if you like bukowski...

#1
what else should you read?

i've read about every damn bukowski book i can get my hands on.

i tried last exit to brooklyn and it was good but no bukowski.


few of my all time favs:
confederacy of dunces

catch 22

lolita

steppenwolf

1984


recently started reading philip roth but after sabbath's theater
i fear it all may be downhill

oh i also read fante's books
and celine
of course, also knut hamson's "hunger."
these all via bukowski... i tried lawrence but maybe i just don't know where to begin... generally prefer novels to poetry.
 

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#3
John Fante, Hunter Thompson, Mark Twain...I could be wrong, but I think anyone who appreciates the absurdity, disappointment with humanity and humor in Bukowski would appreciate these as well.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
#5
And don't forget the books about Bukowski: Interview books (Pivano, Calonne), bio's etc. ...
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#10
Lolita???? I loved it but it's very un-Bukowski-ish. (Unless you're thinking of the scene in Women (I think?) where he gets a hard-on rolling around on the grass with the pre-teen girl!)

Definitely Celine's Journey to the end of the night.
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
Over 500 posts
#11
You can't go wrong with Raymond Carver.
that's true!

also, how about jack london or eugene o'neil "drinking their lives away."
london's JOHN BARLEYCORN, a fascinating book on his descent into alcoholism; or o'neil's semi-autobiographical play, "long days journey into night." ??
 

justine

stop the penistry
Over 1000 posts
#12
i would second the Carver and Dan Fante recommendations, and also recommend Denis Johnson's "Jesus' Son", Maggie Dubris' "Weep Not, My Wanton", and anything by Carson McCullers.
 
#13
I certainly agree with the Raymond Carver recommendation and I would also suggest Knut Hamsun and any of William T. Vollmann's fiction.
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Over 1000 posts
#16
If you like Bukowski's poetry you might want to investigate poets like Todd Moore and Ron Androla (and many others). Google them. Things show up.

Another absurd writer is Willie Smith. His stuff shows up online at zygote in my coffee.

Here's a recent offering. Don't think it's his best but it is entertaining, which always seemed to be one of Bukowski's criteria to shake up the staid lit world.

http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/80s/issue86superfish.html

I keep looking for a columnist that entertains, etc. Used to be a guy named Brian "Godzilla" Salmi in a Vancouver, BC, paper called Terminal City that was consistently good week in and week out but both he and the paper have disappeared.
 

Olaf

Over 100 posts
#18
I resent this ever so slightly but their are only three poets I truly love:

*Charles Bukowski

*e.e cummings

*Walt Whitman

Why do I resent? Because they are all Great American writers...Scotland seems to lack the same kind of Spirit these poets had...I can't find poets like them anywhere....except myself...

The good news is: there is plenty of work to be done here in Scotland, the words still need to be enlivened. I carry the Torch. :)
 

justine

stop the penistry
Over 1000 posts
#19
privileged: you mentioned at the beginning of the thread that you had tried reading philip roth but without much joy. try "american pastoral" - i loved it. it's not really in a buk-style but it explores the myth of the "american dream" and the stereotype of the "american male". no easy answers and no happy endings, but a really thought-provoking book. roth seems to have two distinct styles: while i loved "american pastoral" and "the ghostwriter", i hated "portnoy's complaint" and "the greatest american novel". depends on your taste, i guess. i prefer his more serious and dramatic writing to his black humour/slapstick stuff.
 
#20
I resent this ever so slightly but their are only three poets I truly love:

*Charles Bukowski

*e.e cummings

*Walt Whitman

Why do I resent? Because they are all Great American writers...Scotland seems to lack the same kind of Spirit these poets had...I can't find poets like them anywhere....except myself...

The good news is: there is plenty of work to be done here in Scotland, the words still need to be enlivened. I carry the Torch. :)
come now Olaf, what about old Robbie Burns ? ;)
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Over 1000 posts
#23
Read Where Dead Voices Gather recently. Have Country, Hell Fire, Unsung Heroes of Rock and Roll, the Dean Martin bio on the shelf. Read them. Want to get the Sonny Liston book. Haven't got into the fiction.

Like his friend Richard Meltzer Tosches definitely offers some good moments of writing and insight into topics you might not have thought worthy.
 

Olaf

Over 100 posts
#24
come now Olaf, what about old Robbie Burns ?
I have one book of Rabby Burns. I think it's dull and boring all in all. 'Tam o Shanter' is a great story, and some of the auld Scots language is good to hear, but all in all, I find it dull, terse and cryptic.

and james thomson

I had never heard of him until you mentioned him.

There is no living poet in Scotland that has that same streak of invention I have found in so many american poets. I can think of some that are very inventive - Edwin Morgan because one of them, but none as much of an Icon as Bukowski, and with such an accessible style.
 

bogthing

Over 100 posts
#25
Read Where Dead Voices Gather recently. Have Country, Hell Fire, Unsung Heroes of Rock and Roll, the Dean Martin bio on the shelf. Read them. Want to get the Sonny Liston book. Haven't got into the fiction.

Like his friend Richard Meltzer Tosches definitely offers some good moments of writing and insight into topics you might not have thought worthy.
The Sonny Liston bio was real good. Have not read many of the fictional works either. Seems like an interesting character, Jersey City, coming up in a bar and all that.
 

Bill Sikes

Over 100 posts
#26
Anybody mentioned Celine's "Journey to the end of the night?" Also, Camus "Stranger." Dan Fante is entertaining while reading, but only once around. Unlike Bukowski, unlike John Fante or 'Journey....'
 
#27
You might want to read those authors whom Bukowski most admired (and many of whom are my favorites as well):

Ernest Hemingway (specifically his early short stories)
Louis Ferdinand Celine (specifically _Journey_--I don't think Bukowski liked much of his later work, although I do)
John Fante (specifically those novels "starring" Arturo Bandini)
Knut Hamsun (specifically _Hunger_; incidently, Knut is my favorite writer of fiction)
Fyodor Dostoevsky (as has been said by men wiser than myself, in _Notes From Underground_ one can "hear the voice of blood")
D.H. Lawrence

As for poets, I guess Ezra Pound ranks near the top, as does Robinson Jeffers.

Though I doubt Bukowski was familiar with him, some of my favorite writings are the "autobiographical fiction" of August Strindberg (_Inferno_, _Alone_, _Son of a Servant_, etc.)
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Over 1000 posts
#28
Anybody mentioned Celine's "Journey to the end of the night?" Also, Camus "Stranger." Dan Fante is entertaining while reading, but only once around. Unlike Bukowski, unlike John Fante or 'Journey....'
I enjoyed Celine's (death on the installment plan) like crazy more than Journey... and I agree with Fante only once around. Loved Dostoevsky's crime and punishment. But Buk is bedside buddy anytime any page any poem any story.
Buk:"Poetry is what happens when nothing else can" THE FLASH OF LIGHTNING BEHIND THE MOUNTAIN
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Over 1000 posts
#30
Others in the alphabet soup

Boris Vian, Émile Nelligan, Al Purdy... I enjoyed Jeff Torrington but regrettably the Scottish slang was a bit much for me.
 
Top