The Road to Los Angeles
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The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arthur Bandini #2)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,548 ratings  ·  103 reviews
I had a lot of jobs in Los Angeles Harbor because our family was poor and my father was dead. My first job was ditchdigging a short time after I graduated from high school. Every night I couldn’t sleep from the pain in my back. We were digging an excavation in an empty lot, there wasn’t any shade, the sun came straight from a cloudless sky, and I was down in that hole digg...more
ebook, 168 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 1985)
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Steven Eggleton
I think every writer would ultimately admit, that out of all the books they’ve read, there was one that stood above the rest. One that lit a fire in them. A book that changed their idea of what writing could be. A book that in the end helped to shape their career as an artist and perhaps touched their life. For me that book was, The Road to Los Angeles.
I was in my early twenties, depressed, living in this tiny apartment that leaked when it rained and perpetually had ants, trying to write, readin...more
Daniel Weller
Lo primero que leí de John Fante fue Pregúntale al polvo, tercera novela de la saga Bandini (segunda en editarse), donde encontré al protagonista malviviendo en Los Angeles mientras intenta vender algún cuento. Recuerdo que me pareció un personaje ridículo, estúpido y desquiciado. Terminé el libro casi enfadado y sin ningún deseo de volver a leer a Fante.

No estaba seguro de por qué me había exasperado tanto aquel personaje llamado Arturo Bandini.

Unos años después, caí en la tentación de acercarm...more
Ismael Galvan
The Road to Los Angles by John Fante introduces one of the most bizarre, disturbed, and likeable alter egos in literature, Arturo Bandini. The book takes place in 1930’s Los Angles, primarily the rough neighborhoods around the harbor docks. We are put in the mind of a young man suffering from the world’s worst grandiosity complex. Bandini is convinced he will go down in history as the world’s greatest man. Unfortunately, he’s from a dirt poor family and works a fish cannery. His megalomania is s...more
Núria
'Camino de Los Ángeles' es la primera novela de John Fante, la primera aparición de Arturo Bandini. Fue escrita entre 1933 y 1936, pero fue rechazada y no se publicó hasta después de la muerte de Fante. Se nota que es una novela escrita por un joven lleno de rabia que utilitza la literatura para escupir su rabia en todas y cada una de las páginas que escribe, y en todas y cada una de las páginas que escribe se nota también que quiere ser un "escritor polémico", pero a la vez se nota que quiere s...more
William Thomas
a beautifully vulgar account of growing up catholic in a repressive household. much more true to the actual events of early adulthood than Catcher in the Rye, and i say that begrudgingly. This read like a gorgeous but filthy version of raplh ellison's 'invisible man'. i would have preferred john fante to never have written books as these because it makes my own writing seem as if it is nothing more than a copycat, and a poor one at that.
Ben Loory
the war against the crab section was unbelievable. the rest was mainly annoying.
Bob
The first three chapters are well-paced and have pulled me in. Although it's Fante's first novel (which wasn't published until after his death), this takes place after Wait Until Spring, Bandini

UPDATE: The protagonist is ostentatiously verbose in his conversations with others, using colorfully large words like bobdingnagian. He's especially vigorous when excoriating his sister. He postures as a writer for quite a while before he actually writes anything.

There is a lot of gratuitous destruction i...more
Paul
Dang. I mean, I liked this, but I felt pretty awful reading it. There's no real narrative drive, so the only thing keeping you going is basically to see what this narcissistic, racist, misogynistic—basically psychopathic—narrator will do next. And it's not like he's going around killing people or burning down buildings, but just basically being an asshole. I laughed a few times, sure, and I also cringed a bunch. The fact (or anyway, the rumor/idea—I don't really know anything about Fante) that t...more
Claire
Pretty gruesome at times but a good book. Reminds me of The Stranger by Camus a bit. Bandini is very judgmental and hypocritical which i think is the ironic theme throughout the book. Like he hates his bosses cause they don't keep inventory or are dishonest and yet he's stealing from them. He hates his sister cause she wants to be a nun and yet he is speaking to God or trying to play God himself, he hated being referred to as a Dago and yet he goes out and is horribly racist to his coworkers. It...more
Jan
I loved this book. Being John Fante's first novel it's the story of a precocious, rude, wannabe-writer, would-be intellectual who uses fancy words and quotes from Nietzsche he half the time doesn't get himself to separate himself from the riff raff, such as the possee working in the fisheries. It is a very blunt book for its time, and I would say there is no literature today that is any more extreme, nasty, subversive than this book written over half a century ago.
And while the great Arturo Ban...more
Beverly Rosendahl
Love this novel by John Fante as well! He is a talented story teller, and could connect with the readers with his emotionally raw writing. This is a good book to read!
ilaria
Bandini è da prendere a schiaffi, ma è irresistibile. Un superuomo comunista. In realtà ne conosco parecchi.

"Deve essere stato amore, ma poteva anche essere il suo costume da bagno bianco."

"Un matto, uno svitato. Fuori di testa, le dico, fuori di testa. Eh già: troppe donne, e della specie sbagliata. Avrebbe dovuto sentire che discorsi. Da pazzo. Il più fottuto bugiardo della contea di Los Angeles. Aveva le allucinazioni. Sogni di gloria delusi. Minacce contro la società."

