Love Is a Dog from Hell - Bukowski's bestseller poetry book (1 Viewer)

cirerita

Founding member
I haven't double-checked the printings since then, but back in 2001 Love is Dog from Hell was Bukowski's bestseller poetry book with 27 printings. I asked John Martin why did he think that particular book was the bestselling one as far as poetry was concerned.
He gave me two main reasons, one being the "catchy title" -or something similar- and I just can't recall the other.


So what's your take? Why do you think Love is a Dog... sells better than the other poetry books? -many of them with as catchy a title as this one.
 

mjp

Founding member
Heh, well, seriously, I think it's the title. If that is really the best selling book, that means for a lot of people, that's their only Bukowski book. So they probably don't know much about his body of work, yet they chose that book. Why else but the title? Dangling in the Tournefortia is a better collection of poems, but who the hell can even pronounce tournefortia?
 
In Arizona most book stores only have about three choices when it comes to buks poetry so it is understandable that people would pick that one. Most people that hear of bukowski know that he is known for being a "drunken romantic," so that title is one of the only that would fit their assumption...except maybe "you get so alone ...."

I must say that my favorite collection of his poetry was mockingbird wish me luck, that book is amazing in my opinion
 
I'd be curious to know how many are printed in subsequent printings. When you think about it, 27 printings is a lot. If the printings were small, did it have something to do with Black Sparrow's capacity to produce large numbers in one printing or was it financial, i.e., did Martin have to scrape up money to produce each printing?
 

mjp

Founding member
I think the initial printings of the later books was 5000 (can be verified through Krumhansl), and I would expect a reprint to be less than that - 1000? If that's close (and I'm just guessing) that's really not very many books. I mean, compared to something like the fucking DaVinci Code (that should be the title; The Fucking DaVinci Code), which has sold 40 million copies.

The earnings that cirerita posted for 1978 show that Bukowski's North American royalties were paltry compared to the foreign royalties. Without Weissner's continual push in Germany/Europe, Bukowski may have been driving the Volkswagon bug to a shithole apartment in Hollywood until the day he died.

Kind of makes you wonder what it would have been like - the writing of the later years without the financial security...
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Of course, the title itself fits the mood of the times (i think) and Love is always a popular subject. I don't think its his best collection, though. I would put "Dangling In The Tournefortia" (pronounced "tor-nah-FORSCH-ee-ah" ?) or "Burning In Water/Drowning In Flame" ahead of "L.I.A.D.F.H."

Overall, its probably the lure of "L-O-V-E" explained by the loveless, or lovesick, and how the hell did he manage it ? Lol

Glad to see Borders pumping out all the new ECCO editions in downtown Chicago - huge audience here - though I try to divide my purchases between them and the local bookstore on NW side.
 

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