What Are You Reading?

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Over 1000 posts
According to the Wikis : One of his proposed prose books was about his relationship with Jim Morrison (Richmond's style influenced the poetry written by the front man of The Doors), but the publisher backed out.

Yes, does seem to be some connection.
The connection between Richmond and Morrisson has been extensively described in Buk Scene: https://bukowskiforum.com/threads/a-new-charles-bukowski-inspired-magazine-buk-scene.3778/

Gagaku Meat: The Steve Richmond Story, by Mike Daily.

Gagaku Meat is a 32-page special feature including rare photos, book covers, letter excerpts, ephemera and more.


Daily interviewed a lot of poets, writers and publishers including Gerald Locklin, FrancEyE (Frances Smith, mother of Bukowski's daughter, Marina), John Martin, A.D. Winans, Linda King, Ron Androla, S.A. Griffin, Alan Kaufman, Mat Gleason, Billy Childish and many others.
 
the demon by Selby Jr. i've seen more than one time his 'last exit to brooklyn' recommended to buk's fans, but this is my first Selby book and from what I have read, I can already tell I'll like him as much as Charles.
 

Purple Stickpin

Billions served
Lots of drugs, women and damage done. Mick comes around as an arrogant ass. Not too many surprises. Still a very interesting read.
This book is ridiculously entertaining. Keith's most boring afternoon comes across as more interesting than my entire life. I'm not sure whether that's a commentary on my life or his, but I suppose I need to get out more often.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Yes, well, but it's Keith Richards and therefore the most boring afternoon in this book is like: "Oh, I rented some villa in Jamaica and lived there with 25 crazy Rastafarians who tried to smoke me under the table but couldn't do it, had been awake for six days without sleep and crashed my car into a tree on the way to the airport while Anita painted the walls with her own blood in our mansion and the baby cried upstairs."
 

mjp

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I don't know if this is in the book, but he let Peter Tosh stay in his house in Jamaica once, and Tosh was there for a few months when Richards called to say he was coming down, so, you know, Tosh should clear out for a while. Tosh said that he figured the house was his now and he wasn't going anywhere. Richards said that he would be arriving with a machine gun and would take the house back by force if that was how it was going to be. Tosh cleared out.

When Richards got there he found that about a dozen people had been living at the place and they had brought in goats and whatnot and left all the doors and windows open all the time...the place was pretty trashed. When Richards told the story in a documentary about Tosh he laughed pretty hard, like it was the funniest thing. It says something about Richards that Tosh and his crew believed that he probably would be coming down with a machine gun so they didn't press the matter.

It might seem like Tosh was being...unreasonable, but Chris Blackwell had let Bob Marley move into his house on Hope Road in Jamaica and Bob (and entourage) never moved out. Tosh was signed to the Rolling Stones label, so maybe he figured that was just how things worked. Of course Blackwell eventually gave the Hope Road house to Marley and never threatened to kill him if he didn't leave, so it was a slightly different situation...
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
I don't know about Tosh, but Richards got a crew of Rastafarians together called Wingless Angels and he writes about them. Seemed to be a pretty wild bunch. I had never heard of them before, do you know them, mjp?
 

mjp

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I know of them, yes. That was Justin Hinds' Nyabinghi group.

Nyabinghi is hand drumming. The most famous Nyabinghi artists are probably Count Ossie and Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus. You can hear Nyabinghi drumming on the Wailers track Rastaman Chant.

Justin Hinds was a famous reggae singer with his band Justin Hinds and the Dominoes, and I'm pretty sure that he put together the Nyabinghi group, Richards only recorded them. Never heard that record.

A Nyabinghi groundation is a drumming ritual that can go on for hours. It's fascinating and entrancing if you go for that sort of thing. And like to consume large quantities of herb.


 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Peyton Place.jpg


Am reading this one right now. Very well written, I like it a lot. Lots of small-town-cliches but you can see why this was considered shocking at the time of its publication.

Only character I don't buy is Michal Kyros/Rossi who seems like the archetypical Über-Man a woman would dream up out of every cheesy romance fantasy existing.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Now those are some very panoramic covers. Are they good? Never heard of it or them. But sounds interesting.

I've been reading this one lately

franzen farther away.jpg


Some of these essays are mildly interesting and some are touching in parts, especially when he writes about the suicide of David Foster Wallace.

But overall there is a whining tone underlying most of Franzens non-narrative prose that I find hard to stomach.
 
I always found Franzen to be a writer with not much to say who takes a long time to not say it. No crime in that, but I always
found his arrogance off-putting.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Over 1000 posts
My hunger for crime/thriller/suspense went away but when it returns, I will look into the titles suggested here (Martin Beck series, Vachss, and Jo Nesbo).

Over the last few months I have read a couple of non-fiction works. Zealot by Reza Aslan tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth from a historical perspective by highlighting the social and political forces of Roman-occupied Judea. He uses some of the same source material as the New Testament plus the records of other historians and archaeological evidence to build his case. He's a skilled storyteller because he follows the events chronologically and with historic detail but closes each chapter with a Tom Fucking Clancy-worthy teaser of what's to come next. For what it's worth, I feel like he imparted the message of Jesus to me more efficiently than 12 years of Catholic education did !

