by Charles Bukowski

Reviewer Rating:


I feel it's only fair to preface this review by admitting that I am not a huge fan of beat poetry.  I read this collection of Charles Bukowski poems because one of my fellow librarians is a huge fan of Bukowski and I was curious to see what it was all about.  And while I will not go to any great lengths to read more of his work, I did find myself intrigued by and enjoying, in a way, his creative stream of conscientiousness seemingly autobiographical style.  The second part, Crucifix in a Deathhand, I found almost too weird, but hey, they were written 1963 -1965, so that's par for the course, right?  And ironically my favorite poem happens to be from this section, go figure, man in the son on page 85.  Bukowski has a way of pointing out the absurdities of life and highlighting what he sees as important and uplifting     despite the relative degradation evident in his own existence.  The rest of the book I felt was mostly depressing, derelict, degenerate, and destitute, though with a few rays of light shining in here and there, yet I was fascinated by his take on life and his very different lifestyle.  His poems kept reminding me of the movie Barfly (available through Prospector) - I also had the same strange reaction to the movie, both disgusted and drawn to the strange, crazy life portrayed - which is fitting considering he wrote the screenplay based on his own life!

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