10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is a recording of Charles Bukowski giving one of his poetry readings to a crowd of what sound like annoyingly over-enthusiastic beatniks; they guffaw at the slightest mention of drugs, sex or swearwords, and seem to be trying to egg Charlie on to do something outrageous so that they can have an even better time of it, and get their full money's worth. He famously hated giving readings, and one can begin to understand why when one puts this CD on the deck.
Regardless, there are some really good moments on this CD, and it's a full 70 minutes long so the listener gets their money's worth as well, but the overall feeling is that he is biting his lip and just getting through the evening (his voice sounds like it's coming through gritted teeth at the best of times); he has some fine moments where he trades comments with some of the more well-oiled members of the audience, but sometimes he seems to want to be more serious than the stand-up comedian that they are intent upon turning him into...
Finally, a minor gripe - my copy was formatted as only one track; quite a pain if you want to listen to a particular piece rather than the whole thing; WHY couldn't they have marked a few more of the poems down for easy reference?
So only three stars I'm afraid; this is the sound of a truly great writer being thrown to the dogs.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2011
Recorded live at Redondo Beach April 1980.
Considering that Buk hated giving public performances so much - he sure gives a reassured and relaxed performance on Hostage.
Plenty of goofing by Buk & Some cool poems going down as well.
The quality of the recording is spot on & crystal.
(As the previous reviewer has noted the CD runs as one track - start to finish - a bit annoying)
A worthy addition to any Buk fans collection.
You gotta love that Michael Montfort photo on the cover as well.