1930s Los Angeles – ‘Ask the Dust’ by John Fante

Hello everyone and welcome back to #AlexJoStories! Today is #Bookstoread day, so, I want to talk to you about the interesting yet annoying novel ‘Ask the Dust’ by the Italian-American author John Fante. I think I am not supposed to say this but this is the first novel I read entirely for my literature modules and I enjoyed it a lot. I found this novel really relatable to a certain extent and I will tell you exactly why you should read it. I am also currently writing my essay on this novel, so believe me I know more things than I should about this. (I will explain why I called this novel annoying and interesting at the same time, but I will try to the best of my abilities to not give you any spoilers, so do not loose your focus. Please!)

John Fante was an American author, born in an Italian immigrant family in Colorado, United States. His main character Arturo Bandini has the exact same story, the exact same path, because Arturo is Fante’s alter ego. I guess every author has an alter ego. I never thought about mine tho.

Anyway, going back to Arturo Bandini. He is twenty years old. He recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of becoming a published and famous author. All of us want that right?

Why did I find this novel so relatable? ‘Ask the Dust’ is really relatable to every aspiring author because it talks about the struggles of publishing, it talks about the struggles of finding your true inspiration, also it talks about identity crisis as a stranger in another society. He was born in America, but his roots were in Italy. In this way he finds himself rejected in a certain way by the American people. He is really convinced that writing is exactly what he is supposed to do. He has put his publisher in such a high level and nothing that was happening around him could make him abandon his passion. Even if he falls in love, this isn’t a motif to change his actions and to change the reason why he moved to Los Angeles.

The action of the book is placed around the mid 30’s creating a good connection with the Great Depression in America. This book is filled with symbols and is concerned with subjects as: race, class, culture, poverty, identity, sex and many more.

Through a simplistic yet compelling language, John Fante succeeds in making a really compelling story that draws each reader more and more into the story. Throughout the novel, you will find out that you might have mixed feelings about Arturo. When I finished the book I felt sad and in the same time releaved because I have come to hate him. He was kind of a douche bag in some moments. I certainly though that he was bipolar. Lol! You’ll definitely understand what I am talking about once you read the story. The entire book is focused on the relation between Camilla (a beautiful Mexican woman who Arturo falls in love with) and Arturo, our main character. It’s not the typical romantic story. It’s different, but in a good way, I guess. I read this book really fast in comparison with others, so it won’t take you very long if you have a busy schedule.

So, guys this is my take on ‘Ask the Dust’ by John Fante. II am not divulging any more aspects of the book. You need to find them on your own. I am definitely encouraging all of you to read this book. It is considered one of the american literature references. Also, (I am definitely not supposed to say this) you can find a movie adaptation of the book from 2006. It’s called the same as the book and the main character is played by Collin Farrell. I hope you guys go and read this book and I hope you enjoyed this article! I am so sorry I am out of schedule this weeks, but deadlines are coming after me and I really need to give them all my attention. I will definitely work on article so don’t panic, because I will #seeyousoon!

Leave a Reply