Absence of the Hero (1 Viewer)

apparently, $100 is cheap, because the seller claims unimaginably low prices!


yes, that is an unimaginable price...
well after amazon said they had it again, I ordered! It arrived today, looks nice, makes me want a hard cover and it was nice to see some buk.net dudes in the acknowledgement. And now, can't wait to read!
Anyone else's copy a bit funky on the spine near both top and bottom? Just received mine - took forever!! It doesn't seem to be knocked - maybe a glue error.
Mine came in a 14kt gold box the size and shape of the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Either that or I'm on acid....

I just finished this one. I like it better than "Portions....," but that may be because it features a few good pieces from the early/mid '70s, when I feel Buk really hit his prime and became comfortable with himself and it shows in the writing. he's both King and Court Jester, often in the same sentence. a humble and self-effacing egomaniac.
Doesn't seem like very close reading:

"I never much liked Bukowski's poetry"”in general, it's all one long poem about loving beer over mankind and writing in order to get laid".
Last edited by a moderator:
And the end of the review (on Buk and Kerouac) is hilarious:

That both of these men had daughters astounds, and sort of terrifies, me; however, it's interesting to think of Bukowski sitting alone in his Los Angeles kitchen with the windows open, drinking beer, listening to classical music and flailing away on a typewriter in the same time period when Kerouac sat alone on the other coast in his mother's kitchen taking speed, listening to classical music and flailing away on a typewriter. They could've kept each other company quite nicely, when you think about it.
Last edited by a moderator:
Yes, I wondered about that too. He seems to never get out of the very distorted Whoring-Puking-Boozing-picture. Of both writers.
Thank you Ponder for linking us to that. It was good except how does a guy write a review of a book and refer to stealing books as a kid? What does the critic want us to think that he's cool or just that he's a crook? There is some praise of Bukowski in his piece so you can't hate the guy but he should have considered the feelings of some of us crime victims and Borders Booksellers share holders out here. No wonder Bukowski drank so much.

note: I think my mood has been adjusted by being in the middle of reading Burning in Water Drowning in Flame.

edit: Adam Perry did write a nice piece and I should have thought about it before I jumped and got all bent out of shape but I'm leaving it. I would think Mr. Perry could care less about me or my opinion of his.
Thanks, Ponder! A very positive review on the whole...

"Collections such as The Most Beautiful Woman in Town (1983), Hot Water Music and Tales of Ordinary Madness (1983) showcase Bukowski's impressive narrative and creative abilities in stories that most often take place in bars and dingy apartments but are not simply about sex and alcohol. They're about staying alive in a world where the only choice for the majority of us is to face a firing squad in an office every day"”the post office, in Bukowski's case"”or maintain a commitment to creativity as we struggle to pay for food and a meager place to live."
Last edited by a moderator:
I finally got around to order Absence of the Hero and I am about halfway through it. It's a beautiful job again, a very good and interesting collection of texts.

I still can't get over the fact what an unusual story "Love, Love, Love" seems to be. For Bukowski, I mean, come on, Brother George with his war experiences? Wtf? I'd say it smells a lot like Salinger, although Salinger wasn't even on the screen at the time this was written and published. It's strange. Or maybe Salinger smelled like early, unpublished Bukowski ;)

"The Rapist's Story" was a better read the second time, although I still find the whole worm-thing rather stupid and obvious. I think what he wanted to do here was a big and difficult ("literary") idea, taking one of the most taboo crimes of our times (raping a little child) and mold it into something else, getting the reader to feel sympathy for the "rapist". This seems an idea he played with again and again, as in "The Fiend". But where "The Fiend" is shocking and right into the face of the reader without explanations or whatever, "The Rapist's Story" is kind of begging around for understanding or sympathy or something. I don't know, it simply seems like trying to me, the whole story, and as we all know, that's something you bon't.
Can one find somewhere here the cover of The Outsider issue #3, with a Bukowski picture on it, about which a "well-known literary figure in England" wrote to Jon Webb: "How dare you run a face like that on your cover?" (cf the text titled The Outsider)?
Last edited by a moderator:

Users who are viewing this thread