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

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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

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

Rekrab

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Over 1000 posts
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.
 

ESO9

Over 100 posts
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

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Over 1000 posts
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.
 

ESO9

Over 100 posts
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

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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.
 

Black Swan

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So, let's say, we'd classify the writing as folk art, or art naif, or even a memory jug. :)
 

Rekrab

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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

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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

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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.
 

ESO9

Over 100 posts
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

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Over 1000 posts
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.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
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.
 

ESO9

Over 100 posts
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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Over 1000 posts
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

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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.
 

Rekrab

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Over 1000 posts
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.
 
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