Tag: Post Office

Charles Bukowski – Absence of the Hero | Review

Title: Absence of the Hero

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 276

Rating: 3.5/5

 

 

I never know how to categorise Bukowski’s prose because it’s technically semiautobiographical and therefore counts as both fiction and non-fiction. I also always feel like it’s important to say that Bukowski’s work always makes me think about separating the art from the artist. He wasn’t the best of guys, but his work is interesting.

Absence of the Hero isn’t my favourite of Bukowski’s collections, but mainly because it doesn’t really feel cohesive. It’s like it doesn’t know what it’s trying to be, and while I enjoyed the majority of the essays and short stories in here, there was no real cohesion and I didn’t understand why they picked those particular stories over others.

Absence of the Hero isn’t my favourite of Bukowski’s collections, but mainly because it doesn’t really feel cohesive. It’s like it doesn’t know what it’s trying to be, and while I enjoyed the majority of the essays and short stories in here, there was no real cohesion and I didn’t understand why they picked those particular stories over others.

I also tend to prefer Bukowski’s poetry over his prose and so maybe that has something to do with it. Still, I’d recommend picking up something like Ham On Rye or Post Office if you’re new to him, and saving this until you’re a seasoned fan. And by that point, you’ll probably have read half of the stories that are in the collection anyway.

And yet despite all of that, I enjoyed it. Bukowski’s writing always gets me thinking, and I particularly like the way that he tackles complex topics with simple language. The work here is pretty typical of Bukowski’s work overall, but I don’t think it’s the best introduction. Go ahead and make of that what you will, but do be sure to check out some of Bukowski’s work if you haven’t already. He’s a genius.

 

 

Click here to buy Absence of the Hero.

 


Charles Bukowski – Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way | Review

Title: Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 402

Rating: 5*/5

 

Charles Bukowski - Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

Charles Bukowski – Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

 

This book is one of several poetry collections that were edited together by John Martin, Bukowski’s long-term editor, from a ream of material that he left behind to be published after his death. I actually like most of this more recently published stuff the most, in part because I think he got better with age and in part because I think he left some of his most personal stuff to be published after he was gone.

For the first time ever, I actually tabbed this collection with sticky labels so that I could go back to some of the poems for my video review. That also means that I can spend the rest of this review telling you about some of my favourites. Right off the bat, it kicks things off with So You Want To Be A Writer?, a poem that I’ve seen quoted to death elsewhere by people who’ve searched for “writing quotes” and ended up finding a random Bukowski poem. But it’s a good one.

The Great Escape was another good one, which was about crabs escaping from a bucket and which reflected Bukowski’s own employment at the post office. One Step Removed was about famous writers and the groupies they attract, and A Mechanical Lazarus is about his trusty IBM typewriter which refused to die. A Sickness was also about writers, but it focused more on how they always seem to end up going insane or committing suicide.

 

Charles Bukowski Quote

Charles Bukowski Quote

 

Later we have poems about women (Dream Girl) and drinking (Who Needs It?), both of which are pretty much required subjects for a Bukowski collection, but there are plenty of other subject matters on offer too. It’s also split up into sections, which mainly act as dividers to keep the flow of the book going rather than as any official categorisations, but they do somehow add a little something to the feel of the book by highlighting specific lines.

All in all, if you’ve read Bukowski’s work before then you pretty much know what to expect, and if you haven’t then you ought to get started. And this could be just the book to help you with that. Go ahead and buy it.

 

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski

 

Click here to buy Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way.