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The Brotherhood of the Grape summary Þ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ↠ A Henry Molise nunca se le ha dado muy bien tomar sus propias decisiones Cuando uno de sus hermanos le avisa de ue sus ancianos padres están a punto de divorciarse –y esta vez parece ue va en serio– regresa a regañadientes a San Elmo el peueñoCasi desde la desesperación bañada por el humor nacido de lo hiperbólico Una especie de reconciliación con la maldición hereditaria llamada familia un despegado homenaje a la generación de emigrantes ue construyó un país con sus manos y ue empapa en vino la espera del fin –no solo de sus días sino de una manera de entender el mundo– en pueblos agonizantes Dostoievski hubiera estado orgulloso de usted John Fan. A rollicking Italian immigrant story told through the eyes of the only successful son set in the hot agricultural California climate near Sacramento If this is not mostly autobiographical it is an incredible feat by the author as it feels so very personal and bracingly honest This is my fourth book by Fante and his snappy dialogue and sharply detailed cast of family characters is entertaining in the extreme Early in this reading I began to understand why Bukowski liked him so much – which is how I found this author myself The setting is California the protagonist feels like the author and is unafraid to reveal his own often starkly glaring faults and the people are often intoxicated loud and brash Fante brings his catholic upbringing into this story and the long suffering mother whom he idolizes is key But mostly this is a story of his father a man he and his siblings love to hate In this way it is a true immigrant story where the Italian men bring their old customs to the new country and live by their hard work willingness to brawl raw talent and attitude Of course they are all heavily lubricated with the local wine whilst gambling talking and generally reveling in the “brotherhood” The book is part of a series that started in Colorado when the unreliable father and his tendencies first are revealed and seen through the eyes of the son when much younger Wait for Spring Bandini In this sense it is much like a series and reading this brought back fond memories Now the son is 50 returning to try to help resolve another massive argument that threatens to separate his parents It turns out to be a ruse where the father is recruiting the son on a final stonemason project on the hills – the son being a soft and marginally successful author with his own family is this Fante What follows is an often hilarious series of events a shocking reveal near the end leading to the father’s death The family tendencies are fully exposed through this crisis and even the storyteller once home lapses into the same pattern His self loathing and doubt is a continuous factor as he navigates mixed up emotions It is beautiful in a way messy real and in the end a tribute to a way of life as well as a son’s need to love his father no matter how unreliable lecherous and treacherous I gave it 4 stars only because the scope of the tale is episodic not weighty enough for my top rating But it was most enjoyable and hard to put downchokengtitiktitikchokeng 12 “She was right We were an impulsive unpredictable clan prone to rash decisions and terrible remorse Even if my mother dropped the diveorce idea my father might take revenge by leaving home and”In the local bar freuented by old Italian men p 39 “They were a cranky irascible bitter gang of Social Security guys intense snarling rather mean old bastards bitter but enjoying their cruel wit their profanity and their companionship No philosophers here no aged oracles speaking from the depths of life’s experience Simply old men killing time waiting for the clock to run down My father was one of them”On the mountain job with his father seeing the bed they will share in the cabin p 105 “The bed I did not like It was a double bed and it meant I would have to sleep with the old man Fretting I sat on it and considered the dilemma I had never slept with my father I had rarely in my life even touched him except for a rare handshake over the years and now I had no desire to sleep with him I considered his old bones his old skin the lonely ornery oldness of him the wine soaked oldness of him and his sodden sinful friends the son of a bitch he had been unreasonable tyrannical boorish profligate wop who had trapped me on this snafu safari into the mountains far from wife and home and work all for his bedizened vanity to prove to himself he was still a hotshot stonemason”Following his mother on a late night trip to the church p 138 “As I caught up with her and fell in step she did not acknowledge I was there moving instead with other thoughts and uiet determination How beautiful she seemed in that warm night along a dimly lit street of rundown houses loving that tyrant husband in the hospital her face like a dove sweetly moving reminding me of an old photograph of her in a large hat at Capitol Park in Sacramento when she was twenty leaning against a tree and smiling so precious then so precious now that I wanted to take her into my arms like a lover and carry her through the church door” Some seriously oedipal yearnings herePondering his father changing in late age to accommodate his recently diagnosed diabetes p 150 “A preposterous dilemma I didn’t think much of his chances Sixty five years of wine and pasta and cigars and now he proposed changing to a life of self denial How could he resist the siren fragrances wafted from his wife’s cauldrons Every room in his house was scented with the good life the Mediterranean life I looked down at him in that stark hospital gown eyes bright with the determination to stay alive his jaw as suare as a stone fists in his lap this strong decaying man all shot to hell o the inside who now proposed to pit himself against the tender guile of a woman who had kept him vigorous and content through the thousands of days of his existence”Gaining perspective becoming sentimental and gaining some perspective as the father wanes p 154 “My old man What a treasure he was what excitement he kicked up That was his genius a talent for shaking up the small world in which he lived I walked uickly toward town laughing uietly so pleased with him He might die but what of that Dostoyevsky was dead yet very much alive in my heart He had come to me like the grace of God a flash of lightning that illumined my life My father had that same iridescence a nimbus around me my own flesh and blood a poet asserting his will to live”The author surely autobiographical here in sentimentality in a tribute that will likely resonate with many of you p 171 “Like Paul who had his moment of truth before Damascus so too Henry Molise had had his fragment of ecstasy twenty five years before in the san Elmo Public Library I pulled up beside the graceful building climbed the red sandstone steps my father had set with his own hands entered the foyer and strode down a corridor of bookshelves to that familiar place in the corner by the window near the pencil sharpener below the portrait of Mark Twain and drew out the leather bound copy of The Brothers Karamazov I held it in my hands I leafed the pages I drew it tightly into my arms my life my joy my sublime Dostoyevsky I may have failed him in my deeds but never in my devotion My beloved Papa was gone but Fyodor Mikhailovich would be with me to the end of my life”

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Pendenciero orgulloso e infiel El «perro rabioso» «tirano de la paciencia ajena» es el padre ue ningún hijo uerría para sí el ue más ue descendencia hubiera preferido una cuadrilla de peones de albañil y ue se ríe de Henry cuando lo ve leyendo un libro Desde la perspectiva de ese álter ego de Fante el autor nos ofrece otra de sus novelas moldeadas por el peso de la vida una nueva obra hecha desde la necesidad. An absolutely sensational novel Want to give this six stars One of the best books I have ever read Everyone raves about Ask the Dust but if you ask me THIS is the American novel to end all American novelsThey were chunks of rough hewn granite gray and misshapen I bent down to heft one of the smaller stones Not that it was heavy it was preposterously unbelievably heavy at least a hundred pounds and not bigger than a basketball The others were like it or heavier I could help him lift the smaller stones to the wall but it was going to be a killer job for a man of seventy six with soft hands and soft muscles who had done no physical labor in five years He could sprain his back or pop a hernia or break a blood vessel I had observed the flaming veins of his eyes The wine had been thorough and the damage had been done It was madness to challenge the danger but my old man was mad the burden of his uselessness was madness and the sense of his entire life coming to an end in a struggle with stones was the maddest part of it all The Brotherhood of the Grape is a story about the Molise family a working class Italian family but with the focus on the father Nick Molise a hard working talented stubborn proud stonemason who when he is not building some of the most beautiful structures and buildings in the city of San Elmo is busy chasing skirts or trying to get as shitfaced drunk as possible with his mates on the local Angelo Musso wine The camaraderie that Nick Molise enjoys and shares with his drinking buddies binds them in a brotherhood of the grapeNick has three sons Henry who is the narrator of the story and a writer who has come to San Elmo to try and prevent his mother from divorcing his father Virgil a selfish gluttonous but intelligent bank clerk and Mario a hopelessly lost dreamer who is obsessed with major league baseball Nick realizes that he is almost at the end of his tether but wants to complete one job of stonemasonry the perfect job so to speak before he dies He wishes to go into the mountains to build a smokehouse a building for curing deer meatvenison which will rake them in an easy 1500 Sound like an easy way to get rich uick Yes but add to Nick's list of growing problems the fact that he is an incorrigible and pretty bad gambler who manages to lose all his earnings It's almost saying Nick shooting himself at the foot at the poker table each time What I found so powerful about this book and what makes it such an important novel is that the message applies to anyone with family For all of his father's flaws for all of the nasty things he did throughout his life cheating on his wife lushing it up being mean to his kids when he bothered to take an interest in them in the first place ultimately he is still human and someone who maybe did not know how to show love to his children or to his wife but someone who still left an indelible mark on his children for good or for bad In this novel we can see how the recognition of time running out and grief itself can have this power of rallying all the members of the family that is those who really care and in times like this people really show their true colours Henry despite his own flaws seems to be the son who cares most for his dad Virgil visits his mother only because she is a wonderful cook and visits his father out of duty but not out of wanting to do it while Mario puts his baseball and his own immediate family first and his parents second This is a great microcosmic story and example of the human struggle and the beauty and defiance of the human spirit before the looming and almost overpowering specter of death that hangs over our livesFante is one hell of a storyteller This should be reuired reading at all American schools if you ask me Will definitely check out of his books in future Ask the Dust is good but this in my opinion blows it right out of the water

John Fante ë 8 characters

The Brotherhood of the GrapeA Henry Molise nunca se le ha dado muy bien tomar sus propias decisiones Cuando uno de sus hermanos le avisa de ue sus ancianos padres están a punto de divorciarse –y esta vez parece ue va en serio– regresa a regañadientes a San Elmo el peueño pueblo del ue se marchó para convertirse en escritor Allí se verá expuesto a las altas dosis de radiación ue emite la figura paterna Nick Molise un viejo cantero borracho. From the blurbHenry Molise a 50 year old successful writer returns to the family home to help with the latest drama; his aging parents want to divorce Henry's tyrannical brick laying father Nick though weak and alcoholic can still strike fear into the hearts of his sons His mother though ill and devout to her Catholicism still has the power to comfort and confuse her children This is typical of Fante's novels it's autobiographical and brimming with love death violence and religion Writing with great passion Fante powerfully hits home the damage family can wreck upon us all This is one of those novels that strolled right into the realms of classic excellence without even planning to do soA sad but heartfelt family saga with strong autobiographical overtones as stated in the blurb The best feature of this book is that it tells the story of the writer his brothers and parents in just 204 pages Some books need a thousand pages to say the same It took me a long time to finally finish the book not because it was not worth it but due to a lack of time I'm so incredibly busy at the moment and I miss the reading and all the friends on GRI do want to recommend this book as a modern classic So much humor and hardship flowed through the plot that it became difficult to put it down The funniest romp in the hay made me giggle although I probably should have cried The author had a wonderful way with words Kent Haruf Richard Russo Willa Cather Frank McCourt Ivan Doig Richard Yates Thomas Hardy Wiley Cash and a few other authors managed to capture my soul and love for books the same way as this author The novel captured that old charm of excellent honest graceful writing Just an awesome read over all