“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”
Arturo Bandini arrives in Los Angeles with big dreams. He wants to write but is faced with grim reality. Not only is he forced to stay in a seedy hotel, but his landlord demands money that Bandini simply doesn’t have.
Yet when Bandini makes a small fortune from the publication of a short story, he embarks upon a reinvention, indulging in expensive clothes, fine food and downtown strip clubs. It is not until he meets the beautiful Camilla Lopez that his delusions take a worrying turn. In the long, hot summer days, Bandini and Camilla are drawn into a love-hate relationship that slowly but inexorably leads Bandini to another downfall.
Ask the Dust is an unforgettable novel about outsiders looking in on a town built on celluloid dreams. It is a heartfelt yet cynical vision of America at the time of the Great Depression.
“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.