Seek: Reports from the Edges of America and Beyond by Denis Johnson is a collection of travel essays. I only read 3 or 4 and found them to be a little uneven in quality but will return to finish them all eventually.

Also: The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers is a fictional novel of the Iraq War. It's a kind of split narrative of a character who has lost a comrade in battle - one describes the effect it had on the survivor and the other details how the death occurred. Really moving and lyrical stuff here. He was a published poet before writing this novel and if I'm not mistaken, I think I saw his work in Tin House a couple years ago. He served two tours as a U.S. Army machine-gunner in 2004/2005, then used his tuition credits to get an MFA in Literature. This work was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Bolano.jpg


I've read this one recently. Very short novel, or novelette.

Couple of shady characters getting together to rob a blind bodybuilder and ex-moviestar. Sounds almost like an Elmore Leonard plot, but written entirely different, of course.

I liked it much more than everything else I've read from Bolano so far. Certainly more than his short stories.

First sentence: “Now I am a mother and a married woman, but not long ago I led a life of crime.”
 
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hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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That Bolano book was made into a movie with Rutger Hauer playing the blind ex-movie star. It was pretty good.
 

Danny Mac

Over 100 posts
Just finished the Bukowski / Purdy letters. I put out some money for this one. Got it from Abe Books for $100. It was unbound and some of the pages didn't reach the bottom and they were un-cut. What the Florge? It was strange. The book was good though. Buk must have really respected Purdy because missing from Buk's letter was his craziness and madness. Buk wasn't puking and throwing bottle across the room. It seems like he didn't want to come across as too much of a fool in Purdy's eyes. Purdy loved Buk's letters. They helped him survive and like-wise.

There is one thing that I learned in this book of letters that I find totally fascinating. The old heads of this site probably already know this fact but to me it was a newly discovered gem. As I have said many times I love the movie "Barfly." In fact I have watched it twice this winter already. You can find it online if you look long enough. I have it on VHS. We all know the scene where Wanda Wilcox batters Henry over the head with her purse and in the purse is a jar of face cream. Well little did I know that this actually happened in real life. My jaw dropped. The price of the book is worth it to find out this bloody painful scene happened in real life.

This is from a letter from Buk to Al Purdy (A Candian Poet and big drinker of homemade wine from wild grapes) page 88 to 89 July 5, 1965

I was almost killed by one of my girlfriends once, she socked me over the head with her purse when she was leaving, an argument of sorts, and I just laughed and let the purse land -- the only thing being -- there was a jar of face cream in the end of the purse -- one of those heavy white solid jars -- and she had me -- I couldn't lift my arms -- knees giving way -- she was part Indian and drunk on whiskey and when she saw she had me she really banged. I woke up with an inch of my blood floating straight across the room; luckily the floor was cement. I found a fifth in the refrigerator, poured part of it on my head, drank down a water glass straight and mopped the place up. I couldn't comb my hair for 3 months. 2 Days after she k.o.'d me we were back together again. she's dead now, of course; almost everybody I once knew is dead.

Here is a cool line he said about the Webbs. March 23, 1965. "The Webbs are miracles in flesh."
 

Purple Stickpin

Billions served
Buk must have really respected Purdy because missing from Buk's letter was his craziness and madness.
He may have respected him, but in his typical fashion, it's hard to be sure. See A Northern Acquaintance here:
https://bukowskiforum.com/threads/p...-northern-acquaintance-wormwood-43-1971.3706/

That's one I haven't read yet. It's very expensive around the net, at least the ones I saw.

Still hope to score on this one cheap some time.
There's a wraps copy on abe for $45 which isn't too bad if you really want to read it. I liked it, but it doesn't stand with the three main volumes of letters to me:
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=Bukowski&sts=t&tn=The+Bukowski+Purdy+Letters
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Perks_Wallflower.jpg


About halfway through. Find it very sugary. Can imagine that it might ring a bell when you are a teenager yourself, but - other than Catcher in the Rye - this display of Angst does not work when you are older, imho. The main character pisses me off, his dreamlike sensitive state and naive honesty are annyoing and his beloved dream-girl seems completely unrealistic for a teenager of that age.

There are drugs and sex and (some) violence, but this doesn't pull it through either.
 

pig ear press

Over 500 posts
Chump Change by Dan Fante. I find him very easy to read and I flick between revulsion and amusement, which is much better than half the books I read.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Over 1000 posts
Just finished the Bukowski / Purdy letters. I put out some money for this one. Got it from Abe Books for $100.
There was a copy of this book on Ebay just yesterday signed by Bukowski.
I checked today and the listing had disappeared. It was at $175.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Houellebecq.jpg


"In the France of 2022, the brilliant and cunning politician, Mohammed Ben Abbes, candidate of the fictional Muslim Fraternity, wins the presidential election and becomes president of the country. He pacifies France, enacts sweeping changes to French laws, privatizing the French University, putting the equality between men and women to an end, allowing polygamy, and enlarges the European Union to make it a new Roman Empire, with France as its lead."

Starts strong but flattens out from the middle to the end. Not as nihilistic and completely depressing as Houllebecqs other novels.
 
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