Individual Author Record
Fred was born in the Chicago area, but moved to Southern Illinois in his pre-K years. He’s lived in a variety of small towns, including Vernon, Patoka, Salem, Carlyle, and most recently Aviston. He is a 1998 graduate of Patoka High School, and a 2002 graduate of MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where he earned a B.S. in English. Venturini’s debut novel, The Samaritan, is about a boy who grows up in Vernon Hills, Illinois, only to learn he can regenerate his organs and limbs. Set strongly with the downstate feel that Illinois offers, The Samaritan features a multitude of fictional and real Illinois towns.
Biographical and Professional Information
Fred Venturini grew up in Patoka, Illinois, where he survived being lit on fire by a bully, a neck-breaking car accident, and being chewed up by a pit bull. His fiction has appeared in places like River Styx, The Death Panel, Sick Things, Johnny America, and Necrotic Tissue, and he is a two-time Chuck Palahniuk anthology finalist. He earned his MFA from Lindenwood University in 2009, and in early 2011, his debut novel The Samaritan was released by Blank Slate Press.He lives in Aviston, Illinois, with his wife Krissy, and their two cats, Pepper and Ellie. He is currently working on a second novel, tentatively titled My Immortal.
- The Samaritan, Blank Slate Press, 2011
Titles At Your Library
Blank Slate Press. 2011
Dale Sampson is a nobody. A small town geek who lives in the shadow of his best friend, the high school baseball star, it takes him years to even gather the courage to actually talk to a girl. It doesn't go well. Then, just when he thinks there's a glimmer of hope for his love life, he loses everything. When Dale runs into the twin sister of the girl he loved and lost, he finds his calling--he will become a samaritan. Determined to rescue her from a violent marriage, and redeem himself in the process, he decides to use the only "weapon" he has--besides a toaster. His weapon, the inexplicable ability to regenerate injured body parts, leads him to fame and fortune as the star of a blockbuster TV reality show where he learns that being The Samaritan is a heartbreaking affair. Especially when the one person you want to save doesn't want saving. The Samaritan is a brutally funny look at the dark side of human nature. It lays bare the raw emotions and disappointments of small town life and best friends, of school bullies and first loves, of ruthless profiteers and self-aggrandizing promoters and of having everything you know about human worth and frailty questioned under the harsh klieg lights of fame.