A Fan's Notes

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Overview

Frederick Exley's inimitable "fictional memoir" A Fan's Notes has assumed the status of a classic since its first publication in 1968. Mordantly and poignantly, Exley describes the profound failures of his life - professional, sexual, and personal. His attempts to find a place for himself in an unaccommodating world take him from the University of Southern California to Chicago - where he meets the dangerously seductive, lovely Bunny Sue Allorgee - to New York City's Greenwich Village saloons, and back to ...
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A Fan's Notes

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Overview

Frederick Exley's inimitable "fictional memoir" A Fan's Notes has assumed the status of a classic since its first publication in 1968. Mordantly and poignantly, Exley describes the profound failures of his life - professional, sexual, and personal. His attempts to find a place for himself in an unaccommodating world take him from the University of Southern California to Chicago - where he meets the dangerously seductive, lovely Bunny Sue Allorgee - to New York City's Greenwich Village saloons, and back to Watertown, his hometown in upstate New York, where he spends months on his mother's living room davenport watching television before undergoing shock treatment at Avalon Valley hospital. Between bars, women, and jobs, Exley exercises his obsession with the New York Giants and their great halfback Frank Gifford, until he at last realizes his life's ambition: writing A Fan's Notes.

Winner of the 1968 William Faulkner Award, this is the first book in a three part fictional memoir.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 21, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Ex-citable Boy!

    Quite possibly the definitive work of post-WWII American Literature. Exley's "memoir" is a cult classic that surely deserves greater readership; plus it's laugh-out-loud funny!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2002

    A scathing, raucus classic.

    Fred Exley lived a life of self-induced agony. Though alcoholism is by no means a unique story, no one else could tell it as Exley did-- without apology, withholding nothing. Between passages that made my eyes fill with tears of sympathy were parts that made me laugh aloud. When I read the climax, a scene of violence and failure, I was forced to stop, flip to the back cover, look at the photo of Exley, and wonder how it is possible to write something so beautiful. You will not be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2001

    A Fan's Notes

    Pay no attention to all the pretentious, pedantic babble that gets written about this book. It's not Exley's fault that stuffy academics slobber all over it; it's just too good for them not to. It's great, both in terms of technique and content, and anyone who reads it will find himself enriched and entertained, blessed with a new friend in Frederick Exley.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    drunk with talent

    I found this book in oblique fashion by first reading the later, lesser, Notes From Home, which was a light amusing read which I enjoyed enough to look up the author. I discovered that he'd written the critically acclaimed Fan's Notes. It's not such a light breezy read but then again most of my favorite authors were terrible drunks and even suicides and I think it gives their work a certain verite. I'm not sure what the message would be, a man in denial, drinking his life away, abusing his relationships, sleeping on his friends couches, lying to himself and them, all the while writing an unpublishable manuscript, who actually manages, in real life to turn that into an American masterpiece. I mean, you can spend your life drinking and mooching if you write a classic otherwise you're a bum? The book is ostensibly about his fascination with Frank Gifford and I can just barely remember when old Frank was quite the stud muffin and I kept wondering if he's read the book while I read.

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    Posted December 26, 2010

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    Posted August 9, 2011

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    Posted June 12, 2009

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    Posted May 2, 2011

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