My Dog Stupid, by John Fante

My Dog Stupid is a novel written by John Fante in 1987. Fante relates the story of Henri Molise and his family. The story begins with Henri, the father who finds a dog in his garden. This dog, which is nicknamed Stupid because this is the case, decides to settle in the Molise’s home. Throughout the novel, we follow an american family, who are the perfect opposite of the typical american family’s idea, according to the american way of life, clearly, to the american dream. This story shows us a broken family. Fante caricatures the cliche of the ideal american way of life : no melting pot, no perfect families, no humanity.

Moreover, Fante, using the Henri Molise’s point of view, displays of a cynical humor. It’s funny, it’s risible, it’s serious in the same time. This character is cruel : with his wife, his children, and even with himself. The most ironical in this novel, is the fact that the Stupid Dog makes Henri clever about his life, and his society.

I loved this book. And you should read it! What’s more, for those who fear big books, My Dog Stupid is well. It’s short ( I read it in one round-trip in the train), and it’s percussive. It makes us see differently the USA, and in fact the reality.

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