Open All Night

"A testament to a fierce inverted work ethic, a belief in self-help through unending self-attention, a refusal to waste even the smallest table scrap of world or time": that same tenacity and commitment to his art which New York Times critic Jennifer Schuessler found in the Bukowski collection What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through the Fire (Black Sparrow, 1999) can again be seen in the legendary bard's latest posthumous verse...

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You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense

Man, I wish you guys could see how banged-up and dog-eared my copy of "You Get So Alone" is. I think that's the only way I can do this collection justice. The poet as an older man lacks the vinegar and vitriol of his younger self, but being eight years from his death certainly infused these poems with the magnetic appeal of a someone who has seen enough to write about it however he damn well pleases. His rage has abated and a brutally subtle wit...

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War All the Time

I found this collection terribly easy to read, except for the fact that I kept wanting to stop and mark my favorites to make them easier to find in the future. (I had quite a few "favorites.") Bukowski's writing is funny, weary, hardened, and terribly poignant. He alternates without warning between gruff and heartbreaking and takes the reader for an emotional ride. Holden Caulfield said, "What really knocks me out is a book that, when...

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The People Look Like Flowers at Last

the gas line is leaking, the bird is gone from the cage, the skyline is dotted with vultures;Benny finally got off the stuff and Betty now has a jobas a waitress; andthe chimney sweep was quite delicate as hegiggled up through the soot.I walked miles through the city and recognizednothing as a giant claw ate at my stomach while the inside of my head felt airy as if I was about to go mad.it’s not so...

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The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills

Reviewing Bukowski by summarizing what he wrote about tends to make a reviewer sound more than a little off to people who are not familiar with his work. All I know for certain is that no other writer has ever felt as real as Bukowski does to me. Both of his feet are grounded in harsh, and at times, small-minded reality. I'm certain I've said this before, but the longer Bukowski's writing is, the less I like it, though I still enjoy everything...

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Dangling in the Tournefortia

A very solid time frame for Bukowski. He was at the top of his writing powers, and letting his poems run free, without forcing them or thinking he had to be a Poet rather than a poet. His poems here have a great deal of pain, a rather greater amount of pride, and the brash simplicity of his thoughts echo that subset of my own thoughts that are probably best left unstated. I often wonder how often Buk himself stated these thoughts out...

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Shakespeare Never Did This

An account of Charles Bukowski's 1978 European trip. In 1978 Europe was new territory for Bukowski holding the secrets of his own personal ancestry and origins. En route to his birthplace in Andernach, Germany, he is trailed by celebrity-hunters and paparazzi, appears drunk on French television, blows a small fortune at a Dusseldorf racetrack and stands in a Cologne Cathedral musing about life and death.

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The Pleasures of the Damned

To his legions of fans, Charles Bukowski was—and remains—the quintessential counterculture icon. A hard-drinking wild man of literature and a stubborn outsider to the poetry world, he wrote unflinchingly about booze, work, and women, in raw, street-tough poems whose truth has struck a chord with generations of readers.Edited by John Martin, the legendary publisher of Black Sparrow Press and a close friend of Bukowski's, The Pleasures...

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Reach for the Sun

Henry Charles Bukowski (born as Heinrich Karl Bukowski) was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems,...

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Run With the Hunted

It's like the Modest Mouse song "Bukowski" says: He's a pretty good read, but who'd wanna be such an asshole? At least Charles Bukowski came by his assholery honestly -- "born into this sorrowful deadliness" -- not like that overgrown fratboy date-rapist Jack Kerouac. Bukowski was ostracized in school, abused at home, grotesquely scarred by acne and largely unloved. So he started hating back, channeling his hurt and rage into prose and poetry...

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