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He came along, kicking the snow. Here was a disgusted man. His name was Svevo Bandini, and he lived three blocks down that street. He was cold and there were holes in his shoes. That morning he had patched the holes on the inside with pieces of cardboard from a macaroni box. The macaroni in that box was not paid for. He had thought of that as he placed the cardboard inside He came along, kicking the snow. Here was a disgusted man. His name was Svevo Bandini, and he lived three blocks down that street. He was cold and there were holes in his shoes. That morning he had patched the holes on the inside with pieces of cardboard from a macaroni box. The macaroni in that box was not paid for. He had thought of that as he placed the cardboard inside his shoes.


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He came along, kicking the snow. Here was a disgusted man. His name was Svevo Bandini, and he lived three blocks down that street. He was cold and there were holes in his shoes. That morning he had patched the holes on the inside with pieces of cardboard from a macaroni box. The macaroni in that box was not paid for. He had thought of that as he placed the cardboard inside He came along, kicking the snow. Here was a disgusted man. His name was Svevo Bandini, and he lived three blocks down that street. He was cold and there were holes in his shoes. That morning he had patched the holes on the inside with pieces of cardboard from a macaroni box. The macaroni in that box was not paid for. He had thought of that as he placed the cardboard inside his shoes.

30 review for Wait Until Spring, Bandini

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”He liked the sound of the word. Women, women, women. He said it over and over because it was a secret sensation. Even at Mass, when they were fifty or a hundred of them around him, he reveled in the secrecy of his delights. And it was all a sin--the whole thing had the sticky sensation of evil. Even the sound of some words was a sin. Ripple. Supple. Nipple. All sins. Carnal. The flesh. Scarlet. Lips. All sins. When he said the Hail Mary. Hail Mary full of grace, the lord is with thee and blesse ”He liked the sound of the word. Women, women, women. He said it over and over because it was a secret sensation. Even at Mass, when they were fifty or a hundred of them around him, he reveled in the secrecy of his delights. And it was all a sin--the whole thing had the sticky sensation of evil. Even the sound of some words was a sin. Ripple. Supple. Nipple. All sins. Carnal. The flesh. Scarlet. Lips. All sins. When he said the Hail Mary. Hail Mary full of grace, the lord is with thee and blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. The word shook him like thunder. Fruit of thy womb. Another sin is born.” It took a long time for the gritty writer, Charles Bukowski, to find his audience, but he did eventually achieve a modest amount of fame and even more modest fortune from a slice of the reading public who wanted stories that were so tangible that the reader could taste the foul air and feel the grimy walls of desperation and poverty. Bukowski’s novels are more authentic than anything nonfiction prose can conjure. Bukowski found an influencer for his type of writing when he stumbled upon John Fante’s books at his local library. Fante’s novels were long out of print and nearly forgotten. In the 1950s, Fante had made a living writing mostly undeveloped screen plays for Hollywood. It was hack work, but it provided a steady paycheck. It was the1970s when Bukowski convinced his publisher, Black Sparrow Press, to bring Fante’s work back into the light of day. Bukowski called John Fante a God. I had read his most celebrated novel, Ask the Dust, many decades ago, and I was long overdue to reread it. I decided that I should expand my reading beyond his most famous novel and read the quartet in timeline order, rather than the order of publication. Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938) was his first Bandini novel, but remained unpublished until 1983. The Road to Los Angeles (1985) was next and then Ask the Dust (1939), followed by Dreams from Bunker Hill (1982). Ask the Dust is considered one of the quintessential novels about LA, and if you have doubts about reading the quartet, do make room for ATD in your reading queue. WUSB is set in Colorado, and Arturo Bandini’s father is a bricklayer who finds it hard to obtain work when there is too much snow on the ground...which in Colorado would be a frequent problem. The Bandini family is poor and proud. They are a family of grand passions. Humiliations are reacted to with fists, insults, and brooding anger. Arguments are emotional, overwrought affairs that thunder through their house like Shakespearean tempests. I was raised in a family where emotions were bottled and buried. Humiliations were ignored, but not forgotten. Revenge was served cold. The white heat of anger was seen as an indulgence best brought down to a simmer. Grief was stoically controlled. So as I was reading all these flagrant expressions of emotion, I was decidedly uncomfortable. As I started to settle into the novel, pulled along by Fante’s easy flowing prose, I started to understand that this might not be my family, but this was certainly a living breathing family somewhere. It is impossible to separate John Fante from Arturo Bandini. They are one and the same. Bandini may be living a larger, more embellished life than the one led by Fante, but the raw basis of their existence is the same. I was watching A Sad Flower in the Sand, a short documentary on John Fante. One of his friends said about him that she didn’t know if she could trust him because he would tell her two versions of a story about himself: one that was obviously embellished and one that seemed to be mostly true. It was only after she found out he was a novelist that she understood that he was sharing Bandini’s life with her. He obviously knew the difference between reality and fiction, but probably preferred the fictionalized version of himself, even though, I must say, the fictionalized version is no cakewalk. Bandini and Fante are both short, maybe five foot one, and