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Play the Piano Paperback – 25 Aug 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; 01 edition (25 Aug. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876854374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876854372
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 0.8 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 502,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Charles Bukowski is one of America’s best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in 1920 in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother, and brought to the United States at the age of two. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for over fifty years. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If all the poetry books in the world were lost tomorrow except Bukowski's I would cope with it with sadness, but if any one of Buk's poetry books were lost, then I would be gutted. This I have read from cover to cover and enjoyed it very much.
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By A Customer on 2 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
this book should not be tossed aside lightly. it should be thrown with great to d. parker. then drink some rotgut.then pick on someone at least twice your size.morerotgut. yhen read it again and you will begin to understand. do this for 30 years and you will fully comprehend. hey, anybody can get a job it takes a man to make it without working.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x98f7c618) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x993894f0) out of 5 stars It's so easy to be a poet but so hard to be a man. 22 Oct. 2003
By D. Scharlach - Published on
Format: Paperback
A friend of mine handed me this book and said that when she read them she wanted to throw Bukowski on the table and jump on top of him. Intrigued, perhaps a bit jealous, I plunged into this book.
My only knowledge of Bukowski had been the little biographical notes from Beat literature books or things like that. I was under the impression that I was going to get a beating from some cold unemotional degenerate, or something akin to the dry wit of William S. Burroughs.
Not so.
Bukowski's work is rich with emotion, but not sap. It is not the poetry of little delicate flowers and holding hands in the park; no, with this poetry you have to walk through a drunken hell before you can look at a woman with that special feeling of affection, before you can feel the grace of hearing classical music on the radio. Or maybe you can spend the in between time betting on horses, eating a sandwich, or just trying to understand a little bit about life.
Just dont' ask for any more than what's already here. Because herein lies all the secrets. Snapshots of heaven and hell, and how they are both right in front of us, whichever we see at the time.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98f368e8) out of 5 stars A good introduction to Bukowski's poetry 2 April 2004
By SPM - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is like a 'greatest hits' from the 1970s for Bukowski. Ranging from 1970 to 1979, these poems show him working on familiar themes, but he's getting better at expressing himself. His chaotic life is drawing to a close as he settles into married life in the 1980s. These poems are more focused than his earlier efforts, but also a little looser --- he's able to sum up a mood, a day, or an old friend in half a page of non-rhyming verse. These poems are full of wry humor and romance, a far cry from his reputation for booze and sullen moods. If you haven't read his poetry, try this book. You'll find out what kind of writer Bukowski was. It's sure to inspire you to read more of his great work.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99387570) out of 5 stars Sex, booze, and poetry 1 Jan. 2002
By Michael J. Mazza - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit" is a collection of poetry by the prolific Charles Bukowski. In a down-to-earth, vernacular free verse, Bukowski poetically explores a number of recurring themes: women and sex, gambling and games of chance, alcohol, cigarettes, his life as a poet, and other writers.
I see Bukowski as a sort of literary philosopher-satyr who often writes about the crude, seedy side of life. Some of my favorite poems from this collection are as follows: "fire station," a bawdy, boozy narrative poem; "a radio with guts," about the narrator's drunken abuse of the title item; and "interviews," an ironic reflection on encounters with "young men from the underground / newspapers and the small circulation / magazines."
In this book the reader will encounter junkies, drunks, and various colorful characters. Bukowski's tone is sometimes melancholy; often the bawdy life of his poems is haunted by the specter of death. And I was intrigued by his occasional literary references: to Dos Passos, Mailer, Rimbaud, Hemingway, and others. Overall, a compelling volume.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98f367f8) out of 5 stars Bukowski's Best Book 2 May 2013
By Scott C. Holstad - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Play the Piano Drunk is my favorite Bukowski book of any genre and I think easily his best book of poems, while being a shorter collection than usual. It's also the first book of his I ever read -- years ago -- so maybe I'm nostalgic. The first poem really grabs your attention and lets you know that you're in for a wild ride. The themes in this book are consistent Buk themes, such as sex, women, the track, his drinking, being a poet and his observations about other writers, to name a few. Even though it's a slim book, he packs a lot into it. John Martin did a great job of editing this collection. I view it as the bridge between his earlier experimental, harder edged stuff and his later, somewhat more mellow stuff, where's he's writing about his cats, his new BMW, etc., etc. It's a great book, and if you're unfamiliar with Bukowski, it's a great book to start off with. Highly recommended.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x993885fc) out of 5 stars a great intro to Buk 27 Nov. 2000
By Schwanda - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was my first ever Buk book. I was smitten with the first poem "tough company" which starts by stating that "poems are like gunslingers" before explaning why. An inspired piece for this inspired book. This collection contains a fair cross-section of Bukowski's works, we see into several aspects of his life here. A quick read, initially, but not to be taken lightly. I recommend this book as an introduction to any virgin Buk reader.
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