IndieBound BOOKNOOK Staff Pick
Fante Bukowski TWO by noah van sciver
Review by A.K.
“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”-George S. Patton
“Fante Bukowski is an up and coming literary star. His work has been featured in the FIRE WATER JOURNAL. You would be blessed to meet him.”-Author Bio Found on Back Of His Zine, 6 Poems
The author of the sequel to FANTE BUKOWSKI ONE has created something special here. An updated pseudo prototype of Charles Bukowski’s fictional character found in his novels such as POST OFFICE and FACTOTUM, has influenced the make-up of the protagonist of Fante. The physical book itself, as a product, looks like it was published by Black Sparrow Press, the publisher of the real Bukowski, with its thick pages and cardboard cover, and could be placed in multiple sections of the bookstore. It’s part graphic novel, literary scene critique, but mostly, it’s simply a comedic (often tragic) story of a writer who’s not very good at writing rubbing-up against other mainstream authors, and then somehow finding out that they share common interests in the sleazy alleys of downtown Columbus Ohio. Fante Bukowski believes he is the most brilliant American writer of his generation. But he just can’t catch a break. He’s living in a motel after running away from his life in Denver, and to make things worse, his parents have turned off his credit cards. The plot of the graphic novel follows three characters, and eventually brings them together, with some lude twists printed on every single page of this one hundred and twenty-page Moby Dick of a stylized masterpiece. Other Than Fante, you have Noah Van Sciver,“a major cartoonist”, and Audrey Catron, an old fling of Fante’s who recently became a household name with her novel. Audrey is on a national tour, and she’s meeting with agents and Hollywood executives and New York Times literary reporters, and so on. These three have their own narratives in-between the struggle of the hero, Fante Bukowski. Call it whatever you want, But FANTE BUKOWSKI TWO is one of the best books of this or of any year a book has been released. It is a testament to the trials and tribulations of an artist living their life, trying to get their stolen coat back from junkies, all while trying to sell their zine to new age poets who no longer believe in the two eternal friends of the writer, cigarettes and alcohol. It’s a book about finding the best dive bar in town and so much more. Fante Bukowski is truly the second coming. (Please note: Both the book and the review of this book use the same laugh track.)