one of the continual humiliations for Bandini is that his two younger brothers are shooting past him in height. Bandini is in love with Rosa Pinelli, but she struggles to take him seriously. Being taken seriously is going to prove to be an ongoing issue for Bandini in all aspects of his life. He idealizes Rosa to the point of an obsession, which is probably somewhat baffling to her, given that they have rarely spoken. It is easier to keep someone on a pedestal when worshipping her beauty without the hindrance of weighing her other characteristics, such as personality, opinions, faults, and virtues. Bandini’s mother has ”too much God in her,” and it drives most of the rest of the family crazy. Her middle son, August, has caught the religious virus, and she has hopes that he will become a priest. My Grandmother Ives was very religious and was very proud when one of her sons became a minister. She firmly believed that a mother that gave one son to the church was put in the VIP line to heaven. Maria Bandini hoped the same for herself. Despite all of her heavenly devotions, Svevo adores her, and she submits to his lusts like a dutiful wife should. Even as Svevo kicks the snow and rails against its existence, he still equates the beauty of it with his wife. ”The beautiful white snow was like the beautiful white wife of Svevo Bandini, so white, so fertile, lying in a white bed in a house up the street.” Pride, emotions, religious fever, and poverty eventually tear the Bandini family apart, but it is those aspects that also prove to be the glue that draws them back together. Arturo has not yet discovered the solace/pain that will await him as a struggling writer. LA will soon be a beckoning, and the tap, tap, tapping of typewriter keys will become a metronome for telling his stories. A Sad Flower in the Sand is available on YouTube if anyone is interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsO0V... If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    Wait Until Spring, Bandini is a bittersweet novel – it is bitter with its lucid sadness and sweet with its poetical imagery. Family life, parents and childhood: a subject in thousands of books but every great author finds his own way to tell the story about his coming of age. At once Federico and Arturo left the table. This was old stuff to them. They knew he was going to tell them for the ten thousandth time that he made four cents a day carrying stone on his back, when he was a boy, back in the Wait Until Spring, Bandini is a bittersweet novel – it is bitter with its lucid sadness and sweet with its poetical imagery. Family life, parents and childhood: a subject in thousands of books but every great author finds his own way to tell the story about his coming of age. At once Federico and Arturo left the table. This was old stuff to them. They knew he was going to tell them for the ten thousandth time that he made four cents a day carrying stone on his back, when he was a boy, back in the Old Country, carrying stone on his back, when he was a boy. The story hypnotized Svevo Bandini. It was dream stuff that suffocated and blurred Helmer the banker, holes in his shoes, a house that was not paid for, and children that must be fed. When I was a boy: dream stuff. The progression of years, the crossing of an ocean, the accumulation of mouths to feed, the heaping of trouble upon trouble, year upon year, was something to boast about too, like the gathering of great wealth. He could not buy shoes with it, but it had happened to him. Fathers are not always the paragons to their sons… Even in the time of the Great Depression childhood remains a wondrous season of life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    It has been said of John Fante that he is one of America’s “criminally neglected authors.” I would add that this is not a misdemeanor but a felony. I only discovered his work when I read Darrell Kastin’s wonderfully entertaining Shadowboxing With Bukowski and learned that Fante had been an influence on the Barfly. Wait Until Spring, Bandini is Fante’s introduction to the world of Svevo Bandini, one of the criminally neglected characters in literature. First published in 1938, between the Great De It has been said of John Fante that he is one of America’s “criminally neglected authors.” I would add that this is not a misdemeanor but a felony. I only discovered his work when I read Darrell Kastin’s wonderfully entertaining Shadowboxing With Bukowski and learned that Fante had been an influence on the Barfly. Wait Until Spring, Bandini is Fante’s introduction to the world of Svevo Bandini, one of the criminally neglected characters in literature. First published in 1938, between the Great Depression and the Second World War, Fante describes the lives and misadventures of the Bandini clan in Colorado. No doubt drawing on his own Italian-American experience, Fante reveals how the fiercely American, yet never abandoned Italian descent of Svevo shapes his world and his family’s. The reader meets a plethora of wonderful characters: Svevo’s wife Maria and their sons Arturo, Federico and August (and I could not help wondering if they had any influence at all on Mario Puzo’s Corleone boys – Santino, Fredo and Michael) as well as Svevo himself, his friend Rocco, and his hated mother in law Donna Toscana. (Donna damn near steals the show). Like Cher’s Moonstruck, Lawrence Kasdan’s 1990 I Love You to Death, and any number of lesser Italian American tragi-comedies, the lyrical quality of the dialogue and the fine lines between misery, joy and reverence must be experienced to be understood, but it was entertaining and many times uproariously funny. The more sober parts introspective, culturally and timely observant, were like a snapshot of a time and place. His vivid description of a time before radio and TV, when a dime would get you into a theater, when families savored the experience of a fresh roasted chicken like a feast was mesmerizing and the pages turned and turned. Fante’s writing is inspired and well crafted and this was a joy to read. I’ll revisit Fante for the rest of the Bandini books (four in all) and anything else by him I can find.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Edita

