It's an Honor and a Privilege to be Here (1 Viewer)

To the esteemed members of the Charles Bukowski forum, my name is John Altmann and I am quite excited to be a part of this site. I came across Charles Bukowski while researching fictional character Hank Moody from the show Californication (In the middle of the second season so PLEASE NO SPOILERS!) and I saw that his character was likened to Bukowski. So I went in search of his materials and have been enjoying the ride. Currently reading Ham on Rye (Plan on reading Bukowski's novels in the order of his fictional character Henry's progression through life.) and am loving it. I can't remember the last time I was so into a book of any kind. Bukowski's voice is one that resonates very strongly with me. I can't wait to buy/read the span of his bibliography. I haven't been this excited by literature since Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment. So as my opening question I am going to try and be a little different. What is your story as it relates to Bukowski's work? How did you come upon it? How did it impact your life? Do you look back on him and those interactions with fondness or malice. I love hearing stories and I would be honored to hear yours.


Reaper Crew
So, you got infected by Bukowski...

My story is simple: a friend of mine who used to read a lot of various stuff (unlike me, at the time) came up one day and told me there's a book I must read ("This guy is incredible, he calls everything by its name and tells things simply and sincerely." - something like that). He handed me a translation of "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" and I got infected too (with the first page of the book). That happened more than thirty years ago and I'm still infected by Bukowski.

P.S. Welcome.
I haven't been this excited by literature since Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment...What is your story as it relates to Bukowski's work? How did you come upon it? How did it impact your life?...
Ha, Crime and Punishment is among my favorite works. I've never read so long a novel in four days. As for Buk, I was washing up in the men's room at work back in '87 and a friend came in to use the facilities. After the perfunctory exchange of pleasantries (in accordance with standard Men's Room etiquette), there were several seconds of silence. Then, he burst out laughing,

"So, what's the deal," I asked.
"Charles Bukowski, a poet and, well, just a great writer."

And so it began.

In college, a buddy gave me his copy of Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame saying, If you want to write poetry, you need to read 'The Way.' "

I did.
And I do.
Never looked back since.

I think the only Bukowski book I haven't read is Pulp -- but only because I just can't do it...not yet. I know, once I read it, there are no more. So I leave it on the shelf, unread -- with no plans to read it any time soon.
That's a beautiful sentiment Hosh. I can relate to you on that level. Man guys, I am so glad I discovered this forum. Bukowski was just what I needed. I stayed up until 8 AM reading Ham on Rye and I didn't want to stop. I'll finish it no later than Wednesday morning. Bukowski is my intimate love affair, the oasis in the wasteland. I love reading him in the quiet of night when it is just me and Hank (Henry Jr.) Progressing through life. Man it feels good to feel like this again about literature. It had almost become foreign to me.


“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Welcome. I heard about Bukowski when Barfly came out in high school. I heard he and his work were crazy. Loved the movie but it took me a few years before I "got into books" so to speak. Read some of his stuff and laughed my ass off. Loved it. Then he died, I read Pulp and eventually decided to revisit in earnest this Hank guy who used to be friends with Sean Penn. I started in on the "new" books of poetry. Despite being Martinized I loved them. Now, for reasons that will become very clear, I especially love all his work, in varying degrees, all his work up to and including Betting on The Muse that is. What do I mean by "Martinized"? Long story short his publisher John Martin wrecked and fondled Buk's many/most of Buk's post-death BSP & Ecco publications.
I am gonna watch Barfly after I read all of Bukowski's novels. Thanks so much for pointing me in the direction of it. So much Bukowski content between all of his fiction, nonfiction, poetry, documentaries, etc. and so little time to consume it all. Never has being so overwhelmed felt so good.

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