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The Wine of Youth: Selected Stories Paperback – August 16, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Black Sparrow Press; 1st edition (1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876855826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876855829
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bill Fedigan: wfedigan@hotmail.com on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
The Bell didn't Jar for Fante. He wrote like a man on fire, a fire of his own creation, a fire that lit up the sky and said 'Here I am! Take me or cover your eyes!' His stories are nearly flawless, all are great, and some are beyond great: they are burned into us and they are art. 'A Wife for Dino Rossi' is Everyman's Long Day's Journey. 'Home Sweet Home' and 'Hail Mary' drive the reader forward like a speeding locomotive - on Fire. Thank you, Black Sparrow Press for allowing us to warm our hearts and our minds. Thank you, Mr. Fante for never cooling; your sparks have lit a thousand flames.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
The first time I've ever read Fante. I will be reading all his works from now on. He is reader freindly and makes you feel as if you're standing there with him as he tells his stories. If you're Catholic or been raised in that environment, you will cry laughing at some of his stories in this book. A fantastic writer that deserves more credit.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1996
Format: Paperback
As one who reads a good deal of working class literature, I come to the work of John Fante with a sigh of relief. His stories are full of essential humanity, the beauty and laughter along with the pain. In his 1930's tales of American youth he finds the wine of the Mass, the fire of desire, and the love of family.
Fante writes with passion and clarity. The bottle is full and waiting.-Larry Smith
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Nadja on December 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
As I'd seen him favorably linked to Charles Bukowski, both as an idol and an influence, several times, I decided to give this collection of short stories by John Fante a try. Without a doubt, there is a similarity between the two--but that's no guarantee that if you like one you'll like the other.

It took me several stories to begin to appreciate Fante; expecting Bukowski, I wasn't expecting the sweeter, more wistful, and decidedly "kinder" and "gentler" Fante. At times, he slips into a somewhat cloying sentimentality, but for the most part, Fante hits the right balance between warm-heartedness and cold reality. His characters are passionate, whether for good or not-so-good, flawed, but always sympathetic. His stories can tickle or sting, sometimes both.

He's not nearly as squalid as Bukowski, not drunken, not brawling, not womanizing at anything even approaching Buke's legendary literary rate. He's not nearly as pessimistic as Bukowski can be either--in fact, if anything, Fante reminds me more of Steinbeck in this regard. He retains the wider social conscience that Bukowski--struggling seemingly always as an individual against impossible odds--often lacks.

Perhaps this is so, in large part, because of Fante's childhood, rooted as it was in a family bound strongly by as much love as pathology. More than half of these stories deal with this childhood, undoubtedly in fictional form, but real enough to show you clearly where Fante is coming from. His usually autobiographical main character is a child of Italian descent growing up in a small town in Colorado. His father is an immigrant stonemason; his mother, a long-suffering angel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aco on September 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Crisp. Subversive. Rebellious. Singular in character....There are many terrific stories here. Stories of abuse, childhood revery, the pangs of despised love, an immigrants song, notions of patricide, old Denver, old LA....I enjoyed the youthful attitude Fante gave me of his Catholic schooling. I loved the heart break of 'A Wife for Dino Rossi', 'The Dreamer,' and the final story 'Helen,...' Did I write I liked the heart break? I was moved by it. There are awe-shucks nuns, brutal fathers, multi-cultural football teams, crazy death rites/funerals, in essence a harshness that never seems to disengage it's realtionship with beauty. I look forward to more Fante.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reality Al on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This author is always a very Good read... NO DOUBT... Fante as the pre course special to a Bukowski banquet... YES!
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The Wine of Youth: Selected Stories
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