- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (10 Mar. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1841956198
- ISBN-13: 978-1841956190
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 367,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Brotherhood Of The Grape Paperback – 10 Mar 2005
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"Fante's searing, effortless style eschewed the refinement of Fitzgerald, the hubris of Hemingway and the panoramic vistas of Dos Passos. Instead he marshalled the raw materials of his own life - poverty, sex, paternal hatred, Catholic guilt, misplaced pride, hard drinking, labour, fighting, overarching literary ambition and the internecine hatred within immigrant communities in pre-war America - rendering the pain and comedy with such heartbreaking simplicity as to brook no hint of the literary zeitgeist." (Dazed & Confused)
"John Fante takes some beating . . . mean, moody, disturbing and intensely atmospheric." (The Times)
"John Fante knew how to make words sing. When he was on form, he could write sentences that stopped time." (Uncut)
"Bandini is a magnificent creation, and his rediscovery is not before time." (Times Literary Supplement)
"Fante was my God." (Charles Bukowski)
From the Back Cover
"Fante's maturest, indeed, wisest work."
Steve Cooper, from Full of Life, A Biography of John Fante
Henry Molise, a 50-year-old successful writer, returns to the family home to help with the latest drama; his elderly parents want to divorce. Henry's tyrannical, bricklaying father, Nick, despite being weakened by age and alcoholism, can still strike fear into the hearts of his sons. His mother, ill and devoutly Catholic, still has the power both to comfort and confuse her children.
Nick has been offered a some well-paid work to build a somkehouse in the hills, and Henry, realising this is the last chance for father and son to understand each other, turns his back on his publisher's demands and on the last 30 years of estrangement from his childhood to help the old man.
The Brotherhood of the Grape is typical of Fante's novels, it's autobiographical, and brimming with love, death, violence and religion. Writing with great passion Fante powerfully hits home the damage family can wreak upon us all.
"Fante was capable of expressing thought and experience with an honesty that was as intimate as it was evocative, and as magical as it was true." Time Out (on Ask the Dust)
"The late John Fante is oneof the great unheralded voices in American fiction." The Face
Cover design by James Hutcheson
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Top Customer Reviews
Now sees more of a Fante-revival, with 'The Brotherhood of the Grape' being published in the U.K. for the first time, alongside the wonderful collection of Arturo Bandini novels now known as 'The Bandini Quartet.' Recently Robert Towne has announced a film-adaptation of 'Ask the Dust' and the BBC's Radio 4 have done features on Fante. He's now finding the audience that sadly he would not in his own lifetime; he easily belongs to a set of American writers of the 20th Century that also include the aforementioned Bukowski, Richard Yates (whose works have similarly been reissued recently), Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Richard Ford, John Kennedy Toole, Richard Brautigan & the non-SF-works of Philip K. Dick.
This novel was one of his last works (Dreams from Bunker Hill being the last- dictated to his wife as Fante had gone blind) and is one I had neither read of or knew much about until its paperback-issue in the U.K. this year. Like many great works of art, I kicked myself for not having read this earlier- like the other works of Fante that I had read, it is utterly brilliant and a masterpiece if you like that kind of term.Read more ›
It is both the funny and sad tale of a son watching his father age, wait, mark time and become increasingly lonelier. Henry is finally the only son who stands by his father's side as his final moment approaches...
The novel is brimming with love, violence, death, religion and also plenty of humour because the author's prose is honest, evocative and intimate.
The writing is less spectacular than the flowing prose of Fante’s earlier novels, and the novel is more mature and understated, but there are parts in which the old Fante magic shines through. The most striking thing about this novel is the way it portrays the complex relationship between the main character and his wine-loving, womanising father, who is now nearing the end of his life. It is touching how he remembers the suffering his family went through at the hands of his father - though his drinking and the way he frittered away his wages on gambling - yet his deep devotion to the old man still shines through. He even agrees to accompany his ageing father on one last building project, a bizarre quest to construct a smokehouse in the woods for one of his father’s friends. This ridiculous, Sisyphean quest forms the backbone of the story.
This is an excellent, well-written and perceptive look at the inexplicable bonds of love that exist in families, and the effect on people of ageing and change. It is also in parts very funny. It also raises many questions, as it suggests that Fante could have become one of the acknowledged greats if he had carried on writing, while at the same time suggesting that, even if he had continued, he might never have managed to come up with an alternative to the same themes and characters that recurred again and again in his work. Unfortunately, we’ll never know which is true.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book. I read it whilst in Torricella Peligna who stage a week-long John Fante festival annually. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mr P A Davies
I read The Wine of Youth 20 years ago and such was the power and pull of those short stories that I remembered the author's name, the fact that I enjoyed him, and that I resolved... Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2013 by Merlin's Owl
Fante's Brotherhood of the Grape is billed as his most mature work...because it is. It's a powerful piece of literature about a family and how there's always another chance to... Read morePublished on 10 Jan. 2013 by Dave
The Brotherhood of the Grapethis book is first and foremost a easy book to read, no flowery descriptions, just the facts about what is occurring, as with all his books, he puts it... Read morePublished on 1 Sept. 2009 by C. R. Green
This book takes a while to get into - but stick with it! It's strange reading a Fante without Bandini (his alter ego) being involved, but there is a section where the main... Read morePublished on 20 July 2009 by J. V. M.
The Usual Fante Fare. Powerful stuff, but much gentler than his earlier work like "Ask the Dust". Some of his earlier novels could be a little annoying; he was a very arrogant,... Read morePublished on 29 Nov. 2008 by Jon.
I would probably never heard of Fante if it weren't for my Italian-American class. But I loved Brotherhood of the Grape and now I am going to read the rest of his books... Read morePublished on 2 Nov. 1998