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About Charles Bukowski
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"It began as a mistake." By middle age, Henry Chinaski has lost more than twelve years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every dawn to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable coworkers. This classic 1971 novel—the one that catapulted its author to national fame—is the perfect introduction to the grimly hysterical world of legendary writer, poet, and Dirty Old Man Charles Bukowski and his fictional alter ego, Chinaski.
“Wordsworth, Whitman, William Carlos Williams, and the Beats in their respective generations moved poetry toward a more natural language. Bukowski moved it a little farther.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review
In what is widely hailed as the best of his many novels, Charles Bukowski details the long, lonely years of his own hardscrabble youth in the raw voice of alter ego Henry Chinaski. From a harrowingly cheerless childhood in Germany through acne-riddled high school years and his adolescent discoveries of alcohol, woman, and the Los Angeles Public Library's collection of D.H. Lawrence, Ham on Rye offers a crude, brutal, and savagely funny portrait of an outcast's coming-of-age during the desperate days of the Great Depression.
Low-life writer and unrepentant alcoholic Henry Chinaski was born to survive. After decades of slacking off at low-paying dead-end jobs, blowing his cash on booze and women, and scrimping by in flea-bitten apartments, Chinaski sees his poetic star rising at last. Now, at fifty, he is reveling in his sudden rock-star life, running three hundred hangovers a year, and maintaining a sex life that would cripple Casanova.
With all of Bukowski's trademark humor and gritty, dark honesty, this 1978 follow-up to Post Office and Factotum is an uncompromising account of life on the edge.
One of Charles Bukowski's best, this beer-soaked, deliciously degenerate novel follows the wanderings of aspiring writer Henry Chinaski across World War II-era America. Deferred from military service, Chinaski travels from city to city, moving listlessly from one odd job to another, always needing money but never badly enough to keep a job. His day-to-day existence spirals into an endless litany of pathetic whores, sordid rooms, dreary embraces, and drunken brawls, as he makes his bitter, brilliant way from one drink to the next.
Charles Bukowski's posthumous legend continues to grow. Factotum is a masterfully vivid evocation of slow-paced, low-life urbanity and alcoholism, and an excellent introduction to the fictional world of Charles Bukowski.
Edited by Abel Debritto, the definitive collection of poems from an influential writer whose transgressive legacy and raw, funny, and acutely observant writing has left an enduring mark on modern culture.
Few writers have so brilliantly and poignantly conjured the desperation and absurdity of ordinary life as Charles Bukowski. Resonant with his powerful, perceptive voice, his visceral, hilarious, and transcendent poetry speaks to us as forcefully today as when it was written. Encompassing a wide range of subjects—from love to death and sex to writing—Bukowski’s unvarnished and self-deprecating verse illuminates the deepest and most enduring concerns of the human condition while remaining sharply aware of the day to day.
With his acute eye for the ridiculous and the troubled, Bukowski speaks to the deepest longings and strangest predilections of the human experience. Gloomy yet hopeful, this is tough, unrelenting poetry touched by grace.
This is Essential Bukowski.
Charles Bukowski examines cats and his childhood in You Get So Alone at Times, a book of poetry that reveals his tender side. He delves into his youth to analyze its repercussions.
The definitive collection of works on a subject that inspired and haunted Charles Bukowski for his entire life: alcohol
Charles Bukowski turns to the bottle in this revelatory collection of poetry and prose that includes some of the writer’s best and most lasting work. A self-proclaimed “dirty old man,” Bukowski used alcohol as muse and as fuel, a conflicted relationship responsible for some of his darkest moments as well as some of his most joyful and inspired.
In On Drinking, Bukowski expert Abel Debritto has collected the writer’s most profound, funny, and memorable work on his ups and downs with the hard stuff—a topic that allowed Bukowski to explore some of life’s most pressing questions. Through drink, Bukowski is able to be alone, to be with people, to be a poet, a lover, and a friend—though often at great cost. As Bukowski writes in a poem simply titled “Drinking,”: “for me/it was or/is/a manner of/dying/with boots on/and gun/smoking and a/symphony music background.”
On Drinking is a powerful testament to the pleasures and miseries of a life in drink, and a window into the soul of one of our most beloved and enduring writers.
A compilation of Charles Bukowski's underground articles from his column "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" appears here in book form. Bukowski's reasoning for self-describing himself as a 'dirty old man' rings true in this book.
"People come to my doortoo many of them reallyand knock to tell me Notes of a Dirty Old Man turns them on. A bum off the road brings in a gypsy and his wife and we talk . . . . drink half the night. A long distance operator from Newburgh, N.Y. sends me money. She wants me to give up drinking beer and to eat well. I hear from a madman who calls himself 'King Arthur' and lives on Vine Street in Hollywood and wants to help me write my column. A doctor comes to my door: 'I read your column and think I can help you. I used to be a psychiatrist.' I send him away . . ."
"Bukowski writes like a latter-day Celine, a wise fool talking straight from the gut about the futility and beauty of life . . ." Publishers Weekly
"These disjointed stories gives us a glimpse into the brilliant and highly disturbed mind of a man who will drink anything, hump anything and say anything without the slightest tinge of embarassment, shame or remorse. It's actually pretty hard not to like the guy after reading a few of these semi-ranting short stories." Greg Davidson, curiculummag.com
Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany on August 16, 1920, the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. Bukowski published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including Pulp (Black Sparrow, 1994), Screams from the Balcony: Selected Letters 1960-1970 (1993), and The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992). Other Bukowski books published by City Lights Publishers include More Notes of a Dirty Old Man, The Most Beautiful Woman in Town, Tales of Ordinary Madness, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, and Absence of the Hero. He died of leukemia in San Pedro on March 9, 1994.
From iconic tortured artist/everyman Charles Bukowski, Hollywood is the fictionalization of his experience adapting his novel Barfly into a movie by the same name.
Henry Chinaski, Bukowski’s alter-ego, is pushed to translate a semi-autobiographical book into a screenplay for John Pinchot. He reluctantly agrees, and is thrust into the otherworld called Hollywood, with its parade of eccentric and maddening characters: producers, artists, actors and actresses, film executives and journalists. In this world, the artistry of books and film is lost to the dollar, and Chinaski struggles to keep his footing in the tangle of cons that comprise movie making.
Hollywood is Dirty Old Man Bukowski at his most lucid. It overflows with curses, sex, and alcohol. And through it all, or from it all, Bukowski finds flashes of truth about the human condition.