on 27 December 1997
Take off the rose-colored glasses...return your seats to their upright position...place your head between your knees and prepare for a crash landing. Don't get me wrong: this book is not a diatribe condemning love. We've all read and loved our Byron, but now it's time to step through the looking glass, children. Love may "walk in beauty like the night" but, "Love, Bukowski Style"...asks you to remember that "the night" isn't the best venue for clarity of vision. Bukowski speaks to that other side of love...vitriolic, soul-destroying, perverted, barbaric and insane. All, who have ever loved, will find the words for their feelings...the feelings for their lack of words...in Bukowski's auto-Eros-dissection. Why would I suggest you read this volume of poetry? Why would anyone want to subject themself to such unpleasantries? What kind of sadist am I, that I would ask you to deliberately subject yourself to the pain of love? To know love, is to know the pain of love. Yet for all the pain inherent in love, we seek love again and again. Nothing exercises our gifts of hope and faith more strenuously. Love may be a "dog from hell" to Bukowski, but he is still unable to disguise his want, his need and his hope for more love. Bukowski - alcoholic, misanthrope, barbarian, gutter rat - who writes of love and can still say..."It softens a man."
on 11 March 1998
I was down and out and burned out. Love was beating me down. Never heard of him. Saw the title. What else did I need? Bukowski mixes pure, raw sexual experiences and images with heartfelt love, adoration, and regret. He is one of the few authors in the world who can change your emotions from laughter, to disgust, to tears in only three poems. Read him. You must.
on 12 February 2014
I bought this book as a gift for someone who wanted to read a book by Bukowski. It turned out not to be quite the kind of book I thought it was, so I ended up buying a novel too - this was my fault for not reading enough about it before purchase. It is a collection of poems and short pieces of writing on the subject of love and not a novel.
The person who received the gift liked it and finds it a good book with all the typically Bukowski features of gritty, sometimes grim realities of life and yet still retaining hope and joy too. Some of the other reviews here do a better job than I can in describing the style of the writing and the way it might affect a reader.
It is hard to remain unmoved by almost anything by Bukowski, although how deeply you relate to his view of the world and the people in it will depend on your personal experience.
on 14 February 1999
So often people read bukowski and only see the excesses of his lifestyle. I read of celebreties mentioning him and they just don't seem to get it. This is one of the most beautiful and brutal books of poetry you could ever read. Enjoy the honesty. Enjoy the lack of pretense.
on 30 January 2015
If you have not read Bukowski's poetry before, then, take your time and read with an open mind because he is always worth reading. He will open your mind to a different understanding of poetry and life as seen from Buk's viewpoint. Read please.
on 23 May 2001
Locked away in the bowels of a sweaty and soiled charity shop, where the government had placed me for a six month sentence...I was placed in charge of books and records there i discovered this elegant beerstain, along with Tropic Of Capricorn and On The Road;Beat became mine.The rips and tears of unsuccessful love affairs were constantly comforted by Love is a Dog From Hell, either sober or blind drunk staring through goldfish bowl eyes, it is a book i constantly refer to more than any other in my collection. My friends who do not read at all also totally relate to Bukowski's experiences and have grown to love him. I really don't think there will ever be a time when i am not flicking through this masterful collection of poetry.
on 30 July 2014
There are some gems within this volume, which as the title suggests, concentrates on the themes of love and relationships. In his own inimitable style Hank catalogues his numerous amorous encounters - by turns funny, tragic and most often poignant. This particular volume is less poetry, more a selection of very short stories. For vintage Bukowski at his best I would recommend 'The Days Run Away like Wild Horses over the Hills.'
on 30 March 2015
I recently started getting back in to poetry after reading Words of Marc D Brown: The Poetry Collection(which was brilliant!) and this was the next perfect choice for me. Brilliant collection of poetry, so raw and real. So much poetry out there is...i feel quite long winded and pretentious but Bukowski really gets it right for me. These are poems that make you think and although the writings were obviously personal to him, i think you can relate in ways.
This style is something i want to read more of; Bukowski (& Brown) will without a doubt be taking up more of my time.
on 13 June 2011
This book too me is pure heaven on a broken plate, the only way in which I can describe with how the buk man writes, is when your on a beach and you start eating a sandwich and this sandwich is delectable until you come across nasty,gritty,dirty sand but this sandwich is so good you cant stop eating it. This book for me is perverted love on paper.
I got a can and sprayed
and sprayed and sprayed
and finally the roach came out
and gave me a very dirty look.
then he fell down into
the bathtub and i watched
with a subtle pleasure
because i paid the rent
and he didn't. (cockroach)
on 1 November 2008
Bukowski was the king of skid row poets. He was a drunk living in flophouses, working in factories, fighting, cursing etc. He wrote in a raw, hard hitting style. There is no effort to hide the warts and blemishes here. He wrote in a savagely frank manner on his life and the society that revolved around him.
Bukowski produced many thick volumes of poetry for the Black Sparrow Press. One of my favorites is "Love Is A Dog From Hell". This includes poems that were written from 1974 through 1977. It fills up over 300 pages. Bukowski was a prolific poet in spite his personal problems with booze and gambling.
His poetry will not be for everyone. He is dirty, crude and has an almost absolute reliance on free verse. He is pretty graphic when it comes to sex and booze. Poem titles include "s@x pot", "moaning and groaning", "The Six Foot Goddess", "problems about the other woman", etc. Several poem titles wouldn't even make it past the opinions filter.
Bukowski goes straight for the jugular. This is not poetry for the meek at heart. He is, however, very funny and very direct. Some of the poems will resonate with near brilliance. Bukowski did have the ability to cut some very clean lines. At times, he can be deceptively clever. There is even rare poignancy. "One for old snaggletooth" is a mean title but pays tribute to his ex-wife: "she has hurt fewer people/than anyone I know,/and if you look at it like that,/well,/she has created a better world/she has won."
A poem like "quiet clean girls in gingham dresses" expresses a longing for a more settled life. He only knows prostitutes, pill poppers and neurotic women but he holds out hope for finding someone better. It concludes: "I know she exists/but where is she on this earth/as the wh***s keep finding me?"