reviews at time of publication (1 Viewer)

I'm really curious what people (mainstream, I guess) thought of CB's work when first published. Does anyone here know of reviews or have personal anecdotes about this?
From personal experience, mainstream critics and most academics hated Bukowski when he was first widely published, back in the 1960s - 70s. They thought it was bad writing and that he was a drunken slob. The only place he got any respect was in the little magazines and the alternative newspapers.
Messed around on proquest today and came up with some (well, many) pdfs. Here is a fairly early review of his work from a literary mag called "The Northwest Review" circa 1963. I will post more 'at time of pub' reviews (since it seems like something fans of Mr. Buk might be into), unless a demonic little dog begins to gnaw at my fingers ... chihuahuas can be persuasive in their way.


  • buk and savage surfaces 1963.pdf
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These ones only make a passing mention of Mr Bukowski.

Well, shit, here come the rest of what I grabbed today - except four or five that the files are too large to be uploaded :/ Unless anybody has a different solution, if you're into these reads, let me know and I can send you the others as email attachments maybe?

especially sweet is a 20 page 1974 interview with London Magazine ...

For example:

Times: What changes have you seen in Los Angeles during the years you've lived here?
CB: Nothing astounding. It's gotten bigger, dumber, more violent and greedier. It's developed along the same lines as the rest of civilization. But there's a part of LA -- you take it away from Hollywood, Disneyland and the ocean, which are places I stay away from, except the beaches in wintertime when there's no one around-- where there's a good, easy feeling. People here have a way of minding their own business. You can get isolation here, or you can have a party. I can get on the phone and in an hour have a dozen people over drinking and laughing. And that's not because I'm a writer who's getting known a little. This has always been, even before I had any luck. But they won't come unless I phone them, unless I want them. You can have isolation, or you can have the crowd. I tend to mix the two, with a preference for isolation.


  • on buk in penuin 1969.pdf
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  • tv drops prudery 1973.pdf
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  • hirschman on it catches 1963.pdf
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  • poetry in a ragged hitch-hiker 1964.pdf
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  • hugh fox on buk1969.pdf
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  • on post office in irish times 1974.pdf
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  • on post office in the london observer 1974.pdf
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Thanks. If the files are too large try a free file hosting service like: and then you can post a link.
If I press on any of these links, it says : This type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep.......pdf anyway (Discard) or (Keep) :(
That's a generic pdf warning, it's not specific to those file attachments.

Whether you open the file depends on how much you trust the person who uploaded it.
please don't trust me. trust your antivirus software. i have avast on mine and it seems to keep things moving clear (which is more than i can say for my inflamed and high-strung descending colon) but then i run an inspiron e1505 with '05 xp and a whopping 2 gig of ram. i gamble that viruses don't waste their time on such small potatoes.


  • buk interview with london mag 1974.pdf
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  • on post office in irish times 1974.pdf
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  • sidebar on charity ward in london mag 1974.pdf
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  • sidebar on post office in The Times 1974.pdf
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thank you all guys for these awesome uploads.
I looking for (old) reviews for post office, can anybody help me? thanks again
Well, shit, here come the rest of what I grabbed today - except four or five that the files are too large to be uploaded :/ Unless anybody has a different solution, if you're into these reads, let me know and I can send you the others as email attachments maybe?
hey man, thanks for all your uploads. do you have anything more? I'm looking specially for reviews of Post Office.
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Wow, Dan Webster just don't get it!!

The Gerald Locklin review is quite good though. He became a friend of sorts to Buk if I'm not mistaken.
[...] Gerald Locklin [...] became a friend of sorts to Buk if I'm not mistaken.
Locklin was one of the first to invite Hank for a public reading. That was around 1970 and Locklin was a teacher of literature at a university then. He also had already been a writer at the time (and still is!). Poetry + Prose. Bukowski did like his stuff, which he stated in several letters (not solely addressed to Lock himself but also to others and: published letters!) over the time.

