Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
Brilliant - American, anarchic, gentle and wild and true
on 14 December 2000
Poetry is always a private discovery, a secret, intimate 'wow!'. It can happen on the level of a single word, a line, an entire collection, or whole lifetime of work. I read poetry because I like surprises (if it helps you get an idea, I dabble and dip into Neruda, Thomas, both Hughes, bits of Heaney, Fenton and most of Walcott).
Discovering Bukowski (so I'm slow) has been the best surprise of my 36th year. I am delighted. I don't know how I got this far without him. I hug the book and walk round with it like a toddler with a blanket. NOT that it's a comfortable read - it gives me indigestion and keeps me awake at night, laughing and crying when I should be asleep. This book is a series of small, deft shocks. It's about drunks and tramps and whores - the ones on the street and the ones in publishing - about sinners and saints, sex and death, accidents, cars and the casualties of war in the 'ordinary café of the world'. It's even a bit about writing and how difficult it is to do - to write extraordinary things in ordinary language that hums between the covers even when not being read. Bukowski is fooling no one. He does it well. See for yourself!