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Ask the Dust (The Saga of Arthur Bandini #3)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  13,426 ratings  ·  936 reviews
Ask the Dust is a virtuoso performance by an influential master of the twentieth-century American novel. It is the story of Arturo Bandini, a young writer in 1930s Los Angeles who falls hard for the elusive, mocking, unstable Camilla Lopez, a Mexican waitress. Struggling to survive, he perseveres until, at last, his first novel is published. But the bright light of success ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1939)
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Brian Yatman I've only read this one, and it is a complete story - it certainly works as a standalone.
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Matt Eckel
Sep 25, 2007 Matt Eckel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: angelenos
I remember when I was fourteen, reading Catcher in the Rye. I went downstairs and told my mom, "it's the weirdest thing, this guy is, like, reading my mind!"

She said, "Matt, everyone thinks they're Holden Caulfield." God, adults can be so stupid sometimes. Obviously she didn't understand that this was something meaningful -- mystical, really -- that was happening to me. Or, to quote another influential poet of my youth, "parents just don't understand."

Flash forward another fourteen years, the la
Dec 03, 2013 Eleanor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poets, Bukowski lovers, Los Angelinos
John Fante was Bukowski's god, and "either you adore him or you've never heard of him." Writing that's raw, swolen, true, and moving from a macro view of paragraph by paragraph, tectonic plates, words that are so organic, you never think about the words, they're tendons and muscles and joins that are by themselves ordinary yet Fante's voice is bold, heroic, cowardly, greedy, broken, blindingly joyful, I would follow him anywhere. It's rare that I buy a copy of a book I've already read, if I didn ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kill time
Recommended to Mariel by: thunder perfect
And I answer, the sea is back there, back in the reservoir of memory. The sea is a myth. There never was a sea. But there was a sea! I tell you I was born on the seashore! I bathed in the waters of the sea! It gave me food and it gave me peace, and its fascinating distances fed my dreams! No, Arturo, there never was a sea. You dream and you wish, but you go on through the wasteland. You will never see the sea again. It was a myth you once believed. But, I have to smile, for the salt of the sea i
I'm giving it three but it really deserves 3.5.

I started off tearing into this book with the momentum I tore through Bukowski, which isn't to say that I love Bukowski, I don't, but I tore through his works. It's easy shit to tear through.

So I read the overwhelmingly positive Bukowski introduction and I'm off and running. I have a strange fasination with early 20th century LA. I couldn't say why. I have lived in San Francisco the majority of my life and been to LA 3-4 times. I couldn't care less
I libri fanno male. I libri possono uccidere. E mentre fisso il muro bianco e penso a qualcosa di intelligente da dire riguardo Chiedi alla polvere tutto ciò che mi viene in mente è che esistono libri più taglienti di lame e che Fante doveva essere un grande stronzo.

Perché quando scrivi così maledettamente bene e scrivi vite che hanno la forma di tragedia costringendo la gente a leggerle, allora sei davvero un grande, grandissimo, perfido stronzo maledettamente, dannatamente, immensamente bravo
Someone recently mentioned Ask the Dust on Goodreads. I don't remember who. But, uh, thank you, whoever you are. I appreciate the recommendation and I'm surprised, even with its flaws, that the novel isn't revered by the Bukowski Fan Club crowd.

Ask the Dust functions as Arturo Bandini's (fictional) first person account of his rising and falling and rising (etc.) as a young Colorado writer new to California. Arturo wanders around Los Angeles, writes in his spartan hotel room, and makes a shitloa
I picked this up for a buck last week. Fante's such an easy read that I should have been finished that night, but I can't even seem to feign an interest in fiction lately. Well, maybe that's not entirely true. Maybe brain is still convalescing from all the Texas, drugs, and alcohol that I consumed last weekend. I'm astonished that I'm even capable of reading my e-mails lately.

An example of Fante's ostensible solipsism. "War in Europe, a speech by Hitler, trouble in Poland, these were the topics
Alex V.
Ask the Dust is about as good a book as has ever been written. I say book, instead of novel because I'm not sure it is a novel. Same with story, not sure there is much of a story here either. Instead, it is a hotwired connection to the mind of Arturo Bandini, the manic writer manifested in this and two other books Fante wrote. It might be a shambles of a story, a bust as a novel, but it's a motherfucker of a book.

It's been said that Joyce's Finnegan's Wake is a collection of all things in the wo
Mike Puma
An unreliable narrator, Arturo Bandini, relates his highest accomplishments (writing short stories and a novel) and his deepest failures (finding love). His piques of racism and misogyny are followed by moments of tenderness and compassion for the same woman. He’s a man hard to admire, yet equally hard to forget or not care about. For this reader, at least, he’s one who will have to be revisited, re-evaluated, through the pages of the author’s other volumes in the The Saga of Arturo Bandini sequ ...more
Chiara Pagliochini
« Avevo vent’anni, allora. Che diavolo, dicevo, prenditela comoda, Bandini. Hai davanti a te dieci anni per scrivere un libro, vacci piano, allora, guardati attorno e impara qualcosa, gira per le strade. Il tuo guaio è che non sai niente della vita. Dio Mio, amico, ti rendi conto che non sei mai stato una donna? »

