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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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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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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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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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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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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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£8.09
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Available Titles By This Author

Harry Lipkin, P.I.: The World's ...
(Hardback)
Barry Fantoni
 
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£11.04
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Past Events for this Author

Latest Blog
GUEST BLOG: What McQueen learned at St Martins
21/03/2015

Andrew Wilson, author of new biography Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin, recalls McQueen's years at Central St Martins, former occupants of the building now home to Foyles' flagship, when his MA show took the fashion world by storm and the seeds of his partnership with the legendary Isabella Blow were sown.

GUEST BLOG: Horsemen of the apocalypse
10/03/2015

Smith Henderson's debut novel features a disturbed Montana father convinced that the End Times are coming. Here he relates his own terrifying experience he had as an 11-year-old at a religious summer camp that inspired the novel.

Books to inspire young women
28/02/2015

Each of our shops is currently featuring a display of books by and about great women, to mark International Women's day on 8th March. Emily, from our Waterloo branch, explores the wealth of recent fiction for younger readers that offers inspirational role models for the next generation of young women.

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