The Bandini Quartet
John Fante, Dan Fante, Charles Bukowski
Possessing a style of deceptive simplicity, emotional immediacy and tremendous psychological point, among the novels, short stories and screenplays that complete his career, Fante’s crowning accomplishment is the Arturo Bandini tetralogy.
This quartet of novels tell of Fante’s fictional alter-ego Bandini, an impoverished young Italian-American escaping his suffocating home in Colorado for Depression-era Los Angeles. In the beginning, it is the triple weights of poverty, father and Church that Bandini struggles under but though the physical escape is complete, the psychological imprint continues as he comes to terms with love, desire and the knowledge his talent may not be recognised.
Bandini is a magnificent creation, and his rediscovery is not before time. * * Times Literary Supplement * * John Fante knew how to make words sing. When he was on form, he could write sentences that stopped time. * * Uncut * * John Fante takes some beating . . . mean, moody, disturbing and intensely atmospheric. * * The Times * * Fante's searing, effortless style eschewed the refinement of Fitzgerald, the hubris of Hemingway and the panoramic vistas of Dos Passos. Instead he marshalled the raw materials of his own life - poverty, sex, paternal hatred, Catholic guilt, misplaced pride, hard drinking, labour, fighting, overarching literary ambition and the internecine hatred within immigrant communities in pre-war America - rendering the pain and comedy with such heartbreaking simplicity as to brook no hint of the literary zeitgeist. * * Dazed and Confused * *
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