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A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints: A Memoir Paperback – Bargain Price, May 8, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (May 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560254742
  • ASIN: B007K4MB3I
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Montiel's saints run the gamut from omniscient priests to wacky con artists. In his rambling memoir of growing up in the 1970s and '80s in a tough Queens neighborhood, he escapes to the East Village to emerge as a Calvin Klein underwear model and lead singer of the punk band Gutterboy. Montiel's childhood was rough but thrilling. "[I]n our neighborhood we would take your everyday type of kids' game and throw in an extra little consequence clause that no one else seemed to have." Games escalated from stealing from the church poor box (consequence: 50 Hail Mary's from saint number one, Father Angelo) through peeing through the windows of Mafioso hangouts (consequence: "being chased by crazy Dimitrios with a meat cleaver") to gang fights (consequence: Montiel's pal Antonio [another saint] kills a guy with a baseball bat and spends six years in prison). When the scene shifts to the sex-, drugs- and punk rock-ridden Lower East Side, Montiel's love affair with Manhattan predominates, as he roams the city with girlfriends, junkies and his mother (more saints) and hangs out with Allen Ginsberg (whose photos of Gutterboy appear in the book) and Warhol protegee Cherry Vanilla. Several Kerouac-like road trips feature the thrill and beauty of being "crazy high" in a non-New York world. Montiel tells his entertaining, sad tales with a combination of affection, glee and nostalgia. He's managed to escape the dismal fate of many of his childhood cohorts, while still cherishing and embracing their humanity.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"It's gritty, it's sexy . . . " -- New York Post, June 3, 2003

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Customer Reviews

I LoVè this book, movie is Great.
Vino DeViNo
Just read it folks and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about...
thegoodhalf
I saw the movie before I purchased the book.
Matthew Aaron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was a big fan of the writers original work with his band Gutterboy. When I first heard about the book i was very excited to get it. I had criticisms all throughout reading it. All until i came onto one chapter in particular. Since that chapter I've changed my tone and can honestly say i haven't read a more beautifully simple, easy to read book that has inspired me more than this one. It seems you have taken your advice from Allen Ginsberg and taken it well. "Most information-Least Syllables." Thank you for this book Dito. Put out more MUSIC!!!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
Montiel's memoir brought back so many amazing memories of a time in New York that simply no longer exists. The kind of man Dito was also no longer exists, making us girls shudder at the types we are left with (i.e. stock-market mongering, CNN watching, Sex-in-the-City obsessed, Cappucinoists). Montiel's coming-of-age is so engrossing that it left me yearning for a more interesting, diverse and, well, fun New York. His prose is as honest as it gets and his stories startling in its violence and courage. And yet, the tender tone in his nostalgic love of New York brought it home. Brilliant!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ruby sali on April 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sure there are some "moments" in this book, but it contradicts itself so often that I was left wondering if Mr. Montiel originally wrote this piece as a fan/love letter to himself. The author spends the majority of his time trying to convice us what a tough but tender guy he is who has suffered through some tough breaks. Why did the record company drop him anyway? And those sad girlfriends he portrays...why did they leave him and why were they sad? He reminded me of the Tom character from Robert Altman's "Nashville"....a sick but poetic fellow who says (or writes) whatever he needs to in order to feed his insatiable ego.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By laurene on April 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
i just finished A guide To Recognizing your saints. It's early in the morning and I'm starting it all over again. When I finish I'm headed to New York. This book may have changed my life. :)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Hughes on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I never write these and it is a pain to do so. But for the ex-punk rockers and all Hard core scenes of all types. For the true holy person that doesn't walk around being full of lost traditions that make people kill each other. For anyone that loves to laugh at the magic of the pleasant-absurd. For people that love the heart of true N.Y. For party people new and reformed. For these people: READ THIS NOW!!! I know I sound like a ad but it was a blast. I expected nothing and hopefully didn't ruin it for you by raising your expectations. FUN and ALIVE. The End. K
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By johann on April 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was originally told this was a self help book . It's not but it is but it's not but it is and i feel great after reading it. To my surprise i guess it is!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Astoria Rocks Forever on July 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
As big as Astoria is to us Natives, it's known simply as the exit before or after the Triboro Bridge to others. Thanks to Dito's 'Guide' and last years release of 'Why I Breathe' from another native Astorian Jason Micallef, people from what seems like all over the world are starting to get familiar with a town that meant so much to many of us.
And Dito for Gods-sake man, get back with the guys from Gutterboy for another go-around at CB's !
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By thegoodhalf on October 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a born and bred New Yorker(also as a fellow Astoria,Queens kid) this book made me laugh,cry,get angry and yada yada yada.
In a nutshell,this is a truly honest book that everyone can and will appreciate.(Unless of course,your tastes are based on some professor's prententious reading list).Dito purged himself on paper and what's fallen on these pages is pure heart.Just read it folks and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about...
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