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Discover the Works of Charles Bukowski

Home > Sydney > Books and Writing
by Vanessa de Largie (subscribe)
Published May 7th 2012
(Wikimedia Commons)

Who is Charles Bukowski?

If you have to ask yourself that question, go to the closest wall you can find and bang your head against it three times. You should be ashamed of yourself.

How's your head?

All jokes aside. If you are yet to discover the magic of Buk, well then you are in for a real journey, a real treat. In my opinion Bukowski is the greatest writer that has ever lived.

Big call? Yeah, it's a pretty big statement to make but I back myself all the way.

What do we look for as readers in a writer?

I don't pretend to know what other readers look for but as an avid reader myself, I look for writers who are brave, who are raw and who are unafraid of the market or critics.

I discovered Buk in Western Australia, when I was 17 years old. I had accompanied my 'then' boyfriend on a surfing trip to Margaret River.

While he surfed, I spent my days lying about on the beach and in his panel van reading his books, one of them was the novel 'Women' by Bukowski.

A few years passed and I got interested in poetry (writing it and reading it.) It was then, that I started to delve deeper into my Bukowski education. Reading as much of his poetry and other writings that I could muster.

I see it as part of my journey to convert people to Bukowski-ism - joke. I have been fairly successful but a few dismiss him as just a drunk, wow, pretty prolific drunk, I should drink more.

Anyway, I have collated a list to begin you on your Bukowski journey.

Must See Films About Buk
Born Into This (doco)

Must Read Buk Novels
Post Office
Ham On Rye (I have heard that actor/director James Franco is writing a screenplay adaption of this book - I wait with baited breath.)

Must, Must, Must Have Buk Poetry Collections
What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire
The Genius Of The Crowd
Love Is A Dog From Hell

I would suggest you start off with the films, to get a feel for Bukowski. You will either love him or hate him, he's one of those people.

I would move on to the poetry collections, the ones I mentioned are my favourite but all his anthologies are superb.

Finish off with his novels. There are umpteen to choose from, all autobiographical fiction, gritty and volatile stuff.

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Why? Discovering Bukowski is like finding a diamond in the rough.
When: Why not start your Buk journey today
Cost: You can buy his books and movies but why not borrow from library or dvd store?
Your Comment
Nice one! I'm a big fan of Bukowski. So much so that I'm currently wearing a bracelet with a Bukowski quote engraved on it ("Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.") What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through Fire and Love is A Dog From Hell are my two favourite collections of his poetry, followed by Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit. I hope your article brings his works to the attention of a lot of new readers.

Oh, and readers, don't STEAL his books from the library please. Seriously, whoever it is that keeps doing that, stop it!
by Jennifer Muirhead (score: 3|1239) 3306 days ago
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