Tag: Races

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.

 


Charles Bukowski – War All the Time | Review

Title: War All the Time

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 288

Rating: 4*/5

 

Charles Bukowski - War All the Time

Charles Bukowski – War All the Time

 

War All the Time is one of Bukowski’s later collections, bringing together poems from 19811984 in a fascinating collection that actually breaks some of the trends that Bukowski had set during his earlier work. He’s mellower, but he’s also more preoccupied with death, and while he still races the horses, he’s slightly less of a womaniser.

If you’ve ever read Bukowski before then you know roughly what to expect here, although it’s worth noting that a few of the poems also play with prose and one of them is a long piece with multiple different sections. Some of them are the other way round, super short and to the point, but they’re delivered in Bukowski’s typical simplistic but effective style. It’s really remarkable how much of a punch he was able to pack, and Bukowski got better and better at that towards the end of his life.

Still, this isn’t my favourite Bukowski collection, but it’s still a pretty good book regardless. It’s particularly interesting to see him reflect upon the writers that have lived and died in his lifetime, as well as on lost loves and the various unpleasant things that happened to him. There are also some poems about cats, but they’re not particularly cheerful. Still, I could relate to them a lot because I have a cat too.

All in all, this is a pretty typical Bukowski collection and it was exactly what I was hoping for when I picked it up. I recommend reading some of his work if you get a chance, and this is a decent place to start. Enjoy.

 

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski

 

Click here to buy War All the Time.

 


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