Loving and Hating Charles Bukowski by Linda King - Available Now

You can get your copy of the uncensored book Loving and Hating Charles Bukowski by Linda King.

http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Hating-Charles-Bukowski-Linda/dp/1461071097/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352413706&sr=8-1&keywords=loving and hating charles bukowski

Or get a signed copy at: http://www.kisskillpress.com

The book is getting great reviews:
Gerald Nicosia author of: Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac said "I learned more about Bukowski than all of the other books about him". Bob Dorsee (Supreme Court Judge) said he had to "read slow as he had to go take a cold shower ever couple of chapters". Sharon Dubeigo (San Francisco - Writer/Poet) said, "Fucking Fantastic!"
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I did buy the book. Page 254 is entirely blurry, which I reported. I was wandering if anyone else had a problem with their copy. So far, no reply.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
That would be appreciated. I just sent you my address in a private message. I did send you a picture of the page. :)
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
My page 254 is fine. By the way, there are some great Bukowski letters in the book, by themselves well worth the price of the book.
 
I just finished reading Linda King's "Loving and Hating Charles Bukowski." I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only thing it needs is some editing. Other than that it's a very entertaining read. I have a new respect for Linda King.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
ES09 -- I agree. The book could use professional editing, there are grammar lapses and it could be tightened up in spots, but it is a compelling read. I think there's a danger that many will dismiss the book because her style is rough. Linda's not highly educated, but make no mistake. She's intelligent and talented. She's also authentic, an absolute original, and she was there, very close to Bukowski at an interesting time. Her insights and perceptions seem to go deeper into who Bukowski really was and how his mind worked than many others who knew him and have written about it. I think there's a lot to learn about Bukowski from this book. I have been surprized by the things she relates. I find her an interesting person and artist in her own right, aside from Bukowski, although the relationship with him is the only reason most of us know of her. The Linda King I see in this book is what makes me want to read her novel, Mad Ouija.
 
Yes, Rekrab. I agree with you as well. I found the book to be a very raw & honest look into a side of Bukowski we only got a glimpse of with Pam's book "Scarlet," but Linda held nothing back. I found myself laughing out loud on more than a few occasions. Any true Buk fan will love this book - warts and all. You just have to look past the grammatical errors.
 

mjp

Founding member
Since when do we "look past the grammatical errors" in a published book? Have we really sunk to such a level that the language of a book doesn't matter anymore?

King's book is not put together well, it doesn't tell a cohesive story, its main character (the author, for christ's sake) is not the least bit sympathetic, and its underlying anger and bitterness remind me of books written by other people who were jealous of the subject. In short, it's a mess.

There's a reason that athletes and musicians and other non-writers use ghost writers. As for the idea that the book would benefit from some editing - it was edited. So if you think it's a mess now, remember that it is a cleaned up mess. What it really needed was to be rewritten, and even then I have to wonder what value it would have, beyond reprinting some of Bukowski' letters.

And I'll just say for the record that of all the people who knew Bukowski and could write a book about him, this is the one that I most looked forward to reading. It was a tremendous disappointment in every way a book can disappoint. I'm afraid I can't look past all of its failures to find a good thing to say about it.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
That's how I look at it, Black Swan. I see it as a fascinating document, a piece of history. I can get all the perfectly edited books I want from the big publishers, and most of them bore me silly. I'm only half way through Linda's book, but I don't see the anger and bitterness that you do, mjp. Actually, it seems pretty fair and forgiving. She took a lot of abuse from him, and was able to look past it to the good parts of their relationship. I would not want a ghost written version of this book. It would be smoother, but I like the rawness, the rough edges. It feels very real to me. I guess it's just a matter of personal taste.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
I haven't read it yet, but I will go on record saying that a book full of grammatical and typographical errors drives me bonkers, no matter the size of the publisher. It's lazy and does a disservice to the reader. This isn't a book that was put out after King's death as an unfinished document of interest to Bukowski aficionados, it's something she has been working on for years.

