John Fante's semi-autobiographical protagonist, Arturo Bandini, is a promising but conflicted young writer struggling with money, identity, ambition, and love in 1930s Los Angeles. This brisk novel is a rollicking but rich character study of a maddeningly melodramatic twenty-something. He's a scheming underdog and an earnestly tortured soul.
A struggling writer lodging in a seedy LA hotel, Arturo Bandini falls in love with Camilla Lopez, a elusive, unstable Mexican waitress, and they embark on a strange and strained love-hate relationship that inexorably descends into madness. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.