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Short Dog

Short Dog

Cab Driver Stories from the L.A. Streets

by Dan Fante
Introduction by Willy Vlautin

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Product Details

Black Sparrow Press

ISBN: 978-1-57423-249-3
Pages: 128
Size: 6" x 9"
Published: July 2021
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“Dan Fante is an authentic literary outlaw.” —The New York Times

In the freewheeling, debaucherous tradition of Charles Bukowski, a taxi driver’s stories from the streets of lowlife Los Angeles—with an introduction by Willy Vlautin.

Dan Fante lived the stories he wrote. His voice has the immediacy of a stranger on the next barstool, of a friend who lives on the edge. As he writes in Short Dog (the title is street slang for a half-pint of alcohol):

I had been back working a cabbie gig as a result of my need for money. And insanity.

Hack driver is the only occupation I know about with no boss, and because I have always performed poorly at supervised employment, I returned to the taxi business. The upside, now that I was working again, was that my own boozing was under control and I was on beer only, except for my days off.

Fante was the son of famed novelist and screenwriter John Fante, but as the Los Angeles Times wrote, the younger Fante “… allows us a glimpse of the Southern California demimonde that surely escaped his father’s attention.”

These outsider stories are raw, vivid, and brutally honest. But even when the stories are fueled by anger and disgust, they are punctuated by unexpectedly funny and dark-humored vignettes. Short Dog is for readers ready for a cab ride on the wild side.


“Gritty...echoes of Burroughs and Kerouac...Fante’s raunchy, dynamic voice occasionally soars.” Publishers Weekly

“With the rerelease of Short Dog, we find Fante at his most grizzled and unrepentant … like Jim Thompson whispering lines for Charles Bukowski to carnival bark.” Los Angeles Review of Books

“This cab driver’s anecdotal tour of L.A.’s underbelly contains scenes of compulsive readability.” Booklist

 “One of the American literary underground’s most significant writers.” —The Guardian

“Fante… electrifies.” Los Angeles Times

“Fante offers moments that brush the genius of Bukowski and Hubert Selby, Jr.” Elle

“Fante’s style is raw, insightful, and deftly realized.” Time Out New York “Hard-nosed tales . . . Fante’s writing often gets compared to his forebear Charles Bukowski’s . . . both men wrote about hard drinking in the rogue’s gallery.” Rain Taxi

“Fante’s narrators are also closeted men of culture: articulate, well-read, having a sense of good taste but also a taste for self-destruction. The stories make for fun reading, mainly because they’re read from a safely hygienic distance.” The Book Beat

Dan Fante
Dan Fante lived in Los Angeles, a city that provided the setting for much of his work. His novels (published by Ecco) include Chump Change, Mooch, 86’d and Spitting Off Tall Buildings. He is also the author of the poetry collections A Gin-Pissing-Raw-Meat-Dual-Carburetor-V8-Son-Of-A-Bitch From Los Angeles and Kissed by a Fat Waitress, as well as the memoir, Fante: A Family's Legacy of Writing, Drinking and Surviving.

Author: Willy Vlautin
Willy Vlautin is the author of several novels including The Motel Life and the forthcoming, The Night Always Comes. He lives outside Portland, Oregon.