Thursday, 30 October 2014
Ask the Dust
Aaand part 4 of my September Moderate Book Binge. You thought I’d forgotten? Well, I haven’t.
I picked this book up in Limerick, which is a store where I keep happening to buy good books I’d never heard of before. I bought Crimson Petal and the White there; so when I saw Under the Skin there (also written by the lovely Faber) I didn’t hesitate much before I bought it. Ask the Dust happened to be the book right next to Under the Skin; it’s written by John Fante. It starts with a 3-page introduction by Charles Bukowski about why this book is awesome, so I thought that was enough incentive to give it a go. (I’ve never read Bukowski, but I’ve had to treat enough book covers at the library to know he’s a bit of a big deal.)
Ask the Dust is a story about Arturo Bandini, a struggling writer in Los Angeles. He is also the narrator of the story. Arturo’s quite an interesting character; he’s obviously a dreamer, because he often imagines what life is going to be like when he’s rich and famous. These thoughts seem to be more frequent when he’s bitter about other people. He also struggles with women and his understanding of them; he refuses a hooker who comes up to him, then follows her to her place as she takes another guy with her, he waits for her outside, and then when she finally takes him upstairs he flings money at her saying he only wants to talk.
You could describe him as a typical starving artist, but the way he shows you his life in LA is so confusing and weird, you start to feel for him. Even though he’s sometimes a really big creepy jackass. He’s an underdog who’s not an underdog at all; he’s hard to explain.
If you feel like you’re having a writer’s block, you’ll like this. It won’ help you with your writer’s block, but it’s a good read anyway.
(Oh and apparently they made this book into a movie with Colin Farrell who is kinda cute. Win!)
Until next time,