Screams from the Balcony
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Screams from the Balcony

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  636 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Screams from the Balcony is a collection of letters chronicling Charles Bukowski's life as he tries to get published and work at a postal office, all while drinking and gambling.
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published June 5th 1993)
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One of the letters that made me buy this book:

"To William Wantling' nov 29 1965

maybe my last letter offended you? remember being drunk as usual but remember mentioning something about a desire to rape eleven year old girls. I said desire, not actuality. in other words, if you had an eleven year old daughter staying with me you might consider her pretty safe, at least a lot safer than with men who won't admit their desires even to themselves, or if to themselves, then not to the rest of the world...more
Kevin Brady
Bukowski has become synonymous with cynical poetry. Several movies have been based either on his life or on characters he created.

Generally, I cannot stand poetry that wasn't written by me. Bukowski is an exception to this rule, and this collection contains most of my favorites ("The Slim Killers" and "Get the Nose" immediately come to mind).

If you're looking for HallMark sentiments, look elsewhere. Bukowski wrote mostly about boozing, womanizing and his own writing process. His thoughts are nea...more
Apr 09, 2012 Sicofonia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Buks hardcore fans
A collection of Bukowski's letters ranging from 1950s to 1970. Reading them you can explore the process that took Bukowski from his early publishing cameos to his decision to take a chance as a full time writer in late 1969.
There's a bit of everything... dull, hilarious, mad, tender or fun letters. A vast majority of them were written when Buks got drunk.

I enjoyed the book, but I would only recommend it to hardcore Bukowski fans. Not all the letters were up to my expectations; but this is still...more
Heeft zijn tijd geduurd, maar ben er dan toch doorheen geraakt. Bukowski is een echte 'authentic', en uniek in zijn soort was hij ook (lees: hij was één van de weinige alcoholics/schrijvers die er toch in slaagde werk van hoge kwaliteit af te leveren) maar de brieven zijn te veel van het goede, of veeleer, het slechte. 5% geweldige literatuur, 95% dronkemanspraat (en niet van het amusante noch onderhoudende soort). Enkel voor de die-hard fans, en dan nog: beter iets anders lezen.
A compilation of letters from the legendary man himself to others. He speaks of all sorts of things, but the most interesting letters to me were the ones where he talked about what it meant to have a soul and his life philosophies.
Bukowski's letters are as real and gut wrenching as any of his stories and poems.
Not a lot of people know about the human side of buk, the letters tell a different side.
Adam Garcia
"I pick up a poetry magazine, flip the pages, count the stars, moon, and frustrations, yawn, piss out my beer and pick up the want-ads. I am sitting in a cheap Hollywood apartment pretending to be a poet but sick and dull and the clouds are coming over the fake paper mountains and I peck away at these stupid keys, it's 12 degrees in Moscow and it's snowing; a boil is forming between my eyes and somewhere between Pedro and Palo Alto I lost the will to fight: the liquor store man knows me like a c...more
Lorena Hernandez
“I’ve had so many knives stuck into me, when they hand me a flower I can’t quite make out what it is. It takes time.”

I love CB and had never heard of these works until I came across this quote. Intrigued I decided to read it and the collection of letters are an interesting insight into a jaded talent. I enjoyed the reading.
"Verification of existence substantiated. I am alive and drinking beer."
--letter from Charles Bukowski to E.V. Griffith, August 10th, 1959
Brent Legault
I wouldn't read these all at once if I were you. But in mild doses, they aren't fatal.
Tom Schulte
A soul-baring, gritty tour of the letters of Charles Bukowski from 1960-70.
Apr 05, 2009 Bittermilch marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
currently-reading. immer.
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Henry Charles Bukowski (born as Heinrich Karