A Fan's Notes: A Fictional Memoir

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Vintage Books, 1988 - Fiction - 385 pages
4 Reviews
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.

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User Review  - phredfrancis - LibraryThing

This is one of my favorite novels, in part because of the solid prose, in part because of the dark humor, and in part because of the protagonist's jaded, outsider view. There's also a lot about ... Read full review

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User Review  - giovannigf - LibraryThing

This is probably the most unusual of several semi-autobiographical alcoholic memoirs I’ve read, though it wouldn’t seem so at first glance. Exley’s writing style is conversational and the stories he ... Read full review

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About the author (1988)

Frederick Exley was born in Watertown, New York, on March 28, 1929. He grew up in the shadow of his father, a star athlete in the small town. The fame of the father would later haunt the son's writings. Exley received a B.A. from the University of Southern California in 1953. Exley drew heavily on his own life experiences of alcoholism, two broken marriages, a number of sexual encounters, a suicide attempt, and three stays in mental hospitals. The first piece of his trilogy, A Fan's Notes: A Fictional Memoir, was published in 1968 and won the William Faulkner Award. His other works included Pages from a Cold Island and Last Notes from Home. He died of a stroke on June 17, 1992 at the age of 63.

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