A Fan's Notes

By Frederick Exley,

Book cover of A Fan's Notes

Book description

The narrator of this tale is the ultimate unreconstructed male. his primary concerns are booze, sex and the New York Giants. But things go very wrong for him - he drinks too much, he's impotent, and the Giants start to lose. So we follow his trail, through failed marriages, to…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked A Fan's Notes as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Exley’s “fictional autobiography” charts with comic brilliance his struggles with mental illness and alcoholism, his obsession with USC classmate Frank Gifford, the golden boy of college football, whose successes and failures as a member of pro football’s New York Giants, come to be a way for Exley to look past his own inadequacies, so much did he invest in and identify with Gifford as he watched each Sunday from the bleachers of the Polo Grounds. He writes: “Each time I heard the roar of the crowd, it roared in my ears as much for me as him; that roar was…

From Peter's list on characters who are down and out.

Exley was an immensely talented but deeply troubled writer who was able to turn his lifelong obsession with New York Giants superstar Frank Gifford into one of the best novels of post-war America. Starting with his days attending the University of Southern California in the same class as golden boy tailback Gifford, Exley’s patently autobiographical protagonist unwisely measures his own tortured life against that of the football icon. The result is a poignant and hilarious story that provides the most penetrating account ever written of what it means to be a fan. “Life isn't all a goddam football game!” Exley’s…

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