Author Topic: Bukowski  (Read 1949 times)

Dannyhood91

  • I thought you said KING AAARTHUUUR!
Bukowski
« on: April 18, 2018, 02:35:57 PM »
Anyone here a fan?

I read Post Office in about a day a few months ago. I absolutely love it. I've been raving about it to anyone who'll listen.

What say you?

Wet Blanket

  • I am the Colour Blind Dog-Thief
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2018, 03:34:02 PM »
I like his books but they're a guilty pleasure because he was undoubtedly an arsehole. Factotum, Post Office and Women are my favourites of his, although I haven't read Ham on Rye which is supposed to be very good. The short stories and poems are all very readable but also very samey. One thing he certainly never suffered from was writer's block.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 04:05:08 PM »
Post Office is great from what I can remember.  I like the descriptions of him sitting up in bed with a 4-pack and trying to memorise his route before passing out drunk.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 04:07:55 PM »
I like his books but they're a guilty pleasure because he was undoubtedly an arsehole.

True, but I'm not sure how much of a chance he had with that Dad of his.  Guaranteed to end up as something of a wrong 'un.

icehaven

  • I will be in the bar, with my head on the bar
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 06:42:22 PM »
Woke up this morning and it seemed to me,
That every night turns out to be
A little more like Bukowski.
And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read.
But God who'd want to be?
God who'd want to be such an asshole?
God who'd want to be?
God who'd want to be such an asshole?

spamwangler

  • fay bentos
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 06:43:34 PM »
top cunt

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2018, 07:07:55 PM »
As well as his novels, I think I liked Last Night of the Earth Poems, and Tom Waits reading "Nirvana", and the Modest Mouse song icehaven quoted too. I've read a couple of biographies where the authors clearly loved the guy but I wouldn't argue with anyone calling him a cunt. His childhood was bleak though, yeah. Wasn't the suicide of one of his friends suspected to be because of a story that Bukowski had published or something? I'll look for the biography I read that in, but I have a vague recollection of people trying to justify it. I could be confusing him with a spineless wanker though.

I do enjoy reading his books when in a horrible mood, though.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2018, 07:52:20 PM »
I really liked Bukowski as a teenager but then I even thought junkies were cool back then. If CB had been mentioned in that tweet in the 'What you reckon to this one then' thread, I might have given it some time. Am tempted to re-read some though as I remember it being very entertaining.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 07:59:00 PM »
I like his books but they're a guilty pleasure because he was undoubtedly an arsehole.

Why?

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2018, 10:00:07 PM »
I think he wrote some good stuff - I really like Factotum - but through Bukowski I discovered John Fante who I think is just the master of this kind of stuff, Ask The Dust is just brilliant.

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 10:05:05 PM »
I suspect I'd still like Ham on Rye, not sure about the rest.

RE: Fante. I dunno, I always kind of felt like Wait Until Spring Bandini showcased a more talented writer than he wound up being. Maybe his style was so influential that it blunted the impact of Ask the Dusk and the others on me a bit.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 10:10:51 PM »
I was probably the right age and full of the same delusions for Ask The Dust to speak to me on first read. I re-read it as a more jaded person last year and it's still powerful. Not for everyone though.

Large Noise

  • class at fighting
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 11:03:31 PM »
Read Ham on Rye and Hollywood.

I was the right age for HoR (16 or so) and enjoyed it. Drinkin, fightin, smokin and all that.

Rolf Lundgren

  • Remember you're a Womble
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 11:08:41 PM »
I like his books but they're a guilty pleasure because he was undoubtedly an arsehole.

Same here. I remember watching a documentary about him and at one point he's being interviewed alongside one of the women in his life. She said something fairly innocent which he disagreed with so he petulantly kicked her, the same way a 4 year old would when you're trying to drag them around a supermarket. Destroyed his image for me in one fell swoop.

Reading Post Office when I was 18 years old was a revelation for me though. It was the moment I discovered fiction could be written in such a brutal, simplistic and short way and was a real gateway to a lot of similar American literature. His poetry collections are a joy too.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 12:05:22 AM »
Ham on Rye is as good as any Bukowski.  But like Marc Marons introductions, I need to be sparing with them as their intense, nihilistic tone can really affect my mood.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2018, 07:18:07 AM »
I feel ashamed to admit this but I actually used to think highly of him. I remember reading all of his work in one day, when I was about 4 and I was taken in by the simplicity and lack of pretense, maybe I saw it as an antidote to Finnegans Wake which I'd read the day before.

Can you believe I was ever that dumb? Everybody look! I want you to know how dumb I was because at a young age that I decided to specify I admired an artist that you still like.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2018, 08:07:45 AM »
I feel ashamed to admit this but I actually used to think highly of him. I remember reading all of his work in one day, when I was about 4 and I was taken in by the simplicity and lack of pretense, maybe I saw it as an antidote to Finnegans Wake which I'd read the day before.

Can you believe I was ever that dumb? Everybody look! I want you to know how dumb I was because at a young age that I decided to specify I admired an artist that you still like.

Nobody is saying that. I'm 33 and I still think he's fantastic.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2018, 08:09:45 AM »
I think he wrote some good stuff - I really like Factotum - but through Bukowski I discovered John Fante who I think is just the master of this kind of stuff, Ask The Dust is just brilliant.

Yeah, Fante is excellent. I love Brotherhood of.the Grape, the protagonist's relationship with his father is brutal and touching at the same time. Real interesting look at American-Italian family dynamics.

And it's worth saying that Bukowski pretty much revered his writing too, for anyone that would like to read one of his biggest influences.

lebowskibukowski

  • Probably On A Register
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2018, 10:00:45 AM »
'Tales Of Ordinary Madness' was the one that I absolutely loved. Probably the one book that got me back into writing short stories. Funnily enough I've got 'Ham On Rye' next on my re-read pile.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2018, 12:44:55 PM »
Was a huge massive Buk fan in my early twenties. Helped me through a lot of shit and led me down a lot of dark alleyways. He did some great writing, especially his short stories which are absolutely hilarious as well as bleak as hell. His poetry I can take or leave but Post Office, Women and Ham On Rye are all great.

Regarding him as a person, I always felt there was real hurting heart and soul beneath the vicious bleak misanthropic bullshit. He might have done some nasty shit, it doesn't affect whether or not I like his writing, for me.

I highly recommend a live recording of his called "Hostage" which is basically him drunk off his ass arguing and swearing at the audience of hipsters who've come to see him, and occasionally (badly) reading his poems.

Phil_A

  • HE WAS AN ROBOT
    • Chasing The Bumblebee
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2018, 07:42:25 PM »
The two pieces of his that have stuck with me are The Man With The Beautiful Eyes and We Ain't Got No Money Honey, But We Got Rain.

A beautifully animated version of the former
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50GO5AHGK2o

And here's old Chuck reading the latter.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3jdpFj93cM

Dr Rock

  • The BEST of luck!
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2018, 07:59:40 PM »
He wrote some funny shit.

Wet Blanket

  • I am the Colour Blind Dog-Thief
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2018, 10:47:38 PM »
I've always like this, and it's as relevant today as it was in 1970

Should We Burn Uncle Sam's Ass

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2018, 11:05:59 PM »
Anyone ever read that poem he wrote about a bloke working in a factory, where all his co-workers mock him for being weak, and tell him he'll never be able to lift up this fucking huge bit of metal machinery they have in the middle of the factory, until one day he thinks fuck it, I'll SHOW them, and then he picks up, like a few inches of the ground, and then they're all completely gobsmacked and leave off taking the piss out of him because they never imagined he'd be able to lift it up, and he can just get on with his work for a couple of weeks, but then they're all so fucking stupid they eventually forget it ever happened and start taking the piss out of him again as if the whole thing never happened, and in his heart of hearts he knows lifting that bug chunk of metal up was just a one off fluke and he'll never be able to do something like that again?

I can't remember what it's called.  But it's good.  And bleak as fuck.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2018, 12:00:16 PM »
I tend to feel the incredible titles of his poetry collections are better than the majority of the poems collected therein - like with most comics and the art on the cover!

But at his best his work is filled with a real sadness and wit.

Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: Bukowski
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2018, 09:55:00 PM »
When I was an insomniac teen out walking the seafront with a friend, a policewoman asked us what we were doing, and said something like, 'There should be a mandatory curfew for people your age.'

I probably didn't paraphrase it so much as completely butcher it, but I attempted to quote Bukowski's The Pest back to her: "When you put that uniform on you are the paid protector of things of the present time.  You're here to see that things stay the same way they are.  If you like the way things are, then all cops are good cops.  If you don't like the way things are, then all cops are bad cops.  There is such a thing as ALL bad.'  Stopped her right in her tracks that did.  Then later that night my friend got picked up by the same pair for pissing on a tree.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2018, 01:22:02 AM »
I have no desire to read Buk ever again, but at his best he was pretty good. At his worst he was indefensible, really. The plain-spoken, stream-of-consciousness style is easily imitated, to the extent that sometimes it seemed like he was imitating himself, but he was at his peak when he used it to illustrate the mind-numbing, backbreaking tedium of work and the joy of casually throwing your life away to drink. The stuff that sticks with me the most is his pustules from Ham on Rye, his sweat in Post Office, and some of the more disturbing flights of fancy in his short stories, like the one where mortuary workers took turns raping the corpse of Marilyn Monroe. Kind of a cunt, but a good cunt.

Re: Bukowski
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2018, 01:00:33 AM »
I feel ashamed to admit this but I actually used to think highly of him. I remember reading all of his work in one day, when I was about 4 and I was taken in by the simplicity and lack of pretense, maybe I saw it as an antidote to Finnegans Wake which I'd read the day before.

Can you believe I was ever that dumb? Everybody look! I want you to know how dumb I was because at a young age that I decided to specify I admired an artist that you still like.

You really are a tedious shite.