the magazine's editor, H. L. Mencken; its acceptance was accompanied by a letter from Mencken that read: "Dear Mr. Fante, What do you have against a typewriter? If you transcribe this manuscript in type I'll be glad to buy it. Sincerely yours, H. L. Mencken."[citation needed]

    By far, his most popular novel is the semi-autobiographical Ask the Dust, the third book in what is now referred to as "The Saga of Arturo Bandini" or "The Bandini Quartet". Bandini served as his alter ego in a total of four novels: Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938), The Road to Los Angeles (chronologically, this is the first novel Fante wrote but it was unpublished until 1985), Ask the Dust (1939) and finally Dreams from Bunker Hill (1982), which was dictated to his wife, Joyce, towards the end of his life. Fante's use of Bandini as his alter ego can be compared to Charles Bukowski's character, Henry Chinaski. Bukowski was heavily influenced by John Fante (see below).

    ...

    Recurring themes in Fante's work are poverty, Catholicism, family life, Italian-American identity, sports and the writing life. Ask the Dust has been referred to over the years as a monumental Southern California/Los Angeles novel by a host of reputable sources (e.g.: Carey McWilliams, Charles Bukowski and The Los Angeles Times Book Review). More than sixty years after it was published, Ask the Dust appeared for several weeks on the New York Times' Best Sellers List. Fante's clear voice, vivid characters, shoot-from-the-hip style, and painful, emotional honesty blended with humor and scrupulous self-criticism lends his books to wide appreciation. Most of his novels and stories take place either in Colorado or California. Many of his novels and short stories also feature or focus on fictional incarnations of Fante's father, Nick Fante, as a cantankerous wine tippling, cigar stub-smoking bricklayer.

    Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

    by No Exit on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 09:39:22 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  You can safely ignore The Big U, srsly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit

      The Baroque Cycle is awesome. Anathem was interesting. I'll read Zodiac again if a cheap copy comes my way.

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