That rant being said, I'm sure I'll find it of interest when I finally read it. It is about Bukowski, after all.
 

mjp

Founding member
She took a lot of abuse from him, and was able to look past it to the good parts of their relationship.
Everyone in his life took abuse from him.

The difference between others who have written about him and "looked past" the abuse and King is King seems to take a lot of responsibility for who Bukowski eventually became, what he wrote -- the final pages of that book are almost comically absurd ("Without me [...] the world would have less of his great writing."). Not to mention the final, clearly tacked-on insult of claiming he was queer.

It's sad that so much of her raison d'etre is that handful of years spent (partially) with Bukowski. It's sad that she surrounds herself, even now, decades later, with sycophants who are continually feting her, producing cheap items for her to autograph and sitting around toasting "the real Linda Bukowski." It's sad that she has a son who seems intent on milking every penny he can from her relationship with Bukowski. It's all very sad.

But that doesn't make the book any better.

The only other book you can reasonably compare it to is Scarlet, and Loving and Hating is not in the same class as Pam's book. Not as a piece of literature or a first-person account historic document. (Though if you want to read about how much King loves dancing, you will not be disappointed. The words dance, dancing, dances and dancer appear 200 times in the book, the word Bukowski, 600 times.)

If you don't see anger, what can I say. Maybe I'm reading the anger in. But it wasn't a pleasant experience reading it, any way you slice it. I had to force myself to finish it.
 
mjp: You read her posts on Facebook. She wasn't even going to publish the book until people started coming out of the woodwork wanting to read it. Also, in her book she claims to not to care about her lack of grammar, how Buk often made fun of her misspellings, etc. She doesn't give a damn. I wish she would have had it edited. I cringed reading a lot of it. But I tried to overlook it.

As far as bitterness.... Yes, It did sound like she is/was bitter, and jealous of Linda Lee as well.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
The only other book you can reasonably compare it to is Scarlet, and Loving and Hating is not in the same class as Pam's book.

(Though if you want to read about how much King loves dancing, you will not be disappointed. The words dance, dancing, dances and dancer appear 200 times in the book, the word Bukowski, 600 times.)
I'm only about 20 pages into Scarlet. I just don't find it very compelling, although it's much better written. You're absolutely right about the dancing thing. Too many dancing references.

On the grammar lapses, they really don't bother me at all. As a writer, I'm an obsessive proofreader. I go over everything about 20 times. Not for content or word choice, but for typos. But as a reader, the content -- ideas, emotions, facts -- are all I really care about. The paper can be cheap, the binding shoddy, the graphic design lousy, the text can be riddled with typos. As long as I can read it, I don't care about all that stuff. To me that is about publishing, not about writing. But that's just me. I understand it bothers most people.
 
I found Scarlet to be a most refreshing read. No self-aggrandizing prattle, just a very well-written, reflective telling of a portion of her life. At the end of the day, that's all it was. In my mind, there's no need to make more of it than what it was. Pamela Wood seems to get that.
 
You're absolutely right about the dancing thing. Too many dancing references.

I'll be honest: I skipped over a lot of the dancing gibberish when it didn't pertain to Bukowski.
 

mjp

Founding member
she claims to not to care about her lack of grammar, how Buk often made fun of her misspellings, etc. She doesn't give a damn.
Then she should find another hobby.

the text can be riddled with typos. As long as I can read it, I don't care about all that stuff. To me that is about publishing, not about writing.
You wouldn't say that about a musician ("someone else had to come in overdub her parts on the final mix...she hits a lot of wrong notes, but that's okay with me") so you shouldn't say it about a writer.

