A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

4.8 5
by Dito Montiel, Jason Collins

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This quintessentially American story of a young man's hunger for experience is a streetwise "Meetings with Remarkable Men" with echoes of Whitman and Kerouac. Includes photos by Bruce Weber and Allen Ginsburg.  See more details below


This quintessentially American story of a young man's hunger for experience is a streetwise "Meetings with Remarkable Men" with echoes of Whitman and Kerouac. Includes photos by Bruce Weber and Allen Ginsburg.

Editorial Reviews

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. Photos. (July) Forecast: Slam poets and beat fans will go for this, as well as anyone interested in the East Village 1980s punk rock scene or celebrities like Warhol, Ginsberg and fashion photographer Bruce Weber. The upcoming movie based on the book (directed by Robert Downey Jr.) will increase interest. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A scattershot, unmulled memoir—startling in its casual violence and voracious intoxication—from a New York City badboy who doesn’t seem terribly concerned about the trouble he left in his wake. The story is a bit overmuch, this life that seems to have been left in the hands of some mad autopilot, for Montiel rarely appears to be in charge. After the booze and girls and drugs and fights, the minor flash of celebrity and endless haul through nights of one debauch or another—"It was an insane wild terrific night," he’ll say time and again, though getting fried and staying up until dawn may not be everyone’s idea of a terrific night—he never stops to wonder what the point was. But perhaps it’s easier not to have a point (how else to explain this "perfect moment": "I took three blows, two to the head and one across my face by a Puerto Rican with a baseball bat on Steinway Street and felt like a man for some crazy reason"), or maybe that’s just how they raise them in Astoria, Queens. Or maybe not: his father comes across as fairly caring and attentive, even if the glimpses we get of him are stream-of-consciousness noodlings about his tastes in local TV news, or that "one of my fondest memories of my father unfortunately involves an accordion." The brawls and cruel pranks and nonstop mind-bending are Montiel’s alone, and it gets tedious. His friends may be loyal, but they get a clichéd hack job: "Jimmy taught me to be tougher that the toughest. To be real. To be true." Real and true to what? Trying hard to be a Beat, but without the brains. He even spent time with Allen Ginsberg, to no discernible effect. (photos) Film rights to Robert Downey Jr.

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Product Details

Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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6.50(w) x 6.64(h) x 1.15(d)

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A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Now that you've read Dito's memoirs, reflecting the life of a New York punk rocker from Queens, be sure to check out Dito's first and most passionate foray into the maniacal world of 1980s punk rock. Hearkening back to the emergence of New York Hardcore, Dito found himself playing music along with members of the most uncompromising of New York Hardcore bands, namely Urban Waste and Kraut. With that, a vertiable supergroup of NYHC were born, and they were called 'MAJOR CONFLICT.' Recorded in 1983, the sheer brilliance of MAJOR CONFLICT'S 'SOUNDS LIKE 1983' enhanced CD will blow your mind. Includes the 1983 sessions, which have never before been released and offer you a glimpse into the wild and reckless world of New York Hardcore. Also features Major Conflict's sole release up until now, an elusive 7-inch made famous by its obscurity, as well as live songs recorded at institutions like A7, CBGB's and Max's Kansas City.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've waited all my life for something to move my generation the way I'm sure On The Road did it's and for me this is it. To compare anyone to good ol' Jack is sacrilidge I know but I feel this worthy. A great great book.