The Ultimate Bukowski's Short Story? (1 Viewer)

Hello there everyone, that's the question I wanted to ask You.

Having read most of his short story work, my pick would be "Love for 17.5 $" from "South of No Nouth". Of course Bukowski wrote many wonderful stories, especially in this volume, but "Love..." always remains the one for me; there's everything in it, the essence-- the power of a simple concept, minimal and straightforward narrative, everything line at the right place... It's funny, it's sad, it's real and imaginative at the same time and finally even disturbing. Every time I read it, it just plays with my imagination, especially a powerful ending, and remains fresh.

Last time I read it I loved it so much that I'm planning to start working on adapting in into screenplay (25 mintues max., for short picture), as a exercise, since I want to go to Film school.

But anyway, what would be Your pick?
I can't find the original thread now, but we did have one referring to Spiral Descent, a short film loosely based on 'Love for $17.50' which features 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper. Anyway, you can watch that .

The original is a good short story. I've always really liked 'The Devil Was Hot' too.

And many more ...
I'm partial to A Lovely Love Affair, set in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It's atmospheric of the city and people, tender, a little mournful and melancholy...very real in what life was probably like for Bukowski during his actual stay there - a favorite of mine for random rainy-day reading, even more so than his classic The Most Beautiful Woman in Town. I can easily imagine being there...
[...] "Love for 17.5 $" from "South of No Nouth". [...]

That's a tough question! I don't have THE favorite story.

But at least ONE of my favorites (and sure way before 'Love for 17.50') is in the appendic of the same book: it's 'THE WAY THE DEAD LOVE'. [all the attributes you have for your favorite story come up in this one as well. and from my understanding - they do it more direct and much better.]

[...] I loved it so much that I'm planning to start working on adapting it into screenplay [...]

I once felt similar about 'You can't write a Love Story' and made a short film out of that.
Not as good as it could've been. But maybe my experiences with this stuff could be of use for you. PM me if you think so.

(I'd recommend a book on the subject, which is a long interview between Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffault, but ain't sure, if THIS actually Is the book I have in mind. If so, it's an important source for the rules of dramaturgy!)
Hank Solo:

Yes, Devil Was Hot was actually the first short story of Bukowski I've ever read so it was a great start. :-) As for the Spiral Descent... well, I'm thinking about giving my adaptation 3-act structure, with fleshed out central character and extended dialogue, so it will be completely different than this. As for the short itself, it was bad. Pretentious and kitschy, like a bad music video from 80's. Certainly didn't give Bukowski a justice. :-)


Thanks. I don't remember reading A Lovely Love Affair, I need to look it up.


Thanks for Hitchcock/Trauffaut's book recommendation. I'll keep that in mind. It would be interesting to Your short.
"the great zen wedding" always comes to mind for me...

Ah, you beat me to it James! That story makes me laugh like no other. Imagining Buk running out after the zen monk, and challenging him to a fight, and getting beaten is priceless!
I can't pick a favourite. But the one I've read the most is definitely The most beautiful woman in town because it's the short story that made me get into Bukowski. It thus has a symbolic dimension and a specific place in my heart.
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All the Assholes in the World and Mine and/or Life and Death in the Charity Ward would both make extremely visceral film shorts. Of course, those would require some $$$ input to make it happen. But if done right...
The Way The Dead Love is my favorite too, roni. Just a perfect short story. Death of the Father (in Hot Water Music) also hits me well each time I re-read it...

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