What I read this November / December

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Childhood, Boyhood, Youth by Leo Tolstoy. His first published works, semi-autobiographical recollections of childhood through to university. I thought it was insightful and made me think about my own boyhood. You will probably like it if you have read any Tolstoy or pre-revolution Russian literature.

All the Bandini books by John Fante. I think Fante is up there with Hemmingway and better than old Bukowski -he wouldn't mind me saying that he knows its true. Damn he can write! A real master of from the gut honest simple writing.
I started with Ask the Dust. The one with the brilliant introduction by Bukowski that starts with: "I was a young man, starving and drinking and trying to be a writer." I read it all. Unlike most crap in the best-seller lists of large internet booksellers this has well crafted prose that rolls of the page. The book starts with:

"One night I was sitting on the bed in my hotel room on Bunker Hill, down in the very middle of Los Angeles. It was an important night in my life, because I had to make a decision about the hotel. Either I paid up or I got out. that was what the note said, the note the landlady had put under my door. A great problem, deserving acute attention. I solved it by turning out the lights and going to bed."

I then read Wait Until Spring, Bandini, The Road to Los Angeles, and Dreams from Bunker Hill -which Fante dictated to his wife while blind and wheelchair bound and nearing death.

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