    Now that I am an old man I cannot look back upon Wait Until Spring, Bandini without losing its trail in the past. Sometimes, lying in bed at night, a phrase or a paragraph or a character from that early work will mesmerize me and in a half dream I will entwine it in phrases and draw from it a kind of melodious memory of an old bedroom in Colorado, or my mother, or my father, or my brothers and sister. I cannot imagine that what I wrote so long ago will soothe me as does this half dream, and yet Now that I am an old man I cannot look back upon Wait Until Spring, Bandini without losing its trail in the past. Sometimes, lying in bed at night, a phrase or a paragraph or a character from that early work will mesmerize me and in a half dream I will entwine it in phrases and draw from it a kind of melodious memory of an old bedroom in Colorado, or my mother, or my father, or my brothers and sister. I cannot imagine that what I wrote so long ago will soothe me as does this half dream, and yet I cannot bring myself to look back, to open this first novel and read it again. I am fearful, I cannot bear being exposed by my own work. I am sure I shall never read this book again. But of this I am sure: all of the people of my writing life, all of my characters are to be found in this early work. Nothing of myself is there any more, only the memory of old bedrooms, and the sound of my mother’s slippers walking to the kitchen. —Author's Note

  5. 4 out of 5

    robin friedman

    Arturo Bandini Comes Of Age John Fante (1909 -- 1983) remains one of the least appreciated American writers. Readers often come to Fante through Charles Bukowski, who admired his work intensely. There are many similarities in mood between the two. Fante wrote several novels and stories centering upon a character named Arturo Bandini of which "Ask the Dust" remains the best-known. Fante's first published novel, and chronologically the first about Bandini is this 1938 book, "Wait until Spring, Bandi Arturo Bandini Comes Of Age John Fante (1909 -- 1983) remains one of the least appreciated American writers. Readers often come to Fante through Charles Bukowski, who admired his work intensely. There are many similarities in mood between the two. Fante wrote several novels and stories centering upon a character named Arturo Bandini of which "Ask the Dust" remains the best-known. Fante's first published novel, and chronologically the first about Bandini is this 1938 book, "Wait until Spring, Bandini" which tells the story of Bandini as an early adolescent and of his family. In Bukowski's novel, "Women", the primary character, Chianski, describes Fante as his "favorite writer" and says of both "Ask the Dust" and "Wait until Spring, Bandini" that they display "total emotion" and that Fante was "a very brave man". The story is set in a small fictitious Colorado town called Rocklin and describes a poor, struggling Italian family. The father, Svevo, is a bricklayer and an Italian immigrant who struggles largely unsuccessfully to pay the mortgage, buy groceries, and care for his family together with his passions for gambling and alcohol. His wife, Maria, is deeply Catholic. Maria's mother loathes Svevo and increases the tension in the marriage. There are three children, Arturo, the oldest, 14, August, and Federico. They fight and compete, as brothers do. Arturo loves baseball and dreams of playing in the major leagues. The book is written simply in a beautifully lyric, rhythmic prose. It reminds the reader, if a reminder is necessary, that a novel need not be ponderous and obscure to be moving and worthwhile. Fante stays within himself and his subject, with detailed scenes of the life of the Bandini family. The book is tough minded and, as Bukowski noted, painfully emotionally honest. It describes an immigrant family that lives on the edge of poverty. The Bandinis also are social outcasts. Svevo and Maria live in a state of tension and the boys are more than usually violent. Catholicism has a large role in the book, as the members of the family display varying attitudes towards their Church. The boys attend a parochial school taught by nuns and pay no fees as a result of the poverty of the family. Sexual tension gradually becomes the predominant theme of the book. Young Arturo has a crush on an Italian girl of a poor family, Rosa, but pursues her in the clumsiest of fashions. Svevo apparently becomes involved with a wealthy, educated widow, Effie Hildegarde. The novel works towards the resolution of the passions of both father and son. "Wait until Spring, Bandini" is unsparing in its portrayals of immigrant life in the West. It is a coming-of-age novel for readers willing to go off the beaten path in exploring American literature. Robin Friedman

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    This was my first John Fante book, and it was an interesting start to his work. I had originally intended to begin with Ask the Dust, which appealed to me in that it follows a misanthropic writer, but after purchasing the Bandini Quartet, I knew I had to start at the beginning and go in chronological order through the character's life. For those who like plot-heavy books, this is definitely not for you. Not much happens in this book at all. We follow primarily Arturo (Arthur) Bandini, a poor Ital This was my first John Fante book, and it was an interesting start to his work. I had originally intended to begin with Ask the Dust, which appealed to me in that it follows a misanthropic writer, but after purchasing the Bandini Quartet, I knew I had to start at the beginning and go in chronological order through the character's life. For those who like plot-heavy books, this is definitely not for you. Not much happens in this book at all. We follow primarily Arturo (Arthur) Bandini, a poor Italian-American boy living with his two younger brothers, mother, and father in a run-down house where they barely have enough money to feed themselves, sometimes not at all (surviving on 'benevolence' and credit). He goes to school, he moons over the love of his life Rosa, and he has a tumultuous relationship with his father who he both admires and hates, and his mother who he loves but believes is weak. The characters in this book are not likeable, but they feel very real. The writing is simple (much like Bukowski, who was heavily inspired by Fante) and to the point, and can often be repetitive. If you find the first chapter of this book difficult to get into though, please continue, as this is told from the perspective of the father Svevo and is by far the least interesting chapter of the whole book. I'm interested to see what the next book in Bandini's chronology will be like (having been published posthumously after Fante's death I believe), but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how Arturo Bandini's character evolves over his lifetime.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Wolfgang

    Fante's writing style is in some ways so refreshing given how so many current writers flex their vocabulary as a bodybuilder on too much steroids (kind of like this sentence). His words aren't overwrought, and there's very little that's unnecessary. When he describes something it's simple, yet still poignant. The story revolves around a young immigrant boy in Colorado in the 20s I believe, along with his unemployed father, and catholic mother. Fante's two male main characters can be truly despic Fante's writing style is in some ways so refreshing given how so many current writers flex their vocabulary as a bodybuilder on too much steroids (kind of like this sentence). His words aren't overwrought, and there's very little that's unnecessary. When he describes something it's simple, yet still poignant. The story revolves around a young immigrant boy in Colorado in the 20s I believe, along with his unemployed father, and catholic mother. Fante's two male main characters can be truly despicable in what they do through the story. Due to the way that Fante gives you their story though, you come to understand their motivations, and almost relate to their weaknesses. While the mother is portrayed as a martyr that the author seemingly wants you to loathe for being one, and feel pity on at the same time. He just does a wonderful job of giving you a description of the hard life of being poor, and the people that live in it, and how it affects them. Enough superlatives, read the book. It's really good.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    This is an exceptional book. I finished it in a couple of days, which for me is something. I want to thank my friend Christine for bringing Fante to my attention. His writing is clear, and flows so easy. The story itself is about an Italian-American family in CO in the late thirties. Life for the Bandini's is a stuggle, both financially and emotionally. Yet for what could be seen as a very grim read, there is within Fante's story a measure of hope. This is one of a quartet of books that follow Artu This is an exceptional book. I finished it in a couple of days, which for me is something. I want to thank my friend Christine for bringing Fante to my attention. His writing is clear, and flows so easy. The story itself is about an Italian-American family in CO in the late thirties. Life for the Bandini's is a stuggle, both financially and emotionally. Yet for what could be seen as a very grim read, there is within Fante's story a measure of hope. This is one of a quartet of books that follow Arturo Bandini. I look forward to reading them all.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This was a finely written book, not pretentious or superficial (as we have seen by other american writers) but just right. I laughed, I lived with the characters. I felt the last chapter was a bit sudden, after accurate descriptions of facts and situations, boom, now I end it like this because i want to end it. Although one can make something with this sort of ending, I felt it a bit too easy and short. That is why i had 4 stars in my head, but the overall impression was so good, that I ended up This was a finely written book, not pretentious or superficial (as we have seen by other american writers) but just right. I laughed, I lived with the characters. I felt the last chapter was a bit sudden, after accurate descriptions of facts and situations, boom, now I end it like this because i want to end it. Although one can make something with this sort of ending, I felt it a bit too easy and short. That is why i had 4 stars in my head, but the overall impression was so good, that I ended up giving 5. Alex Capus is better at translating in German, than he is in writing on his own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mat

