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Spitting Off Tall Buildings

by Dan Fante

I wouldn't normally choose to read about a depressive alcoholic but once I started I found Bruno's voice strangely compelling. His cynical life philosophy and wry sense of humour make him likeable and you find you care about what happens to him. Don't read this if you're easily offended though!

Extract

But the blackouts started again. I drank to fight it. Again too much. For too long. But I didn't hurt myself this time. Nothing violent happened.

To break the cycle I rode the subway. For two days. The Woodlawn line. When that train gets to the Bronx it busts out of the tunnel into the sunlight and runs on the elevated tracks by Yankee Stadium.

And there you are. A few feet away ... I rode to the end of the line both days. A couple of times. By Woodlawn cemetery. Reading Hubert Selby Jr., The time of your life by Saroyan, Steinbecks's Of mice and men. Reading those guys or staring out of the window at the Bronx.

Parallels

A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
Anything by Raymond Chandler
 

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