While today it's recognized as a pre-Beats classic of American literature, it may not have been so if it had not been for Bukowski.
As a struggling young writer trolling the streets of Los Angeles, (just like 'Dust' protagonist Arturo Bandini), Bukowski had stumbled upon a copy of the book in the public library. Fante immediately became a huge influence on the younger man's writing, to the point where Bukowski would later declare that "Fante was my god."
Buk went on to introduce the novel to his publisher, John Martin. Martin recognized the novel as a classic and Fante as a major writer, and soon republished it from his Black Sparrow Press where, over the next three-plus decades it would slowly gather a large, adoring audience, while reaping seemingly endless critical praise.
To read all about it, click HERE.
Without Buk's endorsement it probably wouldn't have been made in a feature film with Colin Farrel and Salma Hayek, available on DVD. Check out this trailer to the pretty damn good film.