If you are ignorant of language you aren't a writer. At best you're a storyteller. Which brings me back to the point that she is not a good storyteller.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
I'm not sure the comparison between writers and musicians really works. No, I wouldn't want to hear a musician who hits the wrong notes, but there are technical glitches that are cleaned up by the sound technician in the studio. A book is often a collaboration between a writer and an editor. Some great writers couldn't spell for beans and needed their work cleaned up by an editor. Then there's painting. In traditional, classical art, we expect technical excellence, but not in modern art, where anything goes, as long as the artist makes it work. Basquiat uses words in his paintings and often they are very crudely written, with errors and cross-outs. His people and cars and such are stick figures. It all works. With writers, you have the literary artists, who are technically perfect, and you have the storytellers, who make all sorts of blunders. The guy that wrote The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a good storyteller, but a mediocre writer, IMO. A few writers can do both well, like Bukowski. I think Linda is more in the storyteller camp than the literary artist camp. I find her story interesting, but that's just me. The editor, whoever that was, did a bad job. It sure looks unedited.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
Then there's painting. In traditional, classical art, we expect technical excellence, but not in modern art, where anything goes, as long as the artist makes it work. Basquiat uses words in his paintings and often they are very crudely written, with errors and cross-outs. His people and cars and such are stick figures. It all works.

basquiat he did that intentionally to make the work stronger. he knew exactly what he was doing.

i don't think king chose to write with bad grammar and typos cause she thought it would strengthen the book.

i thought anybody writing anything about knowing bukowski would be a compelling read until
i read some excerpts from her book.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
It is a fun book to read. It doesn't appear to be edited. There is no excuse for writing the words (dance, dancing, dancer, or even dancing that much :wb: ) 40 times in 3-4 pages, but I am learning things about Bukowski that I didn't know. Linda says that she had very low self confidence and that she could easily be challenged. That Bukowski was a major influence in her life is a factor for wanting to be heard, and that she'd also been important to him. I don't see jealousy in it, but more of a determination to be heard and a refusal to be put down. I also give her credit for all the art that she's created and still does.
I also see that she had to manage motherhood, artistry, and a tumultuous love life. That's a difficult act to to follow. She never ran out of passion...

I saw 2 Basquiat's, just a few days ago. I was a little surprised for not being flabbergasted. I looked and looked, finally left with a deflated sense of curiosity.
Balance is the word that stayed with me. He had a sense of equilibrium.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
Basquiat (and other modern artists) was playing with traditions and conventions, while King needed just a second set of eyes (an editor) to help her out. bad grammar and typos is not a "style." I'm not talking about a character in a novel that has bad grammar, of course. that's just the character. and I'm not talking about someone like Hemingway who went between short sentences and long ones without commas to create a rhythm; that's a style.

(on a side note, and to get this around to talking about me, finally, I always need my wife or someone to proofread anything I do. I have a tendency to occasionally drift between tenses, and after writing and reading anything so many times [because I'm an amateur OCDer] I just can't see typos or lapses in grammar after a while. I need that second set of eyes.)

but I agree with you David in that in some cases (very few), bad writing can be overlooked if the reader gets something out of it. I just don't think it was necessary in the case of the King book. I'm sure she could have had plenty of volunteers to help her clean up the grammar and typos without changing the feel of the book and what she was trying to say. hell, I would've done it for a free signed copy. I spel gud.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
All good comments, and I agree with most of it. Yes, Basquiat knew exactly what he was doing, and did it masterfully, while King's errors are simply errors, not style. I guess my point is that in published writing, we seem to care very much that a word is misspelled or the layout is "sloppy", while in a Basquiat, we don't care, because we know he could do it right, he he wanted to. It seems a double standard. I generally agree with it, but I just can't bring myself to dismiss any piece of writing based solely on bad grammar and other technical lapses. If there is something of interest in the content, then it has value for me. I see Linda's book as an important document. Fine writing is everywhere. The academic poets all write very nicely. I'll trade meaty content for perfect style any day. Guess I am hopeless perverse and contrarian in this, as in so many things.
 

mjp

Founding member
I just can't bring myself to dismiss any piece of writing based solely on bad grammar and other technical lapses.
Well, as I originally said, I dismissed it based on the fact that "it doesn't tell a cohesive story [and] its main character [the author] is not the least bit sympathetic." The horrible writing is just the icing on the cake.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
You_don't_like_it.jpg

:rolleyes:
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Well, as I originally said, I dismissed it based on the fact that "it doesn't tell a cohesive story [and] its main character [the author] is not the least bit sympathetic." The horrible writing is just the icing on the cake.

