Tag: Influences

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.


Jasper Fforde – Lost in a Good Book | Review

Title: Lost in a Good Book

Author: Jasper Fforde

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 376

Rating: 4*/5


Jasper Fforde - Lost in a Good Book

Jasper Fforde – Lost in a Good Book


This is the second book in Fforde’s Thursday Next series and I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to get around to it. I really liked the first book and I was pumped about continuing, and I even bought a copy of this book immediately after finishing the first one. It just took me a while to get around to it.

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was expecting to. I think I’d subconsciously geared myself up for a mind-blowing read, and it left me a little disappointed with the end result. Sure, it has all the hallmarks of Fforde’s storytelling, including the Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams influences that you’re probably expecting if you read the first book. But for me at least, the novelty is starting to wear off.

That’s not to say that it isn’t a funny book. It’s just that after a while, it feels like the same joke over and over again. Then there’s Fforde’s complex world building. In the first book, I thought it was incredible. In this one, I found it hard to focus on the story line while simultaneously building up a bigger picture of how Fforde’s world works.


Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde


Perhaps that’s a problem on my part. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is, and I did still enjoy it overall. It’s the type of book where there’s something there for everyone, even if some of it goes over your head and you’re just enjoying the one liners and occasional in-jokes. Fforde is also a master of using popular culture to make his stories – and his characters – more relatable, and even though this book is a good few years old by now, it doesn’t really make any difference. The popular culture that Fforde references is the popular culture of books and literature and so there’s plenty to pick up on if you’re a big reader.

Overall, then, I’d recommend this book – but only if you read the first one and enjoyed it. I think that was a better introduction to his work.


Jasper Fforde Quote

Jasper Fforde Quote


Click here to buy Lost in a Good Book.


Newsletter Signup

Get special offers, new book news, cover reveals and more!