Customer Reviews: Septuagenarian Stew: Stories & Poems
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4.6 out of 5 stars17
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VINE VOICEon November 12, 2002
This is my second favorite volume of Bukowski. I know this because it has the second greatest number of pages dog-eared over so I can find them again.

Why do I like it? OK, it is because when I read most modern stuff, or watch modern films for that matter, I wonder what planet they are living on. It is seldom anything I recognise. When I read Bukowski, either the poems or the short stories or the novels, I recognise the real world. It is just so damn refreshing to see that there is someone being published that is not totally disconnected with reality- at least working class reality.

Will you like this book? Well, skip to page 282 and read "the masses." If you don't like it, then you ain't going to like the rest....

There is another reason that I like this book. It emphacises that the old horseplayer beat the odds and actually made it into his seventies. He "Buk'd" some steep odds there....
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on March 9, 2006
HE WAS never a very good suicide. 'I gave it a go now and then but something always used to go wrong.' As we stand on the brink of war and global recession, what better than to trash the poll tax demand, order a hat trick of tequilas and settle down with an uplifting collection from Bukowski? These poems and prose are so clean and sparse one almost wants to rummage through Bukowski's bin for all the adjectives and adverbs. They are cut-throat tales of the back alleys of America, ergo the West, of a world more dire than that of Ivan Denisovich.

Of course, Bukowski always has a companion, wherever he walks there is always another, wrapped in brown mantle, beside him. But it's only a chemical. It produces a kind of gin-soaked doggerel that is surely the perfect form to describe sleeping on park benches, working the assembly lines, and pensioners with a dollar to their name who pull triggers to alleviate terminal disease. Tragic humour is strewn liberally. In one poem, the Barfly who thanks to Mickey Rourke now drives a BMW, muses on suffering for art as he fingers his Gold Card. He writes of how the critics prefer the poems about him freezing and starving on cheap wine.

With his easy transition into post-Hollywood prosperity he has shown himself to be not just another angry young man although his 'difficulties with women' as the press release puts it, show him to be no less misogynistic. But luckily, the years of body-abuse have not affected the clarity of his vision. It is of a people for whom the word 'change' means distraction, for whom thinking is painful. They move in circles of hopelessness. This sometimes infects his words with the sour, if inevitable, tang of decadence. But then, as he himself demonstrates in his poem Nowhere, most English-language authors are writing dross. With so little competition, he can only soar.

(from 1990 and by the author of "The Dream of the Decade - The London Novels")
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on April 4, 2016
charles bukowski! my new favorite author! what a funny and unique person. i love reading the book with friends all the stories and poems are real he wrote them while he was piss drunk for a few years stuck in a house with only a typewriter. it will make you laugh all along. a lot of funny stories and poems. great to read with friends and family it creates lots of laughter and love! let your friends read a poem or two it will make it more fun!
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on September 22, 2015
Pretty good late collection from Bukowski. Not a thin volume like many of his books and too much filler. Sometimes I get the feeling that everything he wrote was published. I preferred the poetry to the stories although a couple of the stories were very good. The problem is how many baseball related stories do you want to read and how many horse racing poems can you take ? The poems about his childhood and his parents were generally good quality. His views on his parents seemed to soften as he aged and those poems had a sad confused quality instead and were not like previous poems regarding his parents which were just critical and full of rage.

There are no surprises with Bukowski and that was his strength and weakness. As usual I find some the best poems are the humorous ones or the ones that mix humour with despair. Take the filler out of some his books and they would be more memorable. Needed editing. A pretty good read but not one of his best. 3.5 stars.
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on March 14, 2013
Great compilation of short stories as told by one of our great story tellers.
Earthy, real, and often disturbing but always remarkable with his economic use
of words to vividly bring a story of his life to our life.
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on April 12, 2000
In this collection, more than others, I think, he writes alot about the process of writing, about how his life has changed since he became a professional writer, and of course he beats up on the "writing" community, and he has some of the most inspiring (seriously) pieces about contemporary literature around. The Rape of The Holy Mother is like a manifesto for the new poet. He's got that same humour and touching bite that he always does, and its a good fat book, perfect for the bathroom, as stall literature.
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on June 9, 1998
listen to the wisdom of a septuagenarian poet! honest to the bone...tragic, funny, searching to find a space in this absurdity we call life...and death. after almost 40 years of writing poetry, and surviving it, buk closes out his career with this collection of gems.
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on March 30, 2016
I think you either love him or don't. Not everything he has done is super but it all has depth and meaning. If you are thinking about owning this just ask yourself, why not?
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on March 19, 2014
Classic Bukowski...

A very nice mix of some of his best short stories and poems.

Add this one to your Bukowski library!
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on July 5, 2010
I'm not a big fan of Buk's poetry, and this volume is about half filled with his prose poetry. Nonetheless, they are entertaining filler for more of the short-story writing in which he also excels. Only on the subject of baseball does he kind of fall flat in these, otherwise just more late-edition Bukowski-views of the world he unfortunately lives in--or fortunately for us, the guy complains in such a way that you just can't help agree with him, whether its how Italians or Hollywood actors don't drink wine correctly (it's to make you DRUNK) or Chinaski crawling from one horrid bar scene to the next.
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