Monday, January 3, 2011
The Road to Los Angeles by John Fante
I was tipped off to John Fante by a teacher who said if I liked Bukowski I'd be into Fante, who was an influence on the former. That and the 1930s-'40s Los Angeles setting was enough to convince me to give him a try. The Road to Los Angeles was the first book of his that I read, and it was also the first book that Fante wrote. Much like Buk's Henry Chinaski, Fante's fictional alter ego was Arturo Bandini, a character he returned to many times throughout this novels. The Road to Los Angeles introduces Bandini as a young man struggling to become a great writer as he works odd jobs to make ends meet. It's not Fante's best but as I said, it was his earliest novel, written when he was 24 years old, with far better things to come.