    Hats off to John Fante again. And full marks. If it were possible to give this 6 or 7 stars, I would. Absolutely amazing. The guy was a genius novelist. What can I say? This was the right book to read after 1933 Was a Bad Year because it is a much better, more refined and extensive extrapolation of that story. I believe that Wait Until Spring, Bandini was Fante's first published book and what a way to enter the literary world. The fact that he remained obscure and largely forgotten until his timel Hats off to John Fante again. And full marks. If it were possible to give this 6 or 7 stars, I would. Absolutely amazing. The guy was a genius novelist. What can I say? This was the right book to read after 1933 Was a Bad Year because it is a much better, more refined and extensive extrapolation of that story. I believe that Wait Until Spring, Bandini was Fante's first published book and what a way to enter the literary world. The fact that he remained obscure and largely forgotten until his timely resurrection at the hands of his idol Charles Bukowski tells you something about editors and the publishing world. In other words, many of them don't know talent when they see it. Imagine the best and rawest of Bukowski's prose combined with the psychological depth of analysis from Dostoevsky's renowned works and that will give you some idea of the powerful potions contained within his novels. In this book, we see a depression-era Italian family fallen on hard times and struggling to not only survive but keep the family together. We have Arturo Bandini, the eldest son, who is a typically restless young kid interested in baseball and girls and he is the main protagonist and through his eyes the novel is shaped and we see the story through his bias and his way of telling it. His younger brother, August, (the second son) is the pious one and goody-two-shoes who goes to Church, reads the Bible regularly and is even an exemplary altar boy. Their mother, Mary (or sometimes called Maria) is equally pious and therefore adores her devout son August. The third and youngest son, Federico, is a bit of a scallywag and prankster but is such a cute lad that many people tend to forgive him. The father, Svevo Bandini, and often just referred to as 'Bandini' is a proud bricklayer currently out of work until he meets a rich widow adulteress called Hildegaard. Recalling how in other Fante novels, the father was typically portrayed as a philanderer, I immediately knew what was coming but what took me by surprise with this novel is how it switches lens in the second-half and you see how things happened through the father's eyes and this gives us a very different picture on the whole story, allowing the reader to begin painting a sympathetic side for the father. This was also amazing as Fante clearly plays with your imagination and expectations initially and then slaps you across the face with a completely new angle on the story, making you reassess your judgments of characters such as Bandini and even Mary his wife. Mary slowly loses the plot as Bandini's absence from the hearth and home continues and this is both harrowing and tragic for the young boys who no longer know how to handle her. One of the most unforgettable characters in this book who makes a somewhat 'cameo' performance here is their 200-pound double-chinned grandmother Toscana who likes to condemn everyone and tease the boys with nickels and dimes. She is so horrible but hilarious at the same time! I don't want to give too much more away than this. Read this. Read Fante. He deserves to be read. here you will find a writer who put his blood and soul into these words and sentences and did not receive the recognition he deserved until Bukowski stumbled upon his work in a public library one day in LA. A coincidence you might say? This makes me think that Burroughs may have been onto something when he said - "there is no such thing as a coincidence." Things happen for a reason. Bukowski was destined to not only be published and become famous but to discover Fante and turn the rest of the world onto him. God bless both of them for all the wonderful books they left behind!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andy Weston

    First published in 1938 and set in the 1920s this is a story of a poor immigrant Italian family in the years of Depression. It’s a sad and powerful piece of writing which, due to Fante’s skilful use of humour, is an absolute pleasure to read. Fante must have considered writing this as a narration on part of young Arturo, but the fact that he hasn’t makes the book of much idea appeal. As Christmas approaches in the bleak Colorado winter the Bandini family is threatened in terms of their Catholic First published in 1938 and set in the 1920s this is a story of a poor immigrant Italian family in the years of Depression. It’s a sad and powerful piece of writing which, due to Fante’s skilful use of humour, is an absolute pleasure to read. Fante must have considered writing this as a narration on part of young Arturo, but the fact that he hasn’t makes the book of much idea appeal. As Christmas approaches in the bleak Colorado winter the Bandini family is threatened in terms of their Catholic faith, the once close binds between them, as their poverty really bites. Yet from the miserable subject matter, Fante makes cheering reading.  The plain beauty of the writing makes the occasional phrase stand out all the more vividly, and highlight his perception for human nature, and specifically adolescence. His name was Arturo, but he wanted to be called John. His last name was Bandini, and he wanted it to be Jones. His mother and father were Italians, but he wanted to be an American. His father was a bricklayer, but he wanted to be a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. They lived in Rocklin, Colorado, population ten thousand, but he wanted to live in Denver, thirty miles away. His face was freckled, but he wanted it to be clear. He went to a Catholic school, but he wanted to go to a public school. He had a girl named Rosa, but she hated hi. He was an altar boy, but he was a devil and hated altar boys. He wanted to be a good boy, but he was afraid his friends would call him a good boy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lex Poot

    Years ago I read Ask the Dust by John Fante and was blown away by it. A neglected author who wrote stories like Steinbeck. I understood that it was his lone masterpiece. I have reread the book several times over the years. However since found out that his other great work was this book. Once again I found myself immersed in Bandini's world. Though not as great as Ask the Dust I do think this is a book worthy to be inducted in the American Canon. Years ago I read Ask the Dust by John Fante and was blown away by it. A neglected author who wrote stories like Steinbeck. I understood that it was his lone masterpiece. I have reread the book several times over the years. However since found out that his other great work was this book. Once again I found myself immersed in Bandini's world. Though not as great as Ask the Dust I do think this is a book worthy to be inducted in the American Canon.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chris Gager

