I just spoke with Al Berlinski (like I'm some kind of a big time insider) and he had a lot of great things to say about the book and Pamela Wood. The book hasn't been printed yet but any day now they'll start. I know from reading all of the posts about Cupcakes and your reactions that I very much look forward to reading this book. Al is a very nice guy and I was surprised he was so receptive to my call. There are still plenty of nice people in the world besides the mean.
(spoke highly of roni as well)
Well, I've had a chance to read this, and it's very well done!
But just 'well done' wouldn't really be a recommendation, would it. This is really a look into the fucked up, insecure, needy side of Bukowski that has been touched on, hinted at, danced around, but never really fully put out there for us to see.
There are only two other people who could have written this, and they are both named Linda. One of them will never write anything like this, and one of them may have, but we may never know. I have only read bits of L. King's book, and those bits didn't feel as intimate as Pam's book does.
For that reason alone, I would rank it among the very best of the books about Bukowski. It's an essential piece of the puzzle, for sure.
Here's a little something that surprised me and may help put one of the questions asked about him in other threads to rest:
He then asked if I would mind turning on the television. He said the Los Angeles Rams were in the playoffs and he wanted to see the game.
While Bukowski preferred boxing and the horses, he did enjoy watching football and baseball games when they were televised. I, on the other hand, had no interest in either, but happily complied and turned on the game.
After about and hour of pretending to care about the game, I began to get restless. Bukowski was engrossed in the game. He was getting very excited. The Rams were playing the Dallas Cowboys for a spot in the Super Bowl.
"NOT ANOTHER BLOCKED PUNT! JEZUS! YOU PUSSIES!" he yelled at the television.
I'd never seen him this worked up over a sporting event, even at the racetrack.
I guess my timing was bad, but I was getting bored and thought it was time for a little musical entertainment. I began to sing the "Mr. Touchdown" song.
You gotta be a football hero
To get along with the beautiful girls...
I sang to him while playfully mussing up his hair. He turned and gave me the most mysterious stare, as though he was studying my face for suspicious looking moles.
Then he said in a very serious tone, "Nothing is sacred to you, is it Red? You don't take anything seriously, do you?"
Okay, maybe not the most telling excerpt, but I don't want to ruin anything for you.
The idea of Bukowski yelling at the TV during a football game would have never occurred to me. It doesn't exactly meet up with his persona on so many levels...
The ISBN list indicates the 26 lettered and signed hardcovers (bound by our own Bill Roberts) that we talked about being sold already, but also the 50 paperbacks numbered and signed. So that's for sure.
Get on board for those paperbacks! This is a good looking - and great reading - slab 'o dead trees, my friends. Guaranteed delicious.
I received a massive box o' books today. I need to get binding.
Also, people have asked. i forwarded all the names and addresses of everyone that e-mailed me with interest in the hardback to Al Berlinski. I am not sure who he contacted, but they were all sent in one massive e-mail. Please remember, I am the binder of the hardback edition, not the publisher.
He may have pre-sold all those to old customers or people already on his list. If the response to the book is positive maybe he'll consider more hardcovers. A "trade" edition. I suppose it depends on whether there is any financial motivation, as the kids say.
Special editions aside, I think everyone will dig the book. It's fresh stuff, and fresh stuff is becoming harder to come by.
Halfway through the book and truly wish I had a mastery of the blurb - Awesome fuckin' shit!! just doesn't seem to have The New York Review of Books kind of sensibility - but well, this is some awesome fuckin' shit.