3AM Magazine interviews Dan Fante, son of John Fante. I’ve been meaning to read Fante Sr’s “Ask the Dust” for ages. Now I’ll have to add “Mooch”, “Spitting off Tall Buildings” and “Chump Change” to the list.

I have Hubert Selby Jr’s “Last Exit to Brooklyn” sitting on one of my bookshelves, unread. I did read “Requiem for a Dream” about 3 years ago and fell in love with his style of storytelling: truth mixed with grit. The anger, punishment and pain was all so much more real and eye-opening than anything I had read up until that point. All the books I had been reading were blah-blah happy ending or blah-blah moralistic ending; I had never read anything that finished with a dude--you-fucked-up-your-life--are you happy now? ending.

Then Selby lead to me Charles Bukowski. “Women” was the first book of his I read, and what a wicked and dirty book that was. Immediately, I had to go out and get “Post Office” and “Ham on Rye.” It’s because of his writing that I love books so much. Burkowski’s stories are full of alcohol and drugs and sex. His books are raw and they’re ugly and if you have the capacity to read between the lines, beautiful and human.

Right now, the human race are in the midst of a self-help revolution. More and more people are wading through this river, up to their necks in bullshit and lies. They’re buying books and tapes and books-on-tape written by MD’s, PhD’s and talk show hosts telling them how they should think, feel, look and spend their own money. I, for one, am fucking sick of it. Everyone needs to understand: “Life is shitty and then you die. Unless you write a book about it first and then you die.” Instead of self-medicating with a Prozac/Zoloft cocktail, perhaps people should go read Bukowski. Or Selby. Or maybe listen to some Rollins Band.

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