    I already had "Ask the Dust" on my "to-read" list before I encountered a bit more info on the author and decided to start from the beginning of the Bandini saga. Apparently this book will focus on the life of the father(Svevo) of Arturo, the protagonist of the last three books. What got my attention was learning that John Fante had grown up in Boulder(called Rocklin in the book) in the teens and twenties. Then he emigrated to to SoCal to pursue his writing career. This book begins in 1926(I assu I already had "Ask the Dust" on my "to-read" list before I encountered a bit more info on the author and decided to start from the beginning of the Bandini saga. Apparently this book will focus on the life of the father(Svevo) of Arturo, the protagonist of the last three books. What got my attention was learning that John Fante had grown up in Boulder(called Rocklin in the book) in the teens and twenties. Then he emigrated to to SoCal to pursue his writing career. This book begins in 1926(I assume), thirty years before my family arrived in Boulder. The Bandinis live on Walnut, a for-real street in Boulder, one block south of Pearl St. and one block north of Canyon. The house is on "upper" Walnut, west of Broadway. That part of Walnut was lost(along with Water St. and the bus station) when Canyon Blvd. was built sometime in the sixties. I remember some of those little "porched" houses, still there in the seventies and early eighties at least. Fante attended parochial schools in Boulder and Denver(Regis H.S. - where some of my adult friends went to school - Frank and Pat Kelly, both basketball players and flag football teammates of mine.) The parochial school in Boulder when I was there was across the street from Casey Jr. High, but might have been a newer/replacement building than the school from Fante's time. My memory is hazy there. Anyway, I do like to make(if and when possible) historical/geographical connections to my own history when I read books. More fun(and nostalgic) that way. So far? I'm liking it ... Getting in a bit deeper as the author brings the reader right into the middle of the stressed-out Bandini family and its loves, hates, resentments etc. He writes from inside each character's head and it ain't a pretty story. The writing has a blunt immediacy to it that is very attractive. Somewhat suggestive of Gertrude Stein's experimental prose - only better. Dad is the big problem(natch) - a real loser and pretty angry abut it. When I was a kid in Boulder I don't recall any Italian families, though there must have been some. The only "Italian" memories I have of that period are of the two family(same family) restaurants out in Louisville, east of Boulder: Colacci's and The Blue Parrot. I'm going to see if they're still in business. I just checked: Colacci's closed in 1990 and The Blue Parrott just this past year(2017) after nearly 100 years in business. Maybe the Bandini's went there! And guess what? Last night as read further the author mentions the Dago coal miners in Louisville! Liking this story better all the time. Curious ... the G'reads title says "Arthur Bandini #1" instead of Arturo - I guess Arturo will Americanize his name at some point. Moving on ... Strange, I keep wanting this book to be a sort of happy semi-memoir of good old Boulder, but IT'S NOT THAT! Nothing wrong with Boulder here, except that the book is set in a rather grim winter, which is not the best time to be there. Boulder actually has very nice weather most of the time, even in winter-time. This book is set in a snow-swaddled and freezing time period. Interesting to read about how different things were in the twenties. Where the police station, library and municipal building are now there was big cow pasture - right in the middle of town! With Boulder Creek running right alongside. The book also mentions railroad tracks where Canyon Blvd. is today. I don't remember if they were there in the late 50's, but I'm pretty sure they were gone when I returned in 1970. Finished last night with this one-of-a-kinder. Intense, in the moment visit inside the lives and minds of a poor, stressed-out family. Part of the stress results from who the parents are and part results from their place in society. MONEY! Despite the allure of it, Svevo comes back to do right(if he's capable of it) and Arturo is torn by sympathy/antipathy towards his f'ed up parents. His own life seems pretty challenging and then HE suffers a big loss. Sad ... the story will continue with "The Road to Los Angeles," "Ask the Dust," and "The View from Bunker Hill,"(?) I will read all of them. I have a feeling that Arturo/Arthur's personality/emotional makeup will continue to be a BIG problem for him. 4.25* rounds down to 4*.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lorenzo Berardi

    I remember reading this one in the summer of 2005 while sitting in the hall of the old Deichmanske Library in Oslo. (I wonder if that library is still open. It's a place I like to recall). The adventures of a young Arturo Bandini and his family in cold Colorado were really entertaining and particularly easy to read for the poor written English reader I was at that time. Yet, the simplicity of style didn't affect the goodness of this novel. I confess how I fall in love too easily with books flirtin I remember reading this one in the summer of 2005 while sitting in the hall of the old Deichmanske Library in Oslo. (I wonder if that library is still open. It's a place I like to recall). The adventures of a young Arturo Bandini and his family in cold Colorado were really entertaining and particularly easy to read for the poor written English reader I was at that time. Yet, the simplicity of style didn't affect the goodness of this novel. I confess how I fall in love too easily with books flirting with childhood memories, teenage romanticism and family relations. And this one has this all, adding a lot of hard cheese on the normally technicolored postcard of the "American dream" The way young Bandini chases the girl he thinks he is in love with at school reminded me of some passages starring Becky in "Tom Sawyer". There are also elements of Steinbeck in this way of writing, but Fante was definitely able to create a style and a world of his own. In this book one cannot forget the extremely realistic way the author portrayed Arturo's mum, dad and brothers. Besides, very few writers wrote about the hardness of a poverty-stricken wintertime and the anticipation of a better spring in such a good way. "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" is hilarious, melancholic and poignant at the same time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aruna

    Simple but very effective writing. I like anything that deals with childhood memories and teenage crushes and Fante seems to have depicted this so effortlessly. The most striking thing for me was how Arturo thinks of his mother. Knowing how beautiful she was and wishing it now that she wasn't, hoping she was more like his friends' mother, kissing an old photograph of hers. I have never ever before read or known this feeling to be true and now that I have read it, it only seems natural. I guess, Simple but very effective writing. I like anything that deals with childhood memories and teenage crushes and Fante seems to have depicted this so effortlessly. The most striking thing for me was how Arturo thinks of his mother. Knowing how beautiful she was and wishing it now that she wasn't, hoping she was more like his friends' mother, kissing an old photograph of hers. I have never ever before read or known this feeling to be true and now that I have read it, it only seems natural. I guess, in essence that's the brilliance of Fante.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rod

    Beautiful, beautiful stuff, and real, so real. I didn't have to read Fante's bio to understand that this is essentially a roman à clef; I could feel it in every written heartache. The chapter with the cameo tore me up. Beautiful, beautiful stuff, and real, so real. I didn't have to read Fante's bio to understand that this is essentially a roman à clef; I could feel it in every written heartache. The chapter with the cameo tore me up.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jovana Autumn

