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A Fan's Notes (Vintage Contemporaries) [Paperback]

Frederick Exley
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Aug 1988 Vintage Contemporaries
This fictional memoir, the first of an autobiographical trilogy, traces a self professed failure's nightmarish decent into the underside of American life and his resurrection to the wisdom that emerges from despair.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; 1st Vintage Books Ed edition (12 Aug 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679720766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679720768
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 914,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Frederick Exley recounts his life as the son of a hero-worshipped high school athlete who is doomed to be a spectator not only of sports, but of life. From irresponsible drifter, to dreamer of impossible dreams, to drunkard, to frequent patient at an asylum, Exley carried baggage from his childhood through much of his adult life, never feeling he could escape the dark cloud of expectation that hung over him. When Frank Gifford, former New York Giants backfield star, is injured, Exley is jolted into painful realisations about his life and a confession. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A Fan's Notes is one man's life written with brilliance and insight. No one should have had Exley's life, and no one who has read it can forget it" (James Dickey)

"Writers of every kind of aesthetic and cultural persuasion talk about it and press it on their friends. When I urge it on a friend who asks what it is about or what it is like, I say read it, just read it" (Geoffrey Wolff)

"Astonishing... It is visceral and intimate. Self-absorbed, it is also searingly perceptive about what happens between fathers and sons, men and women" (Independent) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Great and Overlooked. 19 Feb 2002
By A Customer
A brutually honest self-portrait of a man who can not live up to his own expectations and drowns himself in booze to kill that pain. This tragic and at times depressing story is populated with a great cast of characters. Where can I buy the film rights?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fan's Review 30 Aug 2010
By Tambo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A fan's notes is funny and painful in equal measure. The narrator is a drunken sports fan who has a hard life - it does not sound funny, but it is.
Read it if you like Catcher in the Rye and that type of angst fueled opus.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, tragic, and hilarious 18 Sep 1999
There is no 'Happy Ever After' in this story. It's one man's tragic life told with unflattering honesty and insight. It is classed as a novel, but is based on Exley's own life.
If you don't want to read about political incorrectness, mental illness, failure, and drunkenness, then avoid it. But if you enjoy classic literature or are an aspiring writer, then this is a must-read.
Exley has written two other books: 'Pages From A Cold Island' and 'Last Notes From Home'. If they were available, I'd buy them without a moment's hesitation.
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