This cd is well-packaged. It has good great inlays, liner notes, and sound quality. It isn't one of the many cheap bootlegs available. Being to young and from the wrong coast to've seen Bukowski in person, this has got to be the next best thing. Buk's sense of humor is overwhelming apparent here from the opening greeting to the confused exit an hour later. Some of the highlights include "Competition" & "Eating The Father". The poetry is occasionally beautiful and more often hilarious. The audience deserves to share the bill here. They turn the second half of the reading into a riotous, drunken free for all. You're basically getting to drink with Bukowski. As he gets into his cups, his speech becomes impaired and the delivery suffers. But this is the whole of Hostage's charm. If you want neatness and order, then go buy the books. If you are a fan, then you will not be disappointed by this gem. Recorded in 1980, Bukowski seems to be in his public-speaking prime. Earlier recordings show a man who is ill at ease with the attention. He seems to've slid comfortably into the exxagerated persona he created for himself by the time this reading was done. Fair Warning: The reading itself deteriorates tremendously by the second half of this performance, but that's not why the audience is there in the first place. They, like you, were there to see their favorite barfly entertain and self-destruct. They were there to challenge, not to learn. Far superior to King Of Poets, you can't go wrong with Hostage.