    This was such a delight to read. I honestly think that I need the full list of Bukowski’s book recommendations because most of them are a hit for me. I read The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and Journey to the End of the Night because he said those were great – and they were. He praised Hamsun as one of his favorite writers and now that I read 7 books of Hamsun he is one of my favorite writers as well. Found this book at a 50% discount at one of the near bookstores and bought it. Fante is under This was such a delight to read. I honestly think that I need the full list of Bukowski’s book recommendations because most of them are a hit for me. I read The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and Journey to the End of the Night because he said those were great – and they were. He praised Hamsun as one of his favorite writers and now that I read 7 books of Hamsun he is one of my favorite writers as well. Found this book at a 50% discount at one of the near bookstores and bought it. Fante is underrated because this is one of the better psychological realistic novels I have read. The complex inner life of every character is showcased on 200 pages, some lengthy books can’t do this well, but Fante did it. The book was published in 1938, the plot of the novel is the struggles of an American-Italian poor Bandini family. Most of the focus is on the father of the family, the bricklayer Svevo and his eldest son Arturo. Svevo struggles with finding work in the winter and hopes that his luck will turn, he escapes from his life by doing some work for the richest widow in town. Arturo is hopelessly in love with a girl in his class, Rosa, (view spoiler)[who later on dies. (hide spoiler)] His love for her causes him to be emotionally torn between god and his sinful love towards Rosa and women in general. The book ends in Svevo’s return to his wife and kids after abandoning the widow who had insulted his son. The book has some autobiographical elements, being that Fante was of the same descent as his characters. The depiction of poverty is very well described, along with the feeling of shame and pride -I think it has to do with the time in which Fante wrote the book, the 1930s were tough because of The Great Depression. I will continue reading the Bandini quartet because I am pleasantly surprised by the depth this book managed to convey in such a little amount of pages. 5/5.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ned

    Evov Bandini, with his broken English and memories of Italy, can't quite make it as a stonecutter in Rocklin CO. His 3 sons and his devout wife are more than he can bear, and making a few extra dollars at the rich widow's house in town backfires horribly when his wife becomes despondent and believes he is cheating. The real story is of the awkward 14 year oldest son, Arturo, who dreams of baseball and is hopelessly in love with Rosa, the dark-haired girl who never acknowledges his existence and Evov Bandini, with his broken English and memories of Italy, can't quite make it as a stonecutter in Rocklin CO. His 3 sons and his devout wife are more than he can bear, and making a few extra dollars at the rich widow's house in town backfires horribly when his wife becomes despondent and believes he is cheating. The real story is of the awkward 14 year oldest son, Arturo, who dreams of baseball and is hopelessly in love with Rosa, the dark-haired girl who never acknowledges his existence and the story of her turns surprisingly. This is a catholic story, with the mores of the time and fear of hell vs purgatory captured perfectly from a young boy's perspective. This was published in 1938, and the mores and feel of this time in small town America is spot on. The confessional is cathartic to discharge the guilt and stanch the fear of the afterlife (should it arrive). This story was told in exactly the same time frame (Dec / Jan) in the Midwest, where I live, and I've had this coincidence in stories before. Fante is a beautiful writer, who captures the agony and the longings of the many characters, each portrayed in all their peculiarities. The story had the exuberance and catastrophic feel of "Angela's ashes", where the young boy deals with what keeps coming at him and has no adult backup. The tragic irony is nearly unbearable, as the good acts are misunderstood and intentions misconstrued. Fante has a natural flow and gift for describing the land, the weather and the human beings that inhabit it. The stark realism of extreme poverty is balanced by the hope. The confused and contorted Arturo, family in turmoil and girl lost, is seeking "spring" and feels the February sun brining it on... I look forward to the other three books in this series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lupercal

    Fante's first published novel (the earlier 'The Road to Los Angeles' was discovered by his widow and son in a filing cabinet after his death), 1938's 'Wait for Spring' is a companion piece to 1940's 'Dago Red' - which was re-released as 'The Wine of Youth', with additional, later stories added. Like Bukowski, Fante used a thinly disguised alter ego to make novels and stories of near biography. Unlike Bukowski there is a naked, uncontrived innocence which chimes through Fante's best work. 'Dago Re Fante's first published novel (the earlier 'The Road to Los Angeles' was discovered by his widow and son in a filing cabinet after his death), 1938's 'Wait for Spring' is a companion piece to 1940's 'Dago Red' - which was re-released as 'The Wine of Youth', with additional, later stories added. Like Bukowski, Fante used a thinly disguised alter ego to make novels and stories of near biography. Unlike Bukowski there is a naked, uncontrived innocence which chimes through Fante's best work. 'Dago Red', with its tragi-comic stories of childhood in Denver in the 20's, will be instantly familiar if, like me, you came upon the short stories first. In 'Wait For Spring' however, the POV shifts chapter to chapter from the father, to mother, and eventually son. Arturo is 14 now, and oddly he sides with his father in this book, whereas 'Dago Red' sees him empathising with his mother. However there is an extraordinary point in this novel, at which the reader's sympathies are tosed from one parent to another. When I saw it coming I literally said out loud, (something like) "I can see what you're going to try to do. No way. If you pull this off..." He did. What a writer. I prefer this to 'Ask the Dust', and that's saying a lot.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lloyd Kerns

    “The clouds had banked at the peaks and though the sun still shone, there was a touch of cold in the air.” “...the priests dry intonation floated through the cold church like a tired bird doomed to lift its wing once more on a journey that had no end.” “She dropped it into his palm and he examined it, pretending it was a most extraordinary thing, but it was only a key and after awhile he shoved it into his pocket.” These are a few snippets that were short enough that I didn’t mind typing them out, “The clouds had banked at the peaks and though the sun still shone, there was a touch of cold in the air.” “...the priests dry intonation floated through the cold church like a tired bird doomed to lift its wing once more on a journey that had no end.” “She dropped it into his palm and he examined it, pretending it was a most extraordinary thing, but it was only a key and after awhile he shoved it into his pocket.” These are a few snippets that were short enough that I didn’t mind typing them out, but man, this could go on forever. Fante is highly underrated. Ask the Dust was great but this was in no way a lesser work. Sometimes people ask me if reading multiple books a time ever causes confusion, my reply is always No. But this time, yes. I also read a novella by Andre Dubus at the same time that included a father who caused his family grief and a young boy dealing with an obsession with Catholicism and an infatuation with a girl similar to his age—but out of his league. Both these masters of the craft wrote on these themes so well that I did not mind the similarities at all and wish the stories went on.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mel Bossa

