John Fante ´ 7 SummaryThe Road to Los Angles by John introduces one the most bizarre disturbed and likeable alter egos in literature Arturo Bandini The book lace in 1930 s Angles Scottish Rite primarily the rough neighborhoods around the harbor docks We areut 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 How to Win the Nobel Prize: An Unexpected Life in Science poor family and works a fish cannery His megalomania is severe to theoint where it becomes absolute comedy He is the ruler of a kingdom of beautiful women deadly revolutions exotic lands and missions of conuest The real world is an It s a significant feat to get into the head and body of a teenage boy with the wildness ressing
urges and misappropriated hunger for knowledge and love I reached for thisand misappropriated hunger for knowledge and love I reached for this book because it was second in a series Bandini that I had started a year or so ago full disclosure I also needed a uick read to get to my next one which my wife was reading The rambling stream of consciousness of an 18 year old with an overly active imagination was at first unsettling I realized why Bukowski liked it with the unabashed utterance it gives to thoughts teetering on madness It is astonishing that this was ublished in the 1930 s surely far ahead of its time for American authors The leaflet says this was not Ä published in real time but cobbled together into book formosthumously after the other two in the series were ublished Nonetheless it is a wild romp through the mind of an 18 year old father less boy in Los Angeles who s wild fantasies bring him much anguish in real life but who stubbornly feeds them and unabashedly follows where they lead At times they were Walter Mitty like where he is the exalted lover savior etc What is truly hilarious about this book is the author s assumption of the character of an over read uneducated boy who uses long words oorly understood from his readings of Schopenhauer Nietzsche etc and what young man doesn t find fascination here This aspect is a clever device by Fante showing us the conflict of ego in a boy who is blissfully out of context and absolutely intolerable to be around Mental illness and obsession are clearly issues hereBut this is a fun book and the characters as viewed through the lens of this l enfante terrible as he takes in his cannery boss 55 This man was Shorty Naylor He was much smaller than I was He was very thin His collarbones stuck out He had not teeth worth mentioning in his mouth only one or two which were worse than nothing His eyes were like aged oysers on a sheet of newspaper Tobacco juice caked the corners of his mouth like dry chocolate His was the look of a rat in waiting It seemed he had never been out in the sun his face was so grey Hedidn t look at my face but at my belly I wondered what he saw there And moments of blissful freedom finally from our warped rotagonist 120 I felt deliriously and impossibly happy There was the smell of the sea the clean salted sweetness of the air the cold cynical indifference of the starts the sudden laughing intimacy of the streets the brazen opulence of light in darkness the glowing languor of slitted crescent moon I loved it all I felt like suealing making ueer noises new noises in my throat It was like walking naked through a valley of beautiful girls on all sides The white heat of a sex starved creative Italian teenager scorches every age A blinding magnesium flare an elemental torchsong to When The Light Went Out precocious youth that for all its down and dirty honesty and frustrated libido manages to retain a charm and innocence that the instant gratification of cyber space has forever appropriated Arturo is utterly adorable During each episode in his crazed wanderings through the tough dockside streets of 1930s Los Angeles I fervently wished he d been transplanted to his spiritual homeland tearing through the cobblestoned communities of Southern Italy But it wasn t to be Cooped up in a coldwater flat with his mother and sister struggling to survive the most Italian of all out of control Italian youths who needed the support tolerance andatience of a large doting Mediterranean community to flourishArturo is a one man Manhattan Project He ll exhaust you but you ll never forget him Arturo Bandini was not laughing He was Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates puking his guts out on the floor I hated every one of them and I vowed revenge staggering away wanting to be out of sight somewhere I leaned against the wall and got my breath But the stench charged again The walls spun the women laughed and Shorty laughed and Arturo Bandini the great writer was heaving again How he heaved The women would go home tonight and talk about it at their houses That new fellow You should have seen him And I hated them and even stopped heaving for a moment toause and delight over the fact that this was the greatest hatred of all my life Just like the first book in the saga and saga is the erfect word to describe John Fante s uartet of books about Bandini sustained anger excessive ride and obsession with women are the ongoing themes of this series I love that he ha. From the Editorial NoteThis novel introduces Fante's alter ego Arturo Bandini who reappears in Wait Until Spring Bandini 1938 ,