Jay
It's patchy but much better than I expected. I had put off reading this because most Fante websites have negative reviews of it; however, it is very good in places.

The main character is a classic narcissistic personality which makes him not very likable and very annoying. The description of him (all show, not tell) is so spot on that it's scary.

There is a thumb biting homage to Hamsun's Hunger and a good description of a young writer's first attempt a a novel and his realization that it is junk....more
Carlos
“…un autor vibrante y mayúsculo, quizás el mejor punto de contacto entre Hemingway y Kerouac, Steinbeck y Carver, o Fitzgerald y Bukowski”, falla Leonardo Tarifeño sobre John Fante, ese hijo de inmigrantes italianos que dedicó su vida a la literatura pero sólo halló reconocimiento tras dejar de existir; un autor semiproscrito, relegado en su tiempo, pero que hoy en día goza de notable popularidad. Leí su primera novela, “Camino de Los Ángeles” (aunque fue publicada después de fenecer), para corr...more
shannon
this reminds me a lot of confederacy of dunces...so if you like that book, you will love this one. i am not such a fan of that kind of character, i am not sure why some people find him so funny but there are other redeeming/actually funny things that happen in this book. i haven't explored the rest of john fante so maybe i will appreciate this book more if i read more - or so i understand.
Jessica
Not my favorite Fante book. I guess there is a reason why he chose not to publish the book in his lifetime. The main character was pretty annoying but there were some funny parts (killing the crabs; Arturo's ridiculously outsized ego).
Jarad Coats
One of my favorites, by one if my favorite authors. Fascinating to read this long-banned book, as a manic sort of explosion of artistic & sexual frustration, and the dreams of LA that satiate that incensed form of being.
Jim
Boy, this was a difficult one to like. Not the smoothest intro to the world of Fante, but it still made me laugh out loud a few times. And the language is fantastic, despite how much of it made me feel a bit ill.
Oscar
¡Allá vamos! Este Arturo Bandini me ha parecido: pedante, cruel, prepotente, fantasma, listillo, guarro, idiota, impertinente, estúpido, vago, vicioso, chiflado... Y sin embargo, tiene un algo de gracioso. Esto es lo único bueno de la novela, que te hace reír con sus chifladuras y locuras. En el prólogo ya te avisan de que no vas a encontrarte con los mismos personajes que en el resto de novelas protagonizadas por Bandini. Es cierto, pero sólo en parte, porque lo único que he echado de menos es...more
Josh Harris
This book had its moments, but in truth it's pretty mediocre. In the editorial note at the front of the book, this J.C. guy tries to explain that this book didn't get published for fifty years because it was too crude for its time. I'm pretty sure it didn't actually get published because it kind of fucking sucks.

Also, I'll point out that Fante's alter-ego Arturo Bandini is the most unlikable twat of a main character I've ever read in a book. The entire time I was just hoping someone would just p...more
Matt Eckel
Bandini is less sympathetic here than in Ask the Dust. We don't always have to fall in love with the narrators of stories, I hope. In my review of that book, I nominated it as a Catcher in the Rye for people in their 20s; this book would probably resonate more with a typically teenage Catcher audience.

Two brilliant sections worth mentioning: the putting down of the crab insurrection (Chapter 4), and a description of the euphoria following a inspired moment of artistic creation (Chapter 19). "Com...more
El Zuco
I really enjoyed certain sections of this book, and I guess I should cut Fante some slack; this is his first book, they told me to start with "Ask the Dust" because they said it was more accomplished writing, etc; there are just some excesses of the pen here that are a bit too masturbatory and self-indulgent to turn a blind eye to; they would have been much better cut out of the book and thrown on the Bandinis' living room floor or torn up with all those pictures of Arturo's women and meandered...more
Margolcia
Tytuł z trylogii autobiograficznej. Bandini (główny bohater) - Fante (autor). Włoscy emigranci. Lata trzydzieste Ameryki, czas kryzysu. Osiemnastolatek, który opiekuje się matką i siostrą. Nie mając wyboru i będąc zbyt młodym, by osiągnąć oczekiwaną dojrzałość. Buja w obłokach, a może raczej, tonie w literaturze, zaczytując się w klasykach i filozofii (Nietzsche). Notorycznie kłamie, jakby nie zdając sobie z tego sprawy, całym swoim "jestem" pisze powieść, o takim życiu o jakim marzy i bohaterze...more
Martin
If the book were any longer, I might have given it two stars. Since it was only 166 pages, I can't be too mad at it. This was Fante's first novel written in the Bandini Quartet, but was the last to be published. I'm a continuity stickler, so I struggled with the different family, circumstances and location of this family compared to the one in "Wait Until Spring, Bandini". The main character is just hard to spend any time with due to his immaturity and grandiosity. The writing can be spotty and...more
J.T.
Wonderfully brash novel with an unlikeable lead character whose grandiose verbosity veils but an insecure little gnat. It's funny, extremely readable, vividly described and wonderfully imagined. Extravagant, yet realistic and honest. Arturo Bandini didn't turn likable, but the book is most lovable, and observing The Great Bandini was pure joy.
Kees-jan van Engelenburg
Arturo Banidini on his quest of becoming a great writer at least in his mind. His struggles and daily work and most of all his views of the world and especially in his close vicinity. I loved and can totally relate to Bandini and his actions,struggles and thoughts.
Gary
I'm glad that is over. There were bright spots - little ones. I'm glad I read 'Wait Until Spring, Bandini' first. That is a great book.