    Touching. Real. Stayed up too late to finish it. Maybe it's because I'm half Italian and oh, the pathos. But what really got me was the bare to the bone inner dialogue of the characters, especially Arturo's. There was so much honesty in that kid. The preface of this edition in which John Fante writes that he's an old man and nothing of him remains that is in this book, his first, except for the sound of his mother's slippers on the floor as she shuffled to the kitchen... It's that kind of Italian n Touching. Real. Stayed up too late to finish it. Maybe it's because I'm half Italian and oh, the pathos. But what really got me was the bare to the bone inner dialogue of the characters, especially Arturo's. There was so much honesty in that kid. The preface of this edition in which John Fante writes that he's an old man and nothing of him remains that is in this book, his first, except for the sound of his mother's slippers on the floor as she shuffled to the kitchen... It's that kind of Italian nostalgia that gets me every time. Jewish writers do it for me too:-) I love this book. So glad I picked this up.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kye Alfred Hillig

    This book shows how miscommunication can tear people apart. You get to watch how mistakes can snowball into tragedy. This poor family is down at the bottom with no money. They love each other but they just can't seem to get it write. You hate characters and then you love them and like Run Rabbit Run you want to sit down and tell the characters why their lives are so fucked up. John Fante was way ahead of his time. I definitely suggest this book to folks who enjoy Authors like Bukowski or Hemingw This book shows how miscommunication can tear people apart. You get to watch how mistakes can snowball into tragedy. This poor family is down at the bottom with no money. They love each other but they just can't seem to get it write. You hate characters and then you love them and like Run Rabbit Run you want to sit down and tell the characters why their lives are so fucked up. John Fante was way ahead of his time. I definitely suggest this book to folks who enjoy Authors like Bukowski or Hemingway.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ruby Tombstone Lives!

    Strange how many people have shelved this as "contemporary", given it was published in 1938. How OLD are these reviewers? Strange how many people have shelved this as "contemporary", given it was published in 1938. How OLD are these reviewers?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I was relieved to find this much closer in quality to Ask the Dust, which I love almost as much as my firstborn, than to The Road to Los Angeles, which left no doubt as to why it remained unpublished during Fante's life (see my reviews here and here). This one was actually a refreshing change of pace from both of them as it focused more on the Bandinis as a family unit than solely on eldest son Arturo, who would go on to protagonize the later stories. But the growth from Los Angeles to Bandini is I was relieved to find this much closer in quality to Ask the Dust, which I love almost as much as my firstborn, than to The Road to Los Angeles, which left no doubt as to why it remained unpublished during Fante's life (see my reviews here and here). This one was actually a refreshing change of pace from both of them as it focused more on the Bandinis as a family unit than solely on eldest son Arturo, who would go on to protagonize the later stories. But the growth from Los Angeles to Bandini is as obvious as it is artful. The misanthropy and misogyny is dialed way down, though you still see the trait in Arturo's father Svevo, and you understand how Arturo (and Fante himself?) could have turned out the way he did with a father like that. The added realism, largely due to the milder character defects, adds a richness and nuance that were mostly absent in Fante's first book. A couple areas of nuance that Fante handled masterfully were Arturo's feelings toward his mother (and by extension all women), and his relationship with Catholicism, which he would go on to struggle with even more epically in Dust. Particularly regarding the former, there are some fascinating passages, especially toward the end, depicting Arturo's simultaneous love and hatred of his mother. Likewise with his father, who does some pretty heinous things, yet is believably depicted as almost a victim of circumstances, laying bare the despair of poverty. There is clear thought and suffering put into these characters, which you can't really say for Los Angeles. Though much better than his first effort, and enjoyably familiar for one who loves both Ask the Dust and the Bandini character in general, it's still missing that giddy, almost delirious kineticism that Fante's masterpiece displays. The language is much improved here, and he begins flashing around what I've come to think of as almost a signature in his brilliant imagery, but Bandini only flirts with the manic heights that Dust sustains throughout. This is disappointing in a way, as I read Dust and wanted Fante to be my writing hero, this unknown, underappreciated artist whose brilliance only I and a handful of enlightened others could recognize. After reading his two previous books I'm suspecting that Dust is more lightning in a bottle, the convergence of a perfect set of circumstances -- brilliance, frenetic energy, maturing as a writer, truly comprehending the material -- that produced a single, staggering work of genius. I'm going to check out The Wine of Youth to see if the work he published directly after Dust may have retained any of its magic. And you know, I think I'll be okay if it doesn't. There's nothing wrong with only producing one of the greatest U.S. books ever. I would still recommend Bandini to any fans of good literature, though I'd also still recommend you read Ask the Dust first. Not Bad Reviews @pointblaek

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth P.

    This is an excellent coming-of-age novel that chronicles a family of poor Italian immigrants living in Colorado in (I think) the 1920's. It's winter in Colorado, freezing cold, and Svevo Bandini, bricklayer, is out of work. His wife and three sons are hungry and poorly clothed. Suffice it to say that Svevo Bandini is angry about all this. Bricklayers don't work in winter. To make matters worse he's a Wop, a Dago. The story is steeped in Italian heritage and Catholicism. Svevo's palpable rage is This is an excellent coming-of-age novel that chronicles a family of poor Italian immigrants living in Colorado in (I think) the 1920's. It's winter in Colorado, freezing cold, and Svevo Bandini, bricklayer, is out of work. His wife and three sons are hungry and poorly clothed. Suffice it to say that Svevo Bandini is angry about all this. Bricklayers don't work in winter. To make matters worse he's a Wop, a Dago. The story is steeped in Italian heritage and Catholicism. Svevo's palpable rage is conveyed with a wonderful narrative voice. Inside Bandini's head we feel the anger, we live it. Desperate, he gambles and loses, he drinks. The family deteriorates. Fourteen year old son Arturo is the chief protagonist in this tale. Dad's anger takes deep root in Arturo's mind. Poverty is a motherfucker. Ragged overcoat, holes in ones shoes, it's difficult even in the twenties. It doesn't help to be Italian and short. Yet Arturo's fantasies soar above it all. In superb fourteen year old fashion he is the center fielder for the New York Yankees, he marries the lovely Rosa Pinelli. Oh, eighth grade love can be strong. I almost remember it! John Fante excels with the narrative voice that depicts young Arturo. This is a top shelf first novel from a writer whom I only recently discovered. The book wraps up with a powerful father-son moment that involves a mangy dog that keeps emerging with putrid dead animals in it's jaws. It's very strong symbolism that I haven't figured out. I suppose it doesn't matter. The imagery is powerful. Read this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nahid Dolatshahi Piroz

