“This is more important than Hitler, this is about my book. It won't shake the world, it won't kill a soul, it won't fire a gun, ah, but you'll remember the book. The story of Vera Rivken, a slice out of life”
One of the great novels of L.A., a semi-autobiographical story of a struggling writer (‘Fante was my God’, Charles Bukowski)
Arturo Bandini arrives in Los Angeles with big dreams. But the reality he finds is a city gripped by poverty.
When he makes a small fortune from the publication of a short story, he reinvents himself, indulging in expensive clothes, fine food and downtown strip clubs. But Bandini’s delusions take a worrying turn when he is drawn into a relationship with Camilla Lopez, a beautiful but troubled young woman who will be responsible for his greatest downfall.
Ask the Dust is an unforgettable novel about outsiders looking in on a town built on celluloid dreams.
“Written of and from the gut and the heart … Fante was my god”
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“A powerful and moving read”
“A tough and beautifully realised tale - affecting, powerful and poignant”
“Bandini is a magnificent creation, and his discovery is not before time”
times Literary Supplement
“This stunning novel, as Charles Bukowski’s 1980 foreword outlines, was the reason he became a writer. Is there any better recommendation?”
John Fante was born in Denver on 8 April 1909 and migrated to Los Angeles in his early twenties. Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938), his first novel, began the saga of Arturo Bandini, a character whose story continues in The Road to Los Angeles, Ask the Dust and Dreams from Bunker Hill - collectively known as The Bandini Quartet. Fante published several other novels, as well as stories, novellas and screenplays, in his seventy-four years, including The Brotherhood of the Grape (1977) and 1933 Was A Bad Year (posthumously, 1985). He was recognised in 1987 with a PEN Lifetime Achievement Award in Los Angeles, four years after his death.