Reviews of Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938)
Review by johnw (2006-01-28)
John Fante’s first novel is a superb account of one poverty stricken Italian American family painfully eking out an existence in Rocklin, Colorado. Harsh climate, poverty, adultery, class and race prejudice as well as self harming Catholicism are all treated with the consummate skill of Fante’s glorious and savvy wit. The novel focuses mostly on Fante’s alter ego the 14 year Arturo Bandini and his ambivalent perception of his parents. His father Svevo is apathetic, stylish and cruel whilst his mother Maria is meek, subservient and loving. Fante’s prose is utterly melancholic, tragic and supremely beautiful. ‘Wait until Spring Bandini’ is the work of one of the 20th century’s most powerful and skilful novelists.