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on 23 October 2001
A successful screenwriter trapped in the gridlock of middle age. A quadraped visitor arrives and interupts the equilibrium. If this wasn't enough, the children who kept his difficult marriage going are set to flee the nest. Faced with an empty, monotonous future, what better time to think about escaping to Rome?
Fante's writing style is beautifully clipped, vividly descriptive and as Bukowski says, he writes like he's carving wood. It's writing with a stunning economy and a true inspiration to anyone wanting to write.
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on 14 May 2011
MY DOG STUPID, the main novella in this 2 story collection, is one of my favourite pieces of writing of all time. I'm forever grateful that I read Bukowski, and listened to his recordings, wherein he recommended Fante, one of the greatest and most under-rated authors of the 20th century.

In a single line, with such sparse and simple prose, Fante conveys a degree of power and feeling that most can not convey in a whole page, a chapter, or for many not an entire book.

The desperately sad conclusion of MY DOG STUPID ranks amongst the most vivid portrayals of a family lost to itself that you will ever read.

Like so many ahead of their time, so little credit was ever given to him whilst he was alive. Only in his final years, and after his death, did Fante begin to gain his most assuredly deserved reputation, thanks to Bukowski and Black Sparrow publisher John Martin. Credit to them for preserving and distributing a unique and groundbreaking voice.
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on 14 August 2013
Two incredibly powerful novellas from the most important American writer of his generation. I love John Fante, I love his prose and the guilt of Catholicism he laces throughout his work. Greater appreciation of WEST OF ROME can be found the more you encounter the man's work. Truly magnificent.
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on 28 September 2016
In my humble opinion Fante's best work. Not the easiest to find in print but definitely worth finding.
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on 21 September 2013
A good book, well written, but I will have to read it again to see what I've missed. Perhaps not my sort of reading.
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on 27 June 1999
this is an interesting tale- whatever your situation in life is, this book makes you feel better due to all the hardships the charecters go thru-
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