Ask the Dust Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ask the Dust

Struggling writer, Arturo Bandini, fights to scrape by, living in the Bunker Hill area of 1930's Los Angeles, as he is distracted from his work by his infatuation with Camilla Lopez, a local waitress who flirts with him by insulting him, uninterested in him treating her like a "Mexican princess".
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The review of this Book prepared by Michelle Yusuf

In this Fante's second novel his creation Arturo Bandini is living in a seedy LA hotel as a struggling writer. He arrives at the hotel as a proud published writer having had a short story published in a magazine. He scrapes by eating oranges and living from the promises that his next advance cheque is on the way. He falls for a waitress Camilla Lopez in a local bar. Theirs is a relationship of alternating despise and love. Unfortunately disturbed Camilla is in love with a dying waiter who himself ill treats Camilla and is trying unsuccessfully to write. Bandini the bum eventually achieves literary success but his relationship with Camilla is doomed.

Bandini at times tough is also poignantly tender and this beautifully rendered tale was an inspiration to Charles Bukowski, Fante was his god.

The review of this Book prepared by John Marcel

Chapter Analysis of Ask the Dust

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   humorous Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Poverty, surviving    -   Yes Kind of living:    -   general poverty story Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Lover is    -   chased obsessively but totally uninterested

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Italian


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West    -   California City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of hetero sex Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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John Fante Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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