Arturo Bandini. Sì, Arturo Bandini.
Non conoscete Arturo Bandini?
Come no… via! Lo scrittore! Arturo Bandini lo scrittore!
No? Dai, quello lì… quello che ha scritto… ‘Il cagnolino rise’ e
E mentre leggo le recensioni di chi ha abbandonato il romanzo perché Bandini è proprio troppo antipatico e di chi invece ama il libro nonostante Bandini sia proprio troppo antipatico, io mi ritrovo ad amare alla follia questo libro al quale, al momento dell’archiviazione su goodreads, diedi solo 3 stelle, perché lo lessi anni fa in Inglese, quando il mio Inglese non era ancora abbastanza buono. E mi ritrovo anche a pensare che Bandini, per me, non è affatto antipatico, non lo è come non lo è nem ...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways

I rated this 4 stars because, when I first read it in the early 1980s, it riveted me. I've taken a star off because after 30-plus years the chances are it's not going to get close to 5 stars, since I've read so very much more by now.

Well, we shall see. I've Kindled it up, it's a short book (under 200pp), and I feel daring.
Simona Bartolotta
"Dio Onnipotente, mi dispiace di essere diventato ateo, ma hai mai letto Nietzsche?!"

Esistono libri belli per lo stile con cui sono stati scritti.
Esistono libri belli per le storie che raccontano.
Esistono libri belli per i personaggi di cui parlano.
Esistono libri belli per i messaggi che trasmettono.
Ma questo è l'unico libro del quale ho potuto afferrare la bellezza grazie al titolo ed al prologo.

Perché il romanzo in sé forse non sarebbe poi nulla di particolare: un aspirante scrittore, statunit
- Ho voglia di Fanta, ma', comprami la Fanta! -
- Eh beh, dopo aver letto Fante giustamente la signorina ha voglia di Fanta. -
- Ahah. -

E poi feci una faccia da "questa era pessima".
Ma non ho nulla da rimproverare all'autore di questa battuta, nonché mio amico. Io faccio battute da far cadere le braccia tanto sono pessime.
Sorvoliamo sulla brutta copertina della Marcos y Marcos e parliamo del contenuto.
La lettura di questo libro si è aperta con urletto da parte della sottoscritta da far sconcert
Fuck this book. "I acted like a racist douchebag toward a girl I like/hate because I've experienced racism myself, and then I sexually assualted her. Later, I felt sad she was gone forever." Arturo Bandini writes charmingly, and the setting and (non)plot are super inviting, but Jesus Christ, I expected so much more from a press (Black Sparrow) that's supposed to be cool and an author with such an old-timey mystique. Fuck this.
Arturo Bandini tem vinte anos e chega a Los Angeles sem nada de seu além do sonho de ser escritor. Vive num quarto alugado e alimenta-se de laranjas que guarda debaixo da cama. Nas suas deambulações pela cidade conhece Camilla - uma empregada de bar, apaixonada por quem não deve. Arturo quer conquistar Camilla mas, por ingenuidade ou medo, acaba sempre a ser arrogante e estúpido. Embora seja cruel com as palavras é de extrema generosidade com as acções; ao contrário de Camilla. E o que se faz te ...more
Ecco, è in questi casi in cui ci si imbatte in qualcuno, una persona, che è talmente importante che decidi seduta stante che essa farà parte della tua vita per sempre, perché non sarebbe possibile pensare a un possibile contrario, e perché anche se fosse possibile sarebbe comunque già troppo tardi. John Fante è stata la mia miglior scoperta dell'anno e gli sarò grata di aver scritto, per tutta la vita. E sono seria, perché ci sono affermazioni che non possono smentirsi e nè essere smentite. E co ...more
Lettore, Chiedi alla polvere del deserto del Mojave perché per quasi quarant’anni questo romanzo è rimasto sepolto in uno scaffale di una biblioteca di Los Angeles.
Chiedilo a quella polvere nera, che per anni ha ricoperto le pagine di John Fante, in modo che nessun lettore lo vedesse.
Chiedilo a Bukowski che negli anni ’70 trovò Chiedi alla polvere nella polverosa biblioteca della polverosa Los Angeles.
È del tutto per caso che io mi sia imbattuta in questo libro. Non l’ho trovato in una bibl
A sette anni di distanza dalla prima lettura, "Chiedi alla polvere" mi sembra ancora più interessante, come se fosse maturato; forse con una terza lettura, tra qualche anno, noterò dettagli che finora mi sono lasciato sfuggire per ignoranza o inesperienza. Penso all'ingiustizia e alla trascuratezza con cui questo libro è stato trattato per decenni; immagino l'entusiasmo di Fante durante la stesura: il protagonista Arturo Bandini, aspirante scrittore, è John Fante, su questo non ci piove. L'alber ...more
João Carlos
“Pergunta ao Pó” - terceiro livro da saga de Arturo Bandini – foi originalmente publicado em 1939 pelo escritor norte-americano John Fante (1909-1983).
O alter-ego de John Fante, Arturo Bandini, filho de emigrantes italianos, vai para Los Angeles no final do anos 30, em busca de um sonho, ser escritor. Bandini instala-se num pequeno hotel, na zona de Bunker Hill, à espera da carta do agente literário Hackmuth, a quem tinha enviado o seu conto “O Cãozinho Riu”.
Sem dinheiro, com a sua conta sempre
Matthew W
Charles Bukowski described "Ask the Dust" author John Fante as "Mencken's Catholic Bad Boy" in his poetic tribute to the Italian-American novelist. I don't think a better honor could have been bestowed upon Mr. Fante.