That's where we disagree. I find it a fairly cohesive story (aside from the dancing bits), and I find her a sympathetic character. I think it boils down to me being a much easier sell than you. I've also been called gullible. But if I didn't think the story held together or couldn't connect with the author emotionally, then no doubt the lack of editing would put the nail in the coffin for me.

It may be entirely unrelated, but the Jehovah's Witness people keep coming back because I'm polite to them and listen when they read me Bible quotes.
 
I'm going out on a limb here, because I was only able to read the sample pages available on the Amazon website, but the editing and proofing of Linda's book is extremely shoddy if the samples indicate the rest of the content. Typos, misplaced commas, repeated information, grammatical errors - there are even typos on the back cover copy, which you would think someone would proof. I hold her publisher at least partly to blame. I think Bukowski had a great love for Linda, one of the great loves of his life. You can see it in the Taylor Hackford film when he breaks down reading the poem about knowing Linda will eventually leave him. Her experiences are valuable. Beyond the anecdotes about the fights, I wonder if she gets into more intimate details: How was Bukowski with her kids? Did Marina ever come over? What did she witness about Buk's writing process? Maybe this stuff is in the book, but if it isn't and I was her editor, I'd give her a long list of stuff to investigate. And then I'd fix her copy so it stops poking a stick in your eye. Someone in the process of getting this book into print was very lazy - maybe she didn't even have an editor - just a publishing outfit cashing in on Bukowski's passionate readership.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Mark: yes, the book was very poorly edited. Whoever did it wasn't up to the task. Like you say, even the back cover blurb has mistakes. Like changes back and forth in tense. The book is riddled with errors and the layout is goofy, with big random spaces between paragraphs for no reason. It looks like it is probably a print on demand, do it yourself publication, but I don't know that for a fact. That said, there is, for some readers, interesting content. I'm only half way through the book, so I don't know what all she addresses, but she does get into Bukowski's habits and attitude towards the craft of writing, his social interactions with people -- can't recall if she talks about Marina. I really wish a good publisher had picked this up and a professional editor had forced her to fix the mistakes and given her "a long list to investigate" covering anything she's too silent on. But as-is, for me, it's a valuable document. Many readers are put off by the sloppiness, and some don't find her interesting, or find her narrative voice annoying.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
I'm finally getting to the part where she talks about the publication of Me and Your Sometimes Love Poems, then breaking up with Bukowski and moving to Utah, then getting a copy of the newly published Erections, Ejaculations etc., in the mail. Her chronology doesn't match what I remember. She says she was living at DeLongpre courts when Me and Your came out. I went to what I thought was Linda King's house for the publication party for the book. It was a suburban ranch style house, not DeLongpre. Then, she says, she moved to Utah. Then Erections came out. All this in April and May 1972. The book I had Bukowski sign was Erections, and she was sitting at his side, at a bar in Long Beach. She wasn't in Utah. Apparently it's jumbled in her memory. Easy to do when you are writing about events of many years ago. I suspect I have garbled the chronology in my own writing about Bukowski. Does anyone know what months those two books were published?
 

mjp

Founding member
Her chronology is off in several places, which is odd, considering that it looks like they used the timeline here for a lot of things (when she mentions exact dates of readings, etc.).

Me And Your Sometimes Love Poems is dated 1972, but Bukowski moved to her house in Silver Lake in February of 1973. According to other accounts of the "collating party," I suspect your memory is correct and the book wasn't actually completed until early 1973.
 
