Tag: 1946

Charles Bukowski – The Roominghouse Madrigals | Review

Title: The Roominghouse Madrigals

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 264

Rating: 3.5*/5


Charles Bukowski - The Roominghouse Madrigals

Charles Bukowski – The Roominghouse Madrigals


This collection brings together Bukowski’s earliest selected poems from 19461966, which is interesting in itself because according to his author bio, he didn’t even start writing poetry until 1955. You can tell that they’re his early poems, too. He’s still finding his voice as a writer, and it’s his voice which made his work so distinct. Because of that, while this is a reasonable enough collection of poetry, it’s nowhere near Bukowski’s best. I don’t think I’d recommend it unless you’re already familiar with his later work and you want to see how it all started out.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly some standout poems here that really stuck in my mind, and I had no problem finding enough that I enjoy to fill a YouTube video. But while you could feel that Bukowski was in there somewhere, you could also feel that he was trying to distill other people’s influences into what he was writing instead of going balls-to-the-wall and writing from his heart, instead of his head.

On the plus side, you do get plenty of his usual topics (women, races, alcohol), and you get to see them through a younger set of eyes. It’s interesting to see that he was just as obsessed with death in his younger years as he was when he reached his seventies, and that gives me some hope for myself. So I’m glad that I read this, I just wouldn’t recommend it to a newbie.


Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski


Click here to buy The Roominghouse Madrigals.


Ernest Hemingway – The Garden of Eden | Review

Title: The Garden of Eden

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 267

Rating: 7/10


Ernest Hemingway - The Garden of Eden

Ernest Hemingway – The Garden of Eden


The Garden of Eden has a bit of history to it – it’s Hemingway’s second posthumous novel, published in 1986, 25 years after the writer’s suicide by shotgun. Hemingway started work on the novel in 1946, and was still working on it at the time of his death, sixteen years later. During this time, he also wrote ‘The Old Man and the Sea‘, ‘A Moveable Feast‘ and several of his other major works.

Some people have criticised the published manuscript because the editor removed over 100,000 words and several major subplots, but I enjoyed it all the same – for all I know, those cuts might have been justified, and it still worked beautifully as a novel as it was. Perhaps one day I’ll get hold of the full thing somehow and compare the two, but I’m judging it purely as it was presented – if we miss the author’s original intention then so be it.

I must admit that it was interesting to see a different side of Hemingway – he examines androgyny and sexuality, pushing against sexual stereotypes that still exist today, although they were much more prominent at the time of writing, some sixty years ago.

But it was slow reading at times, and I could only feel sympathy for the novel’s main character, David Bourne. There’s a scene where all of his creative hard work is undone, and as a fellow writer, it upset me. Like when we had a database fail and lost scores of unpublished reviews…


Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway


Click here to buy The Garden of Eden.


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