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1933 Was A Bad Year Paperback – June 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Black Sparrow Press (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876856555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876856550
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #511,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Quirky, stylish and often funny. The List Fante's writing has a freshness that should shame many of today's scribblers. Sunday Herald Disappointment, disaffection, alienation, anomie and angst are the stock-in-trade of the cult writer, and John Fante is a fine example. The Times Fante had a major effect upon me. Fante was my god. -- Charles Bukowski --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Fante began writing in 1929 and published his first short story in 1932. His first novel, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, was published in 1938 and was the first of his Arturo Bandini series of novels, which also include The Road to Los Angeles and Ask the Dust. A prolific screenwriter, he was stricken with diabetes in 1955. Complications from the disease brought about his blindness in 1978 and, within two years, the amputation of both legs. He continued to write by dictation to his wife, Joyce, and published Dreams from Bunker Hill, the final installment of the Arturo Bandini series, in 1982. He died on May 8, 1983, at the age of seventy-four.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 1997
Format: Paperback
If I tell you that this story has been told before, don't let that put you off. This is a book that breaks your heart and it can do that because of Fante's talent as a writer. This was my first exposure to Fante and I haven't looked back. Every word has energy amd every line is thoughtful. It doesn't matter that you've heard the story before -- you've never heard it told like this
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on April 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
"1933 Was a Bad Year" is a posthumously published novel by John Fante, who died in 1983. "1933" tells the story of Dominic Molise, a 17-year old Italian-American living in Colorado. While his father, an out-of-work bricklayer, seeks to alleviate the family's poverty by earning money at the pool tables, Dominic dreams of becoming a successful baseball player.
"1933" is a superb slice of American life; both funny and sad, the book is full of vivid characters and memorable scenes. Probably may favorite character is Dominic's wrathful, acid-tongued grandmother, an Italian immigrant with a dislike for the United States.
"1933" offers a pungent taste of the Italian-American experience, and explores such issues as the gulf between immigrant parents and their American-born children. Baseball is a potent motif in the book, and I liked the way the left arm of pitcher Dominic is treated as a "character" with its own motivation. This is one of those novels that I wished would go on when I finished the last sentence; I will definitely be reading more of Fante's work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jared Young (jaredyoung@firstusa.com) on June 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most alive books, both from an imagery standpoint and a spiritual one (and I don't mean spiritual in a religious way but it can be) that I have read. For a young writer who is trying to write from the heart, this novel is essential. A wonderful story of childhood and its dissipation into adulthood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Josh R. on December 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the best short novel I have ever read. The story is about a seventeen year old during a few days in 1933 who dreams of being a professional baseball player. While this might not be a complicated or great storyline, the way Fante writes and describes scenes is just terrific. A perfect example of this is when Dominic is with his friend's sister and expresses his love for her. The idea for a scene where he ends up attacking her and being asked to leave isn't that original, but the way Dominic's fantasies and actions are described is an example of brilliant writing. I would highly reccomend it to anyone who would like to start reading John Fante's works.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. P. Stanford on July 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I've ever read. It's even better, and understandable, that Fante never published the book himself... but it is a treasure and I am eternally grateful to his widow for finding it (and "Road to Los Angeles" and having it published.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By peter wild on February 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
I first picked up a Fante book because someone told me that Bukowski was a huge fan. "Ask the Dust" - that first book - introduced me to John Fante's alter ego, Arturo Bandini. It started to make sense to me, why Bukowski liked him. For Arturo Bandini read Henry Chinaski. I read around and learned one or two more things about Fante. Like how he was mainly a scriptwriter in Hollywood because his books didn't really sell. Like how he wrote four Bandini books. "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" and "The Road to Los Angeles" preceded "Ask the Dust". "Dreams from Bunker Hill" came last, written in 1978 after Fante had gone blind. He dictated the book to his wife, Joyce.
I read "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" after "Ask the Dust" and didn't like it quite as much. "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" is a mean book. Not that meanness per se is a bad thing. Just that the meanness in "Wait . . ." seemed real. The authenticity of the feeling sapped me somewhat. I felt winded by the relentless pain. "Wait . . ." is "Ham on Rye" without the ham or the rye. I didn't seek out anything else. I mean, I toyed with reading other Fante books but somehow, I don't know, something always came up. It wasn't that I didn't care. It's just . . . I'm making excuses, I know. Not being honest, somehow. I just felt we weren't suited, John Fante and I.
Time went by. I got over it. Didn't think of him as often as I had. Opened myself up to new experiences. Got back out there. Said here I am.
At which point, "1933 was a bad year" came my way. I thought that - with the distance involved (between 1933 and now) - it couldn't hurt just to look inside.
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