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Barry Fantoni

About The Author


Barry FantoniBarry Fantoni was born in London's East End in 1940 to an Italian father and a Jewish mother of French and Dutch extraction, both gifted musicians. Aged just fourteen, he was awarded the Wedgewood Scholarship for the Arts and was sent to Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts where he formed the first art school jazz band, a film society and pioneered a drama group. Then got expelled.

In 1963, following a period of travel and the sell out of his first one man show in London, Fantoni joined Private Eye magazine as a member of the editorial staff. He would appear in all but 31 issues of the magazine in its 50 years. His contributions include cartoon strip 'Scenes You Seldom See', Neasden FC and its two supporters, Sid and Doris Bonkers, and E J Thribb's legendary Poets Corner.

In 1966 Barry was given the job of creating and presenting a TV show exploring popular trends in the arts called A Whole Scene Going. Featuring everything from skateboards to some girl called Twiggy, it won Fantoni TV Personality of the Year and gave him carte blanche to be pretty well whatever he wanted be, whether it be jazz musician, script writer, art critic for The Times, cartoonist or playwright. He now lives in Calais where he writes plays, books, poetry and is looking to Paris to form a theatre company.

Harry Lipkin PI by Barry FantoniBarry is now the creator of Harry Lipkin, PI: The World's Oldest Detective. In an affectionate and hilarious spoof of hard-boiled detective fiction, illustrated throughout by the author, the only private eye to keep his gun next to his false teeth at night takes on the case of a wealthy widow convinced her staff are stealing from her. The police aren't interested, but soon Harry finds himself drawn into a twilight world of boxing, gambling and gangs to find the truth.

Below, Barry recommends ten of all his all-time favourite books.

And courtesy of Barry and his publisher, Polygon, we're giving away one of Barry's original Private Eye cartoons, signed and framed; click here to enter.

 

 

Author Picks

A Moveable Feast
(Paperback)
Ernest Hemingway
The writer recalls his time in Paris in the 1920s, in the company of other expat writers such as F Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein.
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£7.99
 
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£7.99
 
Farewell, My Lovely
(Paperback)
Raymond Chandler; Colin Dexter
The second outing for private eye Philip Marlowe is a masterpiece of character, dialogue and social observation.
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£8.99
 
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£8.99
 
The Heart of the Matter
(Paperback)
Graham Greene; James Wood
Often featured in lists of the most important books of the 20th century, it owes much to Green's Roman Catholic upbringing and his experiences as an intelligence officer in Sierra Leone.
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£8.99
 
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£8.99
 
Of Human Bondage
(Paperback)
W. Somerset Maugham
Maugham's semi-autobiographical masterpiece is the story of Philip Carey, an orphan eager for life, love and adventure, plunged into a masochistic relationship with a waitress.
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£9.99
 
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£9.99
 
Waiting for Godot
(Paperback)
Samuel Beckett
Often cited as the most important English-language play of the 20th century, Beckett's classic has been endlessly analysed; its author said only that it is about “symbiosis”.
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The
(Paperback)
Anton Chekhov; Nick Worrall; Michael...
The Gayev family is torn by powerful forces deeply rooted in history and the society in which they live in Chekhov's final play.
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£8.99
 
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£8.99
 

Available Titles By This Author

Harry Lipkin, P.I.: The World's ...
(Hardback)
Barry Fantoni
 
 
£12.99
 

Past Events for this Author

Latest Blog
Translating Elena Ferrante
29/08/2015

On publication of the fourth and final of the Neapolitan novels, The Story of the Lost Child, Elena Ferrante's translator, Ann Goldstein reveals reveals the joys and challenges of working on one of the great works of contemporary Italian literature.

Juniper ascending
27/08/2015

Ian Buxton, author of 101 Gins To Try Before you Die, looks at how boutique distillers have made gin the nation's favourite once again.

Blood will tell
24/08/2015

Gary Barker and Michael Kaufman reveal how explain how their years of work in war zones across the world drove them to write about the treatment of veterans in The Afghan Vampires Book Club. They also reveal that co-writing fiction is just as complicated as you might imagine!

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