New Biography out this month? (1 Viewer)



I went to the local book stores today looking for any used novel of Bukowski.

The first used store said they had a copy of ".......Insanity...", but they sold it for $6.50.
So I went up and over the hill to the only other new and used book store, and the had "post office", "and two others and a book of poems.
They were all in paperback. Are there any hard covers out there anymore?

Oh yeah, the biography. Get this, the largest bookstore in town (with a magazine rack as long as Las Vegas Blvd had Zero anythings by Bukowski.

The guy looked on the computer and told me there is a biography coming out this month. I wondered if it's by someone here.
As far as the hardbacks... I'm not sure if Ecco is reprinting those. Black Sparrow PRess kept them all in print in Paper and hardback. That being said, most bookstores only carries the paperbacks on their shelves. You could occasionally find the stray hardback on the shelves, but I suspect that was a special order that was never picked up. You could have always ordered them from Black Sparrow directly. Ecco Press (HarperCollins) has rereleased most of the titles by Bukowski in paperback with thinner paper and covers. The old Black Sparrow books were a piece of art and they used the best papers for the HB & PB editions, including reprint editions. What I'm getting at is that it would not be a bad idea to look online for HB (later) editions of the titles that are Black Sparrow editions. They usually retailed at $27.50 each. Some sellers have JACKED up the prices, but a later edition HB should still be available at around $30.

I don't know anything about this title ".....insanity....." for $6.50. Anyone else hear of it. Maybe it was a wrong title by the bookseller (Kinda like "the Captain is out to Brunch")?

I'm not sure about any new biographies. I do know that a new or revised edition would probably qualify as a "new Release" to someone who did not know about the first version. If that is the case, it could be a revised edition of Sounes, Neeli, etc.... It could also be thew paperpack edition of the Barry Miles Bio

The general opinion is that "Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life" by Sounes is the best biography.

I hope that this helps.
Never heard of 'Insanity' either.
I reckon either you or the sales person had the wrong end of the stick on that one.
No new biography on the cards too, as far as I can tell.
Go to Amazon or ABE (online) to find good quality, cheap Bukowski books (new and new/used respectively).
P.S. The largest bookstore in town usually has the least good books - why is that?
I think Bill is right on the money. The "new" bio is likely the Barry Miles book. It was reviewed in the NY Times not long ago. I think it was originally a UK publication and is now getting a paperback release in the U.S. Does that sound plausible? He is also correct about the Sounes bio. That one says it all and you really don't need to read any others. If you can get your hands on "Bukowski in Pictures," also by Sounes, GRAB IT. It's great. I got a call from a friend in Cleveland who was standing in front of a stack of them in a Half Price Books store. And they were the hardcover first editions!
Just on that (and this is one of my favorite gripes) I don't think there's a good Bukowski biography written yet.
Even Sounes could not maintain a critical distance.
If someone wants to write a fanzine (fanbook?) I'm OK with that...just go all the way - swear your allegiance to the master and crank up the band!
Sounes waivers between objectivity and adulation.
Cherkovskis is a insomniacs dream book.
Miles does have too much Miles (a criticism one could also level at Cherkovski)
Winans is just Winans
and on it goes like this.
I've said it before, but the only book worth reading about Bukowski is by Gay Brewer. That and maybe Harrisons Against the American Dream.
I know a lot of people disliked the latter but at least it attempted to seriously discuss the mans work in a critical manner.
Both books place CB in an historical context and discuss the writing.

And that's what it's all about.

Maybe in another 30-50 years someone will write the definitive book on CB; one eighth biography, seven eighths critical study of the words within the framework of 20th century literature. Tracing the line from Whitman, through W.C. Williams, Pound, Cummings, Jeffers, Hemingway, Neruda and what came after and how it all moved either directly towards or directly away from Bukowski.
I've said it before, but the only book worth reading about Bukowski is by Gay Brewer. That and maybe Harrisons Against the American Dream.
I know a lot of people disliked the latter but at least it attempted to seriously discuss the mans work in a critical manner.
Both books place CB in an historical context and discuss the writing.
There are also 30 pages of critical study in Contemporary Literary Criticism 82 (published in - take a wild guess - 1982!) for those who like that sort of dissection. It's mainly a collection of shorter essays by all the usual suspects.
I think the Sounes bio is the best so far, warts and all. The Miles bio rely too much on the poems being the gospel truth. However he does have info not to be found in the Sounes bio ( such as how Buk's mother always stood up for him when he was in trouble in school and visited him in Ma Norman's roominghouse to see if he had clean clothes and money, even getting him a job scrubbing freight cars in the Southern Pacific Railroad yards. So the myth about Buk having a mother who did not care or love him at all is somewhat disspelled). I have'nt read the books by Brewer and Harrison yet but they do sound like they're worth the read...
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Yeah, it's an interesting bio for sure. And the same goes for the notes in the back of the book! When I bought it I read it twice in a row! :)
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lol i didnt even know neeli cherkovski was gay till I read this bio. LOL or harold norse. man oh man, i'm learning a great deal from this book.
finished the biography today. I thought that Sounes used his biography to describe Hank in a very real/raw light. It showed me a very different side to the man. Four stars!
Four stars? Out of how many? Five? - Anyway, glad you liked it. Have you read Cherkovski's bio? Not as thorough as Sounes', but he has some interesting stories about his relationship with Buk and what they did together. Watching boxing matches, getting drunk, publishing "Laugh literary...", going to Norm's, etc. Surely worth reading...
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I just bought the Miles bio and have read about the first fifty pages, so far i am pretty unimpressed :( (not that it matters what I think) but this far in it reads an awful lot like the Cherkvoski bio. I guess i was hoping for some new info, maybe all thats known has already been written? anyway I hope that it improves as it goes along.......
There are SOME new info in Miles, such as Buk's relationship with his mother. It seems as "the unloving mother" was something of a myth. It's on page 56. Bits of new info pops up here and there, not found in Sounes bio. My only complaint is that Miles rely too much on the poems as being the gospel truth. Sounes is still the best so far...
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