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Notes of a Dirty Old Man Paperback – January 1, 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A laureate of American low life" Time --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany in 1920 and brought to Los Angeles at age three. Using the city as a backdrop for his work, Bukowski wrote prolifically, publishing over fifty volumes of poetry and prose. He died in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994. His books are widely translated and posthumous volumes continue to appear.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers; 2nd revised edition (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872860744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872860742
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is essential a collection of works Bukowski wrote for a column. As such it reads like a collection of short stories. It's a good book to keep beside the crapper, especially if you are expecting a visit from your in-laws. Very frank writing of the dark side of life: sex, drugs, alcohol - the good stuff! I love Bukowski's style. If you are easily offended by dirty words and candid talk of sexual deviancy I highly recommend you read this book (or just about anything else Bukowski has written) and get over your hang-ups. It's just a book!
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By A Customer on January 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Some consider Charles Bukowski overrated... some think of him as an unhearalded genius. This collection falls somewhere in the middle. Initially I read this book ravenously, and fell in love with about half of the stories. Since then I have revisited it with a bit more care, and I continue to fine amazing beauty in the way Buk Takes jagged, rusty words and puts them together with duct tape to create these urban scenes. The greats could never have done this, None of them knew LA. This book seems to do the imposible. At once it honors the city of angels with an incredibly accurate rendering of what LA is, and it makes you hate the city all the more for the same reason. This is a great place to start reading Bukowski.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the one that made me think Bukowski wasn't just another pretentious scruffy looking poet-writer. And the impression it made on me was inestimable. It was the same reaction I had when I read those other `notes' from that other 'sky, the man himself, Fyodor Dostoevsky.

It was a shock to know that there were other people in the world who had thoughts like mine... that life was mixed, nothing was cut and dried, muddled, beauty was touched with horror, love was tainted with hate and other passions that would sometimes lead to actual murder and that it wasn't that bull shown in the movies, society wasn't as rational and good as I was told, that there was always something awful under the surface of things, that God could be dead, that I was full of contradictions and instincts which had the power to overtake me -and perhaps the whole of humanity was afflicted with the same inconsistent nature, that there seem to be no meaning to life (with or without religion) and the universe was a blind absurdity, everything shocked me, and on and on... but in the center of all this was the fact that I was living, that I had the ability to feel and the power to say no.

The world seen through Bukowski's eyes is a terrible and beautiful place at the same time. The whores, the drinking binges, the alley fights and the insanity of the man of the streets is a life lived at its most direct and extreme. It is life uncluttered by the niceties and civilities of the numbed life most of us, under the confines of comfy blankets, PC's, cell phones, the latest fashions, million channel TV, etc., lead. It is a life I myself experienced for twenty five years, and at times it is still a preferable life to me than the desensitizing one I may live today.
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Format: Paperback
The first time I read Charles Bukowski it was in Spanish. The words still remain in my mind and once I got the opportunity to read him in English... I was speechless and shocked at how no one ever had dared using the English language like he has... How could you play with words so much and yet make them all fall in place so gracefully?. So crude, yet so insightful. Bukowski can express himself in terms of crap and intellect all in one paragraph. Any of this man's work is worth spending time on. =)
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Format: Paperback
This is the fourth Bukowski novel I have read after Women, Hollywood and Post Office. It is essentially a collection of vignettes written for the CITY PRESS which was an underground newspaper in the late 60's where Bukowski was given more or less carte blanche to indulge in and write about any subject/theme/fantasy/issue that turned him on. The book takes a while to get used to as the relative themes of the vignettes form somewhat of a jagged and haphazard thread from one to the next. However a weird pattern in respect of subject matter does eventually emerge. What totally surprised me was that Bukowski showed some excellent ability to analyse and understand contemporary american politics at the time in a realistic and honest way by discussing for example the clamp down on civil liberties by the government arising from say the historical milestone kennedy assasination. Bukowski never pities himself and some of the vignettes are poignantly sad but never self indulgent. I liked the fact that out of the misery and sadness of one short came the next one which was upbeat and the next one which was weird and then the next one which was comical. Bukowski no doubt loved booze, sex, horses and of course writing and this collection of shorts gives the reader the inside twisted track into the workings of a brilliant author's crazy and unique mind. Read it flat out on a lazy Sunday and soon you will be hitting that jack daniels, reaching for your shot-gun, checking into a shady motel and........well best I stop now and leave the rest up to you to discover. Unforgettable this book is, really it is.
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