D to ause and delight over the fact that this was the greatest hatred of all my life He revels in the depths of his emotions The only way that Bandini reacts to anything is with white hot anger He is too short and man does that iss him off His sister is taller than him which irritates him but her insistence on becoming a nun infuriates him She also has this sexy taut ass that taunts him like an undulating mirage in his sexual desert She knows he is a blowhard and can cut through his spun web of lies like a wise reverend mother Women don t ay attention to him except when he is heaving his guts up at the fish factory or doing something strange and unsettling To say he is sexually frustrated is like saying the Baby Girl (Erik Ead Trilogy, pope is CatholicThere is this humbling moment as he works the line at the fish factory that is like an arrow finding the chink in his armour of rage She came with a man who had an elegant mustache and wore spats Later I found out his name was Hugo He owned the cannery as well as one on Terminal Island and another in Monterey Nobody knew who the girl was She clung to his arm sickened by the odor I knew she didn t like thelace She was a girl of not than twenty She wore a green coat Her back was 待つ [Matsu] perfectly arched like a barrel stave and she wore high white shoes Together she and Hugo walked away At the door the girl turned to look at us Iut my head down not wanting to be seen by one so lovely among those Mexicans and Filipinos Working at the fish factory he always smells of mackerel He washes and scrubs himself until he glows ink but the smell lingers on his skin like a ermanent stain It further isolates him from those around him People move away from him in movie theaters He s a social Brainwashing of the German Nation pariah which only isolates him and feeds his anger He has no gear shift for his rage It s high octane fourth gear the whole way I hated him so much I could have bitten off his finger and spat in his face He revels in his anger His anger feeds him like a feast He is aompous ass As his mother says You re nothing but a boy who s read too many books I ve been accused of that many times and was freuently told that I only used unfamiliar words to make Encounters with Rauschenberg: (A Lavishly Illustrated Lecture) people feel stupid but what it really was was me trying to apply what I read to my real life I wanted to try out words so that they becameart of my Vögeln ist schön: Die Sexrevolte von 1968 und was von ihr bleibt permanent lexicon Bandini is doing the same though he uses words like bludgeons He s hard to like I ve felt brief flashes of the anger he feels all the time I understand his frustrations but as he swings wildly at the world he is childishlyrejudicial against the eople around him He is as judgemental as the eople he accuses of judging him This book in many ways is unhinged It drives the reader on relentlessly Charles Bukowski considered John Fante to be one of his literary gods and I can see some of Fante s influence on his writing The next book in this sage is Ask the Dust considered to be Fante s masterpiece I read it decades ago and still remember the gist of the story but after reading the two books that Social Media and Social Movements: The Transformation of Communication Patterns precede it I m looking forward to rereading it with the context of Bandini s earlier life For most readers they should read Ask the Dust and not worry about the other three books in the uartet but the unflinching honesty with which Fanteresents his alter ego Arturo Bandini in the earlier books is inspiring As he gives us Bandini he is berating himself as well If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger Principles of Isotope Geology page at and an Instagram account I found a used copy of this book the other day and this was inscribed on the titleageThe Ouroboros part about fish canaries made me smile as it conjured someeculiar images of hybrid ornitho ichthyological species in my head but he obviously meant fish canneries which figure strongly in the book This stolen inscription will serve as my review because it s robably better than anything I would write I d like to find out who Whit and Chuck are maybe someone will recognize this John Fante s The Road Los Angeles was written some fifty
YEAR BEFORE IT EVER PUBLISHED IN 1985 THEbefore it ever was ublished in 1985 The set around Long Beach San Pedro and Wilmington near the Los Angeles Harbor is an autobiographical story about the author s alter ego Arturo Gabriel Bandini Unfortunately the young Bandini is lain and simple a twit He uses big words he doesn t understand refers to authors like Nietzsche and Schopenhauer whom he likewise does not understand and acts in a condescending and supercilious way toward everyone from shopkeepers and employers to his mother and sister He retends to be a writer but the sample that appears in this book is laughably bad It beginsArthur Banning kind of sounds like Arturo Bandini doesn t it the multi millionaire oil dealer tour de force rima facie etit maitre table d hote and great lover of ravishing beautiful exotic saccharine and constellation like women in all arts of the world in every corner of the globe women in Bombay India land of the Taj Mahal of Gandhi and Buddha women in Naples land of Italian art and Italian fantasy women in the Riviera women at Lake Banff women Sk the Dust 1939 and Dreams from Bunker Hill 1982 The manuscript was discovered among John Fante's apers after his death in Ma. T Lake Louise in the Swiss Alps at the Ambassador Coconut Grove in Los Angeles California women at the famed Pons Asinorum Huh in Europe this same Arthur Banning etc etc etcThere I couldn t even bear to type in the whole first sentence Although I like some of Fante s later work I think Road to Los Angeles should robably have stayed unpublished uite frankly the only reason I read the book through to the end was 1 it was short and 2 I was expecting the main character to have the sht kicked out him by someone who tired of his jejune antics There are the roads we choose and there are the roads we walk and there are the walks of lifeOh Spengler What a book What weight
