And here begins a post where something has finally made sense to me. I don’t know what is was, but I read right through chapter 12 of Ask the Dust. The pages are bent and writing is seen in the sides of the book as well as passages underlined! This book made sense to me and I can see connections and provoking sentences that help tell what kind of author this is. I found myself excited to flip to the next page and proceed onto the next chapter! I really enjoy this book and I am so excited to now begin a post where I can truly relate and give my own opinions on the book without being afraid if they’re wrong!
At the beginning of the book, it was a bit confusing on what to make of this narrator and how to figure out if things he said he was saying were actually being said, if that makes any sense. But after reading the first half I realize that all this guy, Arturo Bandini, wants to do is find get himself into a situation that he can write about and make money off. After his first hit, The Little Dog Laughed, he had money and he says people enjoyed his story and that it made this one woman come “back to the earth” as she was waiting to die. The first thing that really struck me was that he goes into the church at the beginning and sits and talks to God. He immediately apologizes for being an atheist. This is just weird because how can he talk to God if he doesn’t even believe there is one?! And this is shown throughout the book, him stopping to pray and ask God to do something for him, and it makes me think that maybe he really doesn’t have anyone else to talk to. That maybe God is the only one he can truly ask to help him. On another note, I noticed how when Mr. Bandini is describing his neighbor, he uses the words “He was always drinking, day and night, but he never got drunk.” (29) And this screams to me that this guy is obviously an alcoholic, where he drinks all the time, but his body is so used to it that it doesn’t even make him drunk. I also like how the author describes the surroundings that he is in. On page 31 when he says “The night came slowly, first the cool odor of it, and then the darkness.” And I can picture, sense, feel, and smell the scene he is painting. Fante does a nice job in putting you in the book. I also found it interesting that whenever Bandini thinks he has a story, he will start to write it and then he reads them after and ends up tearing them up. And then he will go and write Hackmuth a letter. And I kept wondering why he doesn’t just make short stories out of his letters to Hackmuth, and come to find out, Hackmuth uses on of the letters to make the short story The Long Lost Hills. I think it is very interesting and almost daring in the ways that Bandini speaks to Camilla. But I liked how on page 47 he admits “when i sat Greaser to you it is not my heart that speaks, but the quivering of an old wound, and I am ashamed of the terrible thing I have done.” This guys wants her bad, but yet he still tends to say racial slurs and almost demeaning terms towards her, like on page 61, “To me you will always be a sweet little peon.” And then I thought that this girl who showed up at his door and then screams out her love for him is kind of a nut. She starts to blabber about how he doesn’t think she is beautiful because of her scars and then undresses to show him and I though that whole scene was wacky! But he does admit to her that he gets a little crazy like that as well. I liked when he said “I was no angel; my soul had a few twists and bends all its own; so don’t you feel so lonely, lady;”.(86) And the words that Bandini kept using to describe himself “neither fish, fowl nor good red herring”. This I see multiple times and still cannot put a meaning to it. And then the ending of Chapter 12 where things spice up and there was an earthquake! This is was big, it makes me feel it is going to lead to something happening. The radio never sad Camilla was dead, but i have a feeling that something is going to happen following the earthquake that has to do with her. But I am looking very forward to the rest of the book!