Locklin was also one of the (few?) friends, who Never had a fall-out with Hank. They kept their friendly status right to the end and beyond.
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Yeah, I was pretty sure Locklin helped with some early public readings through the university and that they remained on good terms until the end. Thanks for the clarity roni
I don't know about the Bronder.

"He's like 'the uncle' the family never talks about"?

"He sleeps late in the morning."

The misspelling of the title.

This is supposed to be a review of Bukowskis latest book? It sounds like something he jerked down in his ten minute coffee break.

But still interesting to read, thx a lot Digney!
From Event volume two, number two, Fall 1972. Event was the lit mag of Douglas College (my old alma mater). A pretty good look at Erections, etc.

I remembered this only because I was reading the latest issue of BC BookWorld on the ferry to Victoria today and a big center spread story on Evanier. Used to be I'd find a copy of BCBW in a bookstore while at work so I'd get it for free and get paid at the same time. Today this freebie cost me $143 round trip. Seems wrong.

from New York Review of Books 1972 -

Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness
by Charles Bukowski

City Lights Books, 478 pp., $3.95 (paper)

Charles Bukowski never did escape from California. Certainly he is quite unimaginable anywhere else, and he is still out there on the West Coast, writing poems and stories about his five decades of drinking, screwing, horse-playing, and drifting around, proving defiantly that even at the edge of the abyss language persists. "A legend in his own time," the cover of his new collection of stories calls him, and that seems fair.

Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness is a mixed lot. Bukowski's main market, the underground press and the girlie mags, casts a long shadow here"”as he says himself, "To get rid of a story you gotta have fucking, lots of it, if possible," and the little formulas of commercial pornography ("one of the best fucks I ever had," etc.) recur on cue. There are some heavy attempts at satiric fantasy, and a tendency to end stories with the kind of peek at the reader ("What would you do?") usually reserved for high-school composition classes.

But Bukowski is more fun to read than that. He writes as an unregenerate lowbrow contemptuous of our claims to superior being. Politics is bullshit, since work is as brutalizing and unrewarding in a liberal order as in any totalitarian one; artists and intellectuals are mostly fakes, smugly enjoying the blessings of the society they carp at; the radical young are spiritless asses, insulated by drugs and their own endless cant from any authentic experience of mind or body; most women are whores, though honest whores are good and desirable; no life finally works, but the best one possible involves plenty of six-packs, enough money to go to the track, and a willing woman of any age and shape in a good old-fashioned garter belt and high heels.

He makes literature out of the unfashionable and unideological tastes and biases of an average Wallace voter. And that sense of life is worth hearing about when it takes the form not of socko sex-and-schmerz but of blunt, unembarrassed explanation of how it feels to be Bukowski, mad but only north-north-west, among pretentious and lifeless claims to originality and fervor. Here he is in an underground press editorial office:

I had been given the idea...that since it was the first anniversary of Open Pussy the wine and the pussy and the life and the love would be flowing.

But coming in very high and expecting to see fucking on the floor and love galore, I only saw all these little love-creatures busily at work. They reminded me very much, so humped and dismal, of the little old ladies working on piecework I used to deliver cloth to, working my way up through rope-hauled elevators full of rats and stink, one hundred years old, piecework ladies, proud and dead and neurotic as all hell, working to make a millionaire out of somebody.

He comes off best at anarchist satire in a plastic world"”drinking and foul-mouthing himself into disgrace in cocktail lounges, on airliners, and at college poetry readings, showing up at a high-society Zen wedding as the only guest who's put on a tie and brought a present (he resentfully gets drunk, tries to remove the Zen master's marvelously translucent ears, and is felled by a karate chop), mistaking long-haired boys for girls, caught between secret pleasure and horror at the knowledge that his poems are known and admired by some of the cognoscenti. For all his dedication to the old role of the macho artist, the boozing, tough-talking writing phallus we knew and loved so well, Bukowski has a bit of the softy, the man of sentiment, the gull in him, happily for his art; he knows as well as we do that history has passed him by and that his loss is ours too, and in some of these sad and funny stories his status as a relic isn't wholly without its sanctity.

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