This is just as full of life as John Fante's novel of that title which came out--can it be--25 years ago. . . full of life and death in affectionate synch and guessably based on a father who might have been the cussin' image of Nicholas Molise, an old cock, a fighting cock of 76. Actually his wife has accused him of adultery and put him in the slammer which he refuses to leave, unvindicated. Nick has always been a tyrannical, vociferous ""dirty old goat""--getting sloshed at the Cafe Roma and gambling all he earns as a stonemason, and more. Now he wants his oldest son Henry (the narrator, a writer) to come with him on one last job up in the mountains building a smokehouse; all his apprentices have long since died or defected. Henry can't say no but it will be the end of Nick who has a diabetic coma, splits the hospital, goes to a winery, and dies as he lived. In Chianti veritas, tears and a warm glow.