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Wait Until Spring, Bandini [Hardcover]

John Fante
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1983
Fiction. John Fante recalls his first novel, recently republished by Black Sparrow Press: "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 an early work will mesmerize me and in a half dream I will entwine it with 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...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" (from the Preface). Other Fante works again available from Black Sparrow Press and SPD are ASK THE DUST and THE ROAD TO LOS ANGELES.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Review

"Fante was my God." Charles Bukowski "If you haven't yet discovered John Fante, you're in for a wonderful treat." Evening Standard "Fante's writing has a freshness that should shame many of today's scribblers." Sunday Herald "An excellent rites of passage tale, infused with all the gory humiliation, rich humour and treacherous hormones of adolescence." Buzz" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Fante began writing in 1929 and published his first short story in 1932. His first novel, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, was published in 1938 and was the first of his Arturo Bandini series of novels, which also include The Road to Los Angeles and Ask the Dust. A prolific screenwriter, he was stricken with diabetes in 1955. Complications from the disease brought about his blindness in 1978 and, within two years, the amputation of both legs. He continued to write by dictation to his wife, Joyce, and published Dreams from Bunker Hill, the final installment of the Arturo Bandini series, in 1982. He died on May 8, 1983, at the age of seventy-four.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fante-stic!!! May 23 2004
Format:Paperback
A poignant book, wonderfully written. In my opinion, this was his first and best novel. Even better than "Ask the dust", regarded as his masterpiece... A brilliant beginning for such a writer!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A book about sad memories May 17 2004
Format:Paperback
'Wait Until Spring, Bandini' is a kind of book that deserves a place among others that have a main target in vision: to tell a story of memories of a hard and impoverished youth with some touches of bittersweat evocations, like the first love for a special girl, recollections of Christmas time and little family pleasures. Arturo Bandini is a teenager in the years of Depression, of Italian lineage, making his first contacts with the world around him, in a continuous progression to maturity. In this angle, the book has some points of contact with J.D. Salinger 'The Catcher's in the Rye' although Fante has a more strong style of writing - strong, not better - that made him almost a 'beatnik' author like Bukowski. Fante know his office and the book has some excellent moments: the description of the relationship between Svevo Bandini (Arturo's father) and Miss Hildegarde, mainly when this relationship is caught by the eyes of young Arturo; Arturo's delusions toward his first and platonic love, Rosa Pinelli and some other moments, captured with intensity and poignant touches. But the book is far from a masterpiece and sometimes develops a restrained and peasant pace,sometimes even redundant and unimpressive. Anyway, this one is a good first point to know John Fante and his work, almost all of them centered in the figure of Arturo Bandini, again the main characther of 'Ask the Dust' and 'Dream on Bunker Hill'.
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Format:Paperback
"Wait Until Spring, Bandini," by John Fante, is a novel about an Italian-American family living in Colorado. The story focuses on Arturo Bandini, a teenager who is the eldest of the family's three sons. His father, Svevo, is a bricklayer and an immigrant to the United States. Very Americanized, Arturo loves baseball and is tormented inside over his family's poverty.
Fante richly develops the relationships among the members of this often dysfunctional family. He also vividly evokes the experience of raising a family in poverty. Particularly interesting is Fante's portrayal of Roman Catholicism within the life of the Bandini family; religion is shown to be a very ambiguous force. There are some dark, even cruel episodes as the family's story unfolds.
As much as I enjoyed "Wait," I did not find it in the end to be as satisfying as the other Fante novels which I have read ("1933 Was a Bad Year" and "Full of Life"). Still, it's a powerful family story that is graced by Fante's excellent prose style.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and wonderful April 30 2002
Format:Paperback
This book is great. Fante not only shows the plight of poor immigrants, but how children deal with growing up... poor or otherwise. I love how he writes from the perspective of a adolescent but makes it art. All this without sounding too high-toned to make you think that this is the smartest kid in the history of the world.
This is a great book and I would read it before Ask the Dust. John Fante is a wonderful writer who paints lush pictures with simple sentences.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and wonderful April 30 2002
Format:Paperback
This book is great. Fante not only shows the plight of poor immigrants, but how children deal with growing up... poor or otherwise. I love how he writes from the perspective of a adolescent but makes it art. All this without sounding too high-toned to make you think that this is the smartest kid in the history of the world.
This is a great book and I would read it before Ask the Dust. John Fante is a wonderful writer who paints lush pictures with simple sentences.
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5.0 out of 5 stars only book that ever made me cry March 26 2002
Format:Paperback
...and I read a lot of books...in my opinion Fante beats the pain of Dostoevski being as simple in words as Bukowski..."Wait until Spring, Bandini" is probably the best although one of the simplest books I read in my life...I think Fante deserves the Nobel post-mortum...Hamsun and Marquez got it, why not Fante?
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not unentertaining, but really not all that good Jan. 20 2002
Format:Paperback
The forward was perhaps the most interesting thing about the novel. Otherwise, it was the sort of prose that, while it may have been novel for its time, is now quite hackneyed (the whole first chapter was atrocious, by the way!). The same could be said for the general storyline, too.
Most of the novel concentrates on the minutiae of (a) being poor, (b) being Italian, and (c) being Catholic, and after awhile the discussions of venial versus mortal sins, and of the class standings of Italians in Denver in the Depression, and of how they only get to eat meat once a fortnight -- well, it gets to be a bit much after about 15 pages or so. And I don't think this book had that much to say about anything else.
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