    This is by far one of my best purchase in books. Once I started to read it, I couldn’t put it down. It is amazing! His writing is superb — not trying to hard, direct and well paced. And the story matches the writing! This is an incredible story about a family where the parents are Italian immigrants with 3 American boys - atleast that's how they would like to be perceived as, who struggle their way through winter. In the face of a sudden visit from Maria’s terribly judgmental mother, Svevo Bandin This is by far one of my best purchase in books. Once I started to read it, I couldn’t put it down. It is amazing! His writing is superb — not trying to hard, direct and well paced. And the story matches the writing! This is an incredible story about a family where the parents are Italian immigrants with 3 American boys - atleast that's how they would like to be perceived as, who struggle their way through winter. In the face of a sudden visit from Maria’s terribly judgmental mother, Svevo Bandini leaves his family for ten days, finally returning on Christmas Eve. During this time, Maria tries to keep her faith in him, but her faith in him fades as there are more and more evidence that he is living with a rich widow. The internal pressure in the house continues to grow. "Strange times. It was an evening of only living and breathing. They sat around the stove and waited for something to happen. Federico crawled to her chair and placed his hand on her knee. Still in prayer, she shook her head like one hypnotized. It was her way of telling Federico not to interrupt her, or to touch her, to leave her alone." Fante is such a superb close narrator that we go up and down with the characters. Fantastic writing. Fantastic book. I was hooked to the end.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Guillermo Galvan

    John Fante is a writer who still isn't getting his due as one of the greats. I read Ask the Dust, The Road to Los Angles, and Brotherhood of the Grape before reading the one that started the Bandini series, Wait Until Spring, Bandini. The story is a family drama told in a tough realist style. Its prose resembles the hard-boiled style of the pulp fiction era, like Raymond Chandler without the crime. The entire book reeks with the authenticity of growing up poor in an immigrant home. The family has John Fante is a writer who still isn't getting his due as one of the greats. I read Ask the Dust, The Road to Los Angles, and Brotherhood of the Grape before reading the one that started the Bandini series, Wait Until Spring, Bandini. The story is a family drama told in a tough realist style. Its prose resembles the hard-boiled style of the pulp fiction era, like Raymond Chandler without the crime. The entire book reeks with the authenticity of growing up poor in an immigrant home. The family has a caught between wanting to accepted as American while being ashamed and proud of their Italian heritage. Fante puts down a great story. His characters go through a whole range of emotions with psychological depth. I strongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys the Beat writers or Charles Bukowski. Such a damn good book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily Grijalva

    So I read Ask the Dust first, and now I got a chance to see Bandini's childhood. Kinda felt like a psychologist getting some insight to why he ended up the way he did. And it was a psychologist dream - Catholic school, racism, working class struggle, broken marriage, and always- the burdening definition of masculinity. His relationship with his brothers proved to be funny but at times, heartbreaking; his relationship with his mother- an attentive mother who loses sight of herself in her failing So I read Ask the Dust first, and now I got a chance to see Bandini's childhood. Kinda felt like a psychologist getting some insight to why he ended up the way he did. And it was a psychologist dream - Catholic school, racism, working class struggle, broken marriage, and always- the burdening definition of masculinity. His relationship with his brothers proved to be funny but at times, heartbreaking; his relationship with his mother- an attentive mother who loses sight of herself in her failing marriage; his relationship with his father- an immigrant Macho who has no luck when it comes to money; and of course, his relationship with his first crush, Rosa- who despises him. It seems like bad boy Bandini just can't get any breaks.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ayushi

    Set during the Great Depression, “Wait Until Spring, Bandini” is a poignant tale of an Italian immigrant family living in Colorado. Since the book is a semi-autobiographical account of John Fante’s life depicted through his alter ego Arturo Bandini, the realism in the story is painfully exhaustive. The entire book exudes authenticity of growing up in poverty, while torn between Italian and American conflicting identities. Though the subject matter of a family reeling under abject poverty makes f Set during the Great Depression, “Wait Until Spring, Bandini” is a poignant tale of an Italian immigrant family living in Colorado. Since the book is a semi-autobiographical account of John Fante’s life depicted through his alter ego Arturo Bandini, the realism in the story is painfully exhaustive. The entire book exudes authenticity of growing up in poverty, while torn between Italian and American conflicting identities. Though the subject matter of a family reeling under abject poverty makes for a very depressing read, Fante’s writing prowess makes it a cheerful story which courses effortlessly and is bound to bring bittersweet childhood memories back to the reader.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    a perfectly perfect novel. the Bandini series is what made Fante a hero amongst literary giants, and i will admit that his short stories tend to fall a bit, well, short. but this, the first in the Bandini series, far outshines the more popular "ask the dust" (oh and collin farrel my ASS!) - you will truly KNOW Arturo Bandini after you read this one. You might not like him later, but you'll dig where he's coming from. and that's something, at least... a perfectly perfect novel. the Bandini series is what made Fante a hero amongst literary giants, and i will admit that his short stories tend to fall a bit, well, short. but this, the first in the Bandini series, far outshines the more popular "ask the dust" (oh and collin farrel my ASS!) - you will truly KNOW Arturo Bandini after you read this one. You might not like him later, but you'll dig where he's coming from. and that's something, at least...

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