It would be very interesting if someone on this board that Linda trusted could wade in and edit a revised and expanded edition that would then be presented to a real publisher. I'm really surprised she doesn't have an offer from a real house, even a respectable small press. If you think of the important women in Buk's life, Linda quickly come to mind. Is Linda Lee blocking this in some way? Does she have that kind of power? I see a lot of potential for a revised edition that could go mainstream.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
mjp: Silver Lake it was -- thanks for that, and the 1973 date. Now that you've given me the name, I do remember it being Silver Lake where the publication party was held. I didn't know Bukowski was living there with her. My own memories are so jumbled I want to make a timeline of the period during which I saw Bukowski. I distrust some of the things I seem to remember. Not that they didn't happen, but when, in what order. With hard facts like publication dates, dates on letters, etc., I may be able to get a semi-correct version. Not that it will matter much to anyone but me, but I'd like to have it straight in my mind.
[...] Is Linda Lee blocking this in some way? Does she have that kind of power? [...]
I imagine Linda Lee does not want Linda King's memoir to get wide circulation, and it wouldn't surprise me if some small press editors would stay away from the project for that reason.

I checked my second edition of Me And Your Sometimes Love Poems and in it Linda says the first edition of 50 copies was published in 1971 (not 72 or 73), while she was living in one of the DeLongpre Court apartments and Bukowski was in another. This is sheer conjecture, but maybe the poems were written and collected in 71/early 72, but not actually published until early 73 when Bukowski moved in with her at the Silver Lake house. By the way, here's a photo of that house from the Sounes photo book.

That photo, with the front entrance on the right up a high staircase, doesn't look right to me. I recall the entrance being either in the center or on the left, with windows on the right, but hell, I very well may be wrong. If that isn't the house, then the collation / publication party must have been at someone else's place, but I do remember it being Linda's house, so I'm confused as usual. I probably am not remembering it as it was, visually.

Edited to add: Doing a Google Earth street view on the address, I see there is not only a stairway and entrance on the right, over the garage, but also a walkway with less steep stairs and possibly a door on the left side. Hard to tell with all the vegetation, but I may be remembering it correctly.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mjp

Founding member
It would be very interesting if someone on this board that Linda trusted could wade in and edit a revised and expanded edition that would then be presented to a real publisher.
I think it requires more than an edit. I also seem to recall that a small press was interested in it years ago. I don't know what happened to that deal, but from what I've heard, Linda and/or her son seem to have an inflated idea of the monetary value of the story.
I imagine Linda Lee does not want Linda King's memoir to get wide circulation, and it wouldn't surprise me if some small press editors would stay away from the project for that reason.
You're probably right, but I honestly don't understand why anyone would be concerned with what Linda Bukowski wants at this point. She isn't about to hand over any significant body of unpublished work to a small press to publish as a collection (though ironically that's the only way we'd ever get anything close to the actual work), so why everyone wants to curry favor with her is a mystery to me.

I would assume that the sticking point with King's book would be Bukowski's letters - the estate/publisher could deny use of those - and they are the only redeeming value of the book as it stands.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
I've been wondering how long it'll be before Linda Lee objects to the letters. There are many of them, quoted at length, and they are damned good letters.
 
I think it requires more than an edit. I also seem to recall that a small press was interested in it years ago. I don't know what happened to that deal, but from what I've heard, Linda and/or her son seem to have an inflated idea of the monetary value of the story.
I agree that it needs more than an edit and the addition of the letters would make it an important book, instead of a marginal one. Linda Lee is sitting comfortably on a mountain of Buk's writings. The decent thing to for her to do is let to Linda King have ownership of the letters that were sent to her. This reminds me of when Sir Richard Burton (the explorer) died and his wife burned all of his personal diaries because they contained some sexual content. Seems to be a lot of sexual jealousy in the air with this Linda King and Linda Lee stuff.

Also, if Linda and her son think the manuscript is worth more than they've been offered, then strike a decent percentage deal with a publisher and let the marketplace prove them right.
The disfunction may be deep all around.
 
Top