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The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951-1993 by [Bukowski, Charles]
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The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951-1993 Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Review

"This long and well-edited collection is likely to stand as the definitive volume of Bukowski's poems."--New York Times Book Review

This long and well-edited collection is likely to stand as the definitive volume of Bukowski s poems. --New York Times Book Review"

Book Description

A selection of the best poetry from America's most iconic and imitated poet, Charles Bukowski

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1088 KB
  • Print Length: 578 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (13 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000W9672O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bukowski will probably always be my favourite poet.
He has a way with words, in which he manages to portray both bitterness, humour and a very realistic if not overly critical way of looking at even the smallest things in life.
This collection is one I love very much, and I always wish for more people to read this book.
I find it hard to put it away, and always take it with me in longer journeys. I never tire of it.
If you are looking through the reviews to figure out whether you should buy this or not; do it.
You Will get so many pages of valuable poems, there is nothing to regret except for letting this collection pass you by.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I re read this constantly. My favorite book of poems of all time. I've also bought this for friends who have also enjoyed it
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love Bukowski's work. Very dark but real. Book arrived in great condition. Very thick to take everywhere with you.
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I haven't read much poetry - it tends to put me off. Usually I find it either over-flowery (anyone from before the 20th Century), obscure - anyone who thinks the totally imprenetrable is somehow profound (almost everyone else) or twee and banal (pointless 'exercises' in poetry by those who've taken classes in it.)

This is different. It's raw, honest, earthy, true, and (mostly) perfectly clear. I take the point about the one word lines - these do become irritating and I wouldn't want to buy a slim volume full of this type of poem - but this is a pretty big collection - nearly 500 pages - and there should be something for everyone. Anyway, it's nice to be able to dip in and read something quickly sometimes, without having to agonise over what it 'means'. It's nice to read poetry that isn't precious and affected. And if it's poetry just because he says it is, well, isn't that true of lots of other poets, and poetry critics?

My one beef about the book is that there's no sense of development, no chronological sequence; the poems from all periods of Bukowski's life are scattered seemingly at random. Whilst it's possible, by looking up a poem in the index, checking which collection it's from, and finding out when that was issued, to get this, it would have made for a more enjoyable read if the poems had been chronological, or at least had dates after them.
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Format: Paperback
Charles Bukowski writes that the pleasures of the damned are "limited to brief moments/of happiness:/like the eyes in the look of a dog." The poem gives its name to this 2007 anthology of Bukowski's poetry, prepared by John Martin, Bukowski's long-time friend and editor and the founder of the Black Sparrow Press, which published most of Bukowski's works.

Charles Bukowski (1920 - 1993) was an underground, cult novelist and poet whose reputation has continued to grow since his death. Bukowski is best known for his novels including "Ham on Rye", "Women" and "Factotum" and for the several movies which have been made of his works and life (including "Barfly" featuring a young Mickey Rourke.) But Bukowski also wrote many volumes of poetry, some of which continue to be published posthumously. Martin has culled through over 2000 published poems to produce this anthology of 550 pages and 271 poems, including 20 poems which had not been published earlier.

Known as the "poet of Skid Row", Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany. At the age of three, his family moved to Los Angeles where Bukowski lived for 50 years. As a young and middle aged man, Bukowski led a tattered life which he captures in his poetry. He writes of cheap rooming houses, alcohol, poverty, horse racing, and relationships with women, many of which are of the commercial variety. His poems are in a simple free verse form generally with short lines. They are easy to read. The poetry is tough, raw, vulgar, and gritty. The earlier poems tend to be shorter, imagistic, and autobiographical. The latter poems tend to be longer and frequently are more in the nature of stories or narratives than the earlier writings. As Bukowski aged, he attained a substantial degree of popular success.
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Format: Paperback
Encore
There is a famous Leonard Cohen quote concerning Bukowski: ' He brought everybody down to Earth, even the angels.' This is as concise a summation of his genius as one can hope to come across. Bukowski deals mainly in bringing colour and menace to the mundane surfaces of contemporary urban existence, but he also brings humanity and hope to scenes of desolation and poverty, such as in the urgent individualism of 'no leaders, please' and the touching vulnerability of later poems such as 'cancer' and 'so now?'. Charles Bukowski is undoubtedly a poet of flare, imagination and great personality - eschewing formal conventions and manners, this is a treasure trove of inspiring, melancholy, uplifting, bitingly realistic and always fantastic poetry. If you have an interest in poetry, buy this book. If you don't, buy this book.
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Format: Paperback
I am not American, so what i've written here could be entitled, 'what Bukowski did for me'. What his words did for me. Suffice to say, even owning other Buk-books I saw this on the shelf and went for it straight away.

Not sure what drew me in again, that grimacing scowl of societal scorn, that gutteral hatred of convention, that oily, phat 'I told you so' glare, that scarred acne covered face, those tungsten eyes, that broken soul of a man who saved a million lives from themselves and the utter mundanity of their pointless pitiful existences. Bukowski then, the 'low life' representative of everything that's beautifully fcked up about modern life.

Loneliness was his throne - from it he fed millions. I am one such.

But he didn't feed me the 'food stuff of life' or anything so pretentious. What he did feed me with were words, images, consolations, humour laced misanthropy, the grittiest reality anyone could design. He fed me and infused me with an insight only a poet can give his readers. The utter detail, the sub-conscious fusion of desire and sexual-erotic filth eg. 'Flower in the Rain' Did Henry Miller say it any better in Tropic of Cancer??

There's nothing conceptual about this. Put away your fanciful metaphors and your flowery, pompous language. I need a beer. I left school with nothing, I'm not an english lit student or surveyor of the literary-cultral canopy that covers our lives. This is not high brow, but it's not entirely low brow either. It nestles in the medium sized nest, of a societally observant golden eagle, who is top of his literary food chain. I need another beer. Sound familiar?

So it's 11am, and he opens a Millers, what's next?
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