Like the Los Angeles Telephone Directory Day after day I read it never understanding it never caring either but reading itthe Los Angeles Telephone Directory Day after day I read it never understanding it never caring either but reading it I liked one growling word after another marching across ages with somber mysterious rumblingsRiotously ambitious wildly egotistic Punainen metsä possessed with the severe angst of youth ridden with delirious fantasies obsessed with the maniacal desire to become a writer Arturo Bandini turns h Well deserved 5 stars This was Fante s first Bandini book which got to beublished first in the 80s after Fante s death due to Charles Bukowski In the 30s when written it was refused by all Forever Im Yours publishers This book is Arturo Bandini at his best he is mean he is raw he is spoiled he has the mimimi syndrome he wants to conuer the world to write theerfect novel and get the nobel Basilio Boullosa Stars in the Fountain of Highlandtown prize and all the womenThis Bandini reads Nietzs An ugly little debut with First Novel written all over it It s not difficult to see why it remained unpublished during Fante s lifetime The most surprising and disappointing aspect is how unrecognizable Bandini is here compared to the glorious Ask the Dust see my review offensive and obnoxious compared to bold and brilliantFante does a good job channeling the arrogance of youth and a lot of the discrepancies between the two Bandinis couldrobably be chalked up to just that in addition to his isolation in the later work ie he has no loved ones to continuously abuse as he does here But it really just reminded me of my own first efforts at writing which will also remain mercifully unpublishedThe differences between the two novels don t end at the rotagonist The language here is much flatter not the soaring imagery and innovative flow of Dust Again First Novel understandable But there s also little to nothing that happens here and while that was somewhat similar in Dust there were still various interpersonal connections in that one not just the one way invectives or obsessive fantasies you get here Conseuently the title is somewhat of a misnomer in all but the metaphorical sense You don t see Bandini hysically making his way to Los Angeles you just see the recious few events that lead to his decision to go there But Bandini himself stays largely the same from first age to last literally sychotic at times even displaying occasional self consciousness of his mental disturbance There are even flashes of Walter Mitty here though a sinister Mitty with Bandini s tendency to convert the mundane into the self aggrandizing fantastical interestingly Mitty wouldn t be ublished until three years after this was written But Bandini s flights of fancy unlike Mitty s hold real world conseuences Ask the Dust is one of my all time favorite books beautiful and inspiring so I was eager to read the entire Bandini saga in chronological order Sadly though I read this in just a day I didn t enjoy it at all save for a nice little interlude of lovely cheer when Bandini helps an old lady carry her bags and comes away inspired by his own goodness albeit all too briefly Tilak Kathalu pp 48 9 But I can t recommend it to anyone except for Fante completists and other writers and I hope Wait Until Spring Bandini will be closer in uality to its successor than itsredecessor You can t blame Fante for this one though because though he wrote it he also recognized after the fact that it shouldn t be ublished It s disrespectful in a way for his estate to have ublished it osthumously Fante certainly had every opportunity to do it himself so you have to assume he deliberately decided not to And something of such inferior uality can only serve to diminish his legacy So while it may be valuable as an objective record of Fante s literary transformation that s robably the only way it should be read and appreciatedUpdate after The Why Cafe perusing other reviews It s striking how manyeople loved this book yet out of all the ositive reviews almost none of them mention Ask the Dust or they admit this being the first Fante book they ve read For those waffling on Fante do yourself a favor and read Dust FIRST then this then decide what you think of this one If you ut the two books side by side they re not even close in uality and it seems like the Satisfying Mommy’s Pregnant Needs (A Psuedo-Incest, Mother-Son, Sleep Sex, Pregnancy, BDSM, Erotic Romance) people who really admire this book are doing it without the context of Fante s masterpiece In other words believe me and not them How s that for a final Bandini esue flourishNot Bad Reviewsblakerosser1 the war against the crab section was unbelievable the rest was mainly annoying. Y 1983 by his widow Joyce and now may be included in that short distinguished list of important first novels by American author.