bukowski guidance (1 Viewer)

hello all
i need advice on where to go next with cb
i have read ham on rye,hollywood,pulp,women,p.o.
now i want to move on to a few more essentials
he has so many out their i was hoping i could get some people to list favorites and or essentials
nothing obscure.available books.
Try Betting on the Muse. It has both short stories & poems spanning his whole career.
essentials huh?
well thats a no brainer bud...you've finished with the novels and some might say that one of his greatest works, which appeared in Open City and the LA Free Press is NOTES OF A DIRTY OLD MAN. that is essential for anybody reading Bukowski. It has my alltime favorite Buk story ever. It's The Little Taylor.
A lot of his early work is essential too. Poetry, I'd go with Burning In Water, Drowning In Flame...because they were taken from the books Crucifix In A Death Hand, It Catches My Heart in Its Hands and At Terror Street And Agony Way.
Also go with The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills because some of those poems appeared in his early chapbooks Poems written before jumping out of an 8 story window, cold dogs in the courtyard, and run with the hunted. Also one of his greatest poems appears in that book. He reads it on the Bukowski At Bellevue reading, KaaKaa And Other Immolations.

and lets not forget The Roominghouse Madrigals

as for short stories
go with
SOUTH OF NO NORTH..because it has the essential bukowski stories All The Assholes in the world and mine and the fuck machine. basically that whole book is good. AND Hot Water Music...not just for You Kissed Lilly but the book as a whole.

all bukowski is good really.

check out all his stuff. it's all really essential
Don't forget "Factotum" - the book,not the movie.

Hank: "The fuck machine" is not in "South of no north" but in "The most beautiful woman in town" - just for the record...
Last edited by a moderator:
Me again people 'I'm in the middle of watching the four hour Barbet Schroeder interviews on google video! Which are fucking shit hot' (I also know i need to read most of his work:D 'but needs must as the devil drives us around and around this internet of life as it where' :p
hey killrockstars, it doesn't matter when or why or where you started to read Buk...don't feel like you're a bandwagoner, just as long as you read him. just because the factotum flic turned you on doesn't mean you are less authentic than anyone else.
and read what you can and see what you can by any means necessary.
Don?t forget "Factotum" - the book,not the movie.

Hank: "The fuck machine" is not in "South of no north" but in "The most beautiful woman in town" - just for the record...

ah...correct. but whats that story about the guy who makes a robot lady and then charges guys to fuck her? i get it confused
Iv finished watching the four hour Barbet Schroeder interviews on google video! (Which i enjoyed there mush indeed:D ) But i also believe if we take every story he tells, to be true, we will be more than just idiots, we will all be true to are selves:confused: (Mistakes are what makes us average!)
for some reason, I had a really hard time finishing that book. Don't ask me why, his older stuff is my personal fav but just the form and structure of his line back then was harder to grasp.
I recently found out it goes by Tales of Ordinary Madness now. I like the longer title better. I think I might have lent my copy away but I remember it as a favorite at the time, twenty or so years ago. I like all his stuff and I can't imagine someone liking one book of his but not another. As they say you hate him or love him. Just started re-reading South of no North and enjoying it alot.
the only book from bukowski that i just like 100%(and not 200% ,like the others) is Woman.
Somehow ,he wasnt himself writing this book...:)

..its also the only book that martin(BSpress) tried to edit at a greater extent prior to publishing,which pissed buk off greatly.
Hank checked everything before the second printing and made martin write "2nd,corrected edition" under the title.
I've never read any Bukowski, where would you guys suggest starting?

I prefer novels and short stories in general, I'm really not into poems.
Try the big fat collection Run With the Hunted: A Charles Bukowski Reader

Bit of everything in there...
reach for the sun

reach for the sun
i am reading this book of letters again
slowly to let it sink in good

it mostly makes me want me to have access to the
NYQ library

anyone ,anyone
I don't know if I would recommend the letter collections to a newbie. Save the letters for after you've read all the stories, novels and poetry. You will appreciate them more when you have an overall grasp of his work and life.
I'll probably end up grabbing one of his novels at random. I guess I was more concerned about picking one out, not really caring for it, and hearing "Ugh, you shouldn't have started with that one" from people.
you probably shouldn't start with Pulp. when I reread the novels, I read them in order of Buk's life. Ham on Rye first, then Factotum, Post Office, Women, Hollywood. Pulp is sort of a hallucitory coda. Buk in purgatory. read in that order, it's like a long memoir. and a hell of lot more entertaining than most of the bio's done on him.
Thanks for the suggestion. I finished Ham on Rye this morning and I enjoyed it. I'll probably pick up his other novels and read those as well.
Erections, Ejaculations, exibitions and General tales of Ordinary Madness

Dear Guidance:

Grab a six pack (tall) and open a copy of the above title. All the rawness is in there. My favorite is "The Great Zen Wedding". This is the book that was later made into two books, one being the first story in Erections: The Most Beautiful Woman in Town (Linda King). Find the old City Lights version edited
by Gail Chiarrello. Read that. I bought mine in August 1974 for $3.95 Makes me feel like some kind of goddamn devotee. And while you're at it, try to find the little blue chapbook, Second Coming. Go for the roots, man. Yeah.

Users who are viewing this thread