John Dante's Inferno, a Playboy's Life (Paperback)
The life of one of the Great Lovers of all time, John Dante lived the life of a bachelor's fantasy, going from his humble beginnings in a small Italian village to the Playboy Mansion, where he lived for 26 years with Hugh Hefner and 40 of the most beautiful women in the world. John Dante was a key figure in the first years of the Playboy empire, hiring Bunnies, training Bunny Mothers, and managing the Playboy jet. He befriended some of the most popular and important figures of our time, including Hugh Hefner, of whom John paints as a "fascinating, complex man," as well as Shel Silverstein, Lenny Bruce, Don Adams, James Caan and myriad other personalities and stars. A first hand, inside look. An important book from the life of the second-in-command.
Critics are saying:
"Anthony Valerio's biography of John Dante, Hugh Hefner's second-in-command at *Playboy* and the Great Libertine's best friend for over 40 years, is like no other book I have read. Deft and clever, literate and highly readable. Parading through these pages are some of the best-known names in show business and, its darker side--especially for a magazine self-identified as "men's entertainment"-- pornography: Beatty, Bogdanovich, Caan, Cosby, Curtis, Jagger, Lovelace, Nicholson, Reems, Steinem, and, especially, Silverstein. Readers will be riveted by the portrait of the beloved children's author that emerges in these pages. Not exactly what they may have expected. Silverstein urged John Dante to contact Valerio, whom Silverstein knew and whose work he respected, so that John Dante could write a book--the insider's view of *Playboy* --that would earn him enough money to get him to Florence, the town that exiled his namesake, the poet Dante Alighieri close to 700 years earlier. The 20th-century (John) Dante gets to Florence all right, but the price is steep, indeed. It's not exactly *Se7en, * but it has its dark, seamy, *nasty* side. Think *Star 80*."
"Valerio writes surely and gives us gripping and very, very literate prose. It seems completely appropriate that the readers of *John Dante's Inferno* be brought into the presence of the Great Libertines of western culture, which include, surely, Casanova and Hugh Hefner. Read it. And enjoy."