Originally posted by David Tebb
John Fante was a great writer. 'Ask the Dust' is his most famous work, but all his books are worth reading.
His son, Dan Fante is also very good. I loved his first novel 'Chump Change'.
I didn't know his (Fante's) son was a writer. I'll have to pick up one of his books. The thing I loved about "Ask the Dust" was how Bandini was so frustrating. You kind of root for him throughout the story, and at times, you really like him. Other times, you (the reader) detest him. I think it must be incredibly difficult to create a character like that. Reminded me a little of some of Dostoyevsky's characters.
* For those of you who are not familiar with John Fante, he was probably Bukowski's greatest influence. Here's an excerpt from "Fante was my God" (written by Charles Bukowski):
"A library was a good place to be when you had nothing to drink or to eat, and the landlady was looking for you and for the back rent money. In the library at least you had the use of the toilet facilities.) I saw quite a number of other bums in there, most of them asleep on top of their books. I kept on walking around the big room, pulling the books off the shelves, reading a few lines, a few pages, then putting them back. Then one day I pulled a book down and opened it, and there it was. I stood for a moment, reading. Then like a man who had found gold in the city dump, I carried the book to a table. The lines rolled easily across the page, there was a flow. Each line had its own energy and was followed by another like it. The very substance of each line gave the page a form, a feeling of something carved into it. And here, at last, was a man who was not afraid of emotion. The humur and the pain were intermixed with a superb simplicity. The beginning of that book was a wild and enormous miracle to me. I had a library card. I checked the book out, took it to my room, climbed into my bed and read it, and I knew long before I had finished that here was a man who had evolved a distinct way of writing. The book was Ask the Dust and the author was John Fante. He was to be a lifetime influence on my writing. I finished Ask the Dust and looked for other books of Fante's in the library. I found two. They were of the same order, written of and from the gut and the heart. Yes, Fante had a mighty effect upon me."