This became so tedious as Arturo would drone on and on about his fantasies and how great he was, and he was a writer, beyond all others in intellect and wit.

I know the book is about a kid, who has a way to go to maturity, but my God, there were passages that made my head almost explode.

Internally I was yelling at Arturo, "get on with it, please your killing me"....more
Daniela Melis
The very first book written by Fante, the last one published: I mean, what's the problem with editors? It is just amazing. An innovative and rebel writing style, a perceptible living pain perfectly changed into words.
Justin
This version of the mutating protagonist is certainly not likeable, but the book appears to have served as a stepping stone for much more empathetic portrayals in "Ask the Dusk" and "Wait for Spring..."
Elliott
My favorite novel of The Saga of Arturo Bandini so far. Published much later than "Ask the Dust" and "Wait Until Spring, Bandini," but written before both, "The Road to Los Angeles" is precocious and virile but vacillates between chauvinistic braggadocio and mawkish sentimentality. In short, it's juvenile, but not in the negative sense of the word. It's also, at least in my opinion, the most Bukowski-like of Fante's books. Bukowski did write that "Ask the Dust" is his favorite Fante work in his...more
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Fante's early years were spent in relative poverty. The son of an Italian born father, Nicola Fante, and an Italian-American mother, Mary Capolungo, Fante was educated in various Catholic schools in Boulder, Colorado and briefly attended the University of Colorado.

In 1929, he dropped out of college and moved to Southern California to concentrate on his writing. He lived and worked in Wilmington, L...more
More about John Fante...
Ask the Dust Wait Until Spring, Bandini Dreams from Bunker Hill (The Saga of Arthur Bandini, #4) The Brotherhood of the Grape 1933 Was a Bad Year

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“IT'S MORNING, TIME to get up, so get up, Arturo, and look for a job. Get out there and look for what you'll never find. You're a thief and you're a crab-killer and a lover of women in clothes closets. You'll never find a job!
Every morning I got up feeling like that. Now I've got to find a job, damn it to hell. I ate breakfast, put a book under my arm, pencils in my pocket, and started out. Down the stairs I went, down the street, sometimes hot and sometimes cold, sometimes foggy and sometimes clear. It never mattered, with a book under my arm, looking for a job.
What job, Arturo? Ho ho! A job for you? Think of what you are, my boy! A crab-killer. A thief. You look at naked women in clothes closets. And you expect to get a job! How funny! But there he goes, the idiot, with a big book. Where the devil are you going, Arturo? Why do you go up this street and not that? Why go east - why not go west? Answer me, you thief! Who'll give you a job, you swine - who? But there's a park across town, Arturo. It's called Banning Park. There are a lot of beautiful eucalyptus trees in it, and green lawns. What a place to read! Go there, Arturo. Read Nietzsche. Read Schopenhauer. Get into the company of the mighty. A job? fooey! Go sit under a eucalyptus tree reading a book looking for a job. ”
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“Dear Woman Who Gave Me Life:

The callous vexations and perturbations of this night have subsequently resolved
themselves to a state which precipitates me, Arturo Bandini, into a
brobdingnagian and gargantuan decision. I inform you of this in no uncertain
terms. Ergo, I now leave you and your ever charming daughter (my beloved sister
Mona) and seek the fabulous usufructs of my incipient career in profound
solitude. Which is to say, tonight I depart for the metropolis to the east — our
own Los Angeles, the city of angels. I entrust you to the benign generosity of your brother, Frank Scarpi, who is, as the phrase has it, a good family man
(sic!). I am penniless but I urge you in no uncertain terms to cease your
cerebral anxiety about my destiny, for truly it lies in the palm of the immortal gods. I have made the lamentable discovery over a period of years that living
with you and Mona is deleterious to the high and magnanimous purpose of Art, and I repeat to you in no uncertain terms that I am an artist, a creator beyond question. And, per se, the fumbling fulminations of cerebration and intellect find little fruition in the debauched, distorted hegemony that we poor mortals, for lack of a better and more concise terminology, call home. In no uncertain
terms I give you my love and blessing, and I swear to my sincerity, when I say
in no uncertain terms that I not only forgive you for what has ruefully
transpired this night, but for all other nights. Ergo, I assume in no uncertain terms that you will reciprocate in kindred fashion. May I say in conclusion that I have much to thank you for, O woman who breathed the breath of life into my
brain of destiny? Aye, it is, it is.

Signed.

Arturo Gabriel Bandini.

Suitcase in hand, I walked down to the depot. There was a ten-minute wait for
the midnight train for Los Angeles. I sat down and began to think about the new novel.”
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