A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints by Dito Montiel
A Memoir

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Synopsis

Orlandito “Dito” Montiel, son of Orlando, a Nicaraguan immigrant, and an Irish mother, grew wild in the streets of Astoria, Queens, pulling pranks for Greek and Italian gangsters and confessing at the church of the Immaculate Conception, gobbling hits of purple mescaline and Old English, sneaking into Times Square whore houses—“Kids from nowhere going nowhere.”

This is the quintessentially American story of a young man's hunger for experience, his dawning awareness of the bigger world across the bridge, and of the loyalties that bind him to a violent past and to the flawed and desperate saints that have guided him: Dito’s father, Antonio “our insane warrior hero,” Bob Semen, Frank the dog walker, Jimmy Mullen, Cherry Vanilla, Ginsberg and all the others, the drunks, coke-heads, junkies, the insaniacs like Santos Antonios who said, “Now Dito remember, in life you gotta be crazy.”
 

About Dito Montiel

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Dito Montiel, his work, and his band Gutterboy have been featured in cover stories in such magazines as In Fashion and Details. His articles, interviews, poetry, etc. have appeared in Vanity Fair, Interview, and numerous other magazines. He lives in Santa Monica, California.
 
Published April 24, 2009 by Da Capo Press. 208 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Comics & Graphic Novels. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

The New York Times

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Enlarge This Image Walter Thomson/First Look Media Chazz Palminteri in “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.” And even as he gets lost in the big brown eyes of his girlfriend, Laurie (Melonie Diaz), Dito still can’t wait to get away from home — from the noi...

Sep 29 2006 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

The Guardian

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A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints 2006, 15 Revolver £15.99 Adapted from Dito Montiel's quasi-autobiographical novel, this heartfelt tale of childhood lost (and perhaps found) sees the author-turned-director finding his film-making feet in public.

Jul 01 2007 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

Publishers Weekly

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Games escalated from stealing from the church poor box (consequence: 50 Hail Mary's from saint number one, Father Angelo) through peeing through the windows of Mafioso hangouts (consequence: "being chased by crazy Dimitrios with a meat cleaver") to gang fights (consequence: Montiel's pal Antonio ...

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BC Books

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It’s not surprising that A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is getting a DVD re-release less than two years after the initial release hit shelves.

Mar 02 2009 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

BC Books

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Montiel told his story in the 2003 book A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, and three years later he turned that book into a movie.

Feb 26 2007 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

AV Club

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Dito Montiel's A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints is on its face an undeniably personal story—it's based on Montiel's memoir of the same name, it centers on a character named "Dito" (played in turn by Shia LaBeouf and Robert Downey, Jr.), and it starts with a Lenny-like reading of Montiel's accla...

Sep 28 2006 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

Entertainment Weekly

The story flashes between the teen Dito (Shia LaBeouf) looking to flee the often violent streets of Astoria, Queens, in 1986 and the adult Dito (Robert Downey Jr.) returning to visit his ailing father and make amends with those he abandoned.

Mar 16 2007 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

Entertainment Weekly

hipster and musician, then a Sundance cat — now the first-time director has adapted A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, his memoir about growing up in ungentrified 1980s Queens, into something kinda fictional, kinda loose, and made a damn interesting piece.

Sep 27 2006 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

Deseret News

And at one point, he even buries Chazz Palminteri and Dianne Wiest — who play Montiel's parents — under unconvincing old-age makeup.

Nov 10 2006 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

Spirituality & Practice

In the opening scene of this memoir by Dito Montiel, Flaurie (Dianne Wiest) calls her son in California and begs him to come home to Astoria, Queens, because his father, Monty (Chazz Palminteri), is sick.

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Time Out New York

the rest of the world – as represented by Compston’s Mike, with his nonchalant openness to novelty – might as well be on Mars.

Mar 02 2007 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

Film School Rejects

It’s a shame, too, because this film would seem truly revolutionary if it had actually invented some camera techniques or told a story that hadn’t been told before and told better.

Oct 29 2006 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

Ken Greenleaf

At the outset of Dito Montiel’s adaptation of his own memoir, we meet Dito (Robert Downey Jr.) in LA in 2005 as he reads from his “wonderful book.” But a phone call from mom (Dianne Wiest) cuts his glory short and he heads home to Queens to attend to his ailing estranged dad (Chazz Palminteri).

Oct 11 2006 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

Variety

Dito Montiel writes what he knows in his autobiographical and unkempt debut feature, "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints."

Jan 22 2006 | Read Full Review of A Guide to Recognizing Your S...

Reader Rating for A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
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