My interest in "Ask the Dust" came about when I saw the somewhat recent film based on the book starring black Irishman Colin Farrell. Of course, the film butchers the book, but that is what one comes to expect from culturally-hollow Hollywood.

Charles Bukowski would also state of "A
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I haven't read this book in almost a decade. However, every time I see the beaten-up, dusty volume on my shelf, almost hidden in its slenderness, nestled alphabetically against Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying", I look back fondly on it and the time of my life when I read it and adored it. When I was around 19, I, as most inebriated 19 year old boys who fancy themselves bohemians do, discovered Charles Bukowsi. I forget the exact quote, but not long after my discovery of Bukowsi, I heard a recording o ...more
Siempre había querido leer 'Pregúntale al polvo', porque el título me parece precioso. Pero era uno de aquellos libros que siempre dejas para otro día. Cuando por fin lo cogí de la biblioteca (después de haberlo considerado ya muchas veces antes) ni siquiera sabía de que iba, pero cuando en casa leí la contraportada que contaba que Charles Bukowski era superfan del libro y mencionaba que había influenciado su obra de una manera constante, me temí lo peor, porque para mí Bukowski ya se agota con ...more
I think there should be a "gave up" option. I am currently sick of this book and the overwrought narrator. I think I can guess why a maudlin alcoholic might find the pendulum swings between lust and disgust compelling but I don't know - I'm not in my 20s anymore. Did this particular down and out LA hack create a blueprint for the tortured artist type that I loath? Thank god for the weary and reserved language of Chandler.

Bukowski loves this book and this writer - he apparently stumbled across t
I just reread this book and am amazed by the life and vibrancy on every page. I've never really thought about how a book ages, in terms of the energy that the text still exudes (written in 1939), but I think this narrative would be a good example of that model.

Also, in terms of characterization, I love how Fante makes me "realign" my thoughts on Arturo Bandini from chapter to chapter. One page, I think he's a bastard, and the next, he has me laughing; and the next, he's making a woeful observati
It's the 1930s, and Arturo Bandini, great author, is living the dream in a hotel in Los Angeles. Or, more accurately, Arturo Bandini is living in a dream of his own construction in which he is a great author. In reality, he's had one short story published. He has recently relocated from the family home in Boulder, Colorado, and now he's broke and bewildered. Mostly what he's writing are very detailed letters to Mr. J.C. Hackmuth, the publisher of his one success, and the focus of his hopes for m ...more
Ask the Dust delivers the jolt in the pit of the stomach only a great writer can manage.
The protagonist, Arturo Bandini, swings between outrageous black-hearted evil and pure righteous goodness. Bandini lives out each extreme state of mind he experiences by acting on it without thinking, often to his immediate regret. He hurts those he loves because he can’t help himself.
Camilla Lopez is lost in the world and wants what she can't have. She is the woman any young man would work hard to protect a
Ho addocchiato questo libro per caso in biblioteca e come tutte le cose che capitano per caso, leggerlo è stato magnifico e inaspettato.
"Chiedi alla polvere" è la storia di salite e discese, di illusioni, di anime solitarie che si cercano per poi perdersi. E' la storia di Arturo Bandini, che sogna di diventare uno scrittore, più per fama e per arricchirsi. Arturo Bandini è un uomo dalle mille contraddizioni, megalomane, sicuro di sè da un lato e dall'altro sente di non valere niente. Un uomo in
Poco fa ho finito di leggere "Chiedi alla polvere" di Fante.
Confesso di aver ritardato la fine di quest'avventura letteraria, limitandomi a leggere solo poche pagine al giorno, quando avrei voluto passar la notte sveglia divorando capitoli su capitoli.
Questo romanzo mi ha scelto all'inizio dell'autonno in libreria, l'ho acquistato quasi alla cieca e due settimane fa ho seguito una voce interiore che continuava a ripetermi incessantemente "Smetti di leggere quello che stai leggendo, ti stai facen
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Adjudication: Few Recommendations 3 33 Dec 06, 2013 09:42PM  
Fante 1 84 May 18, 2009 06:44AM  
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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 about John Fante...
Wait Until Spring, Bandini The Road to Los Angeles Dreams from Bunker Hill (The Saga of Arthur Bandini, #4) The Brotherhood of the Grape 1933 Was a Bad Year

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“Almighty God, I am sorry I am now an atheist, but have You read Nietzsche?” 113 likes
“You are nobody, and I might have been somebody, and the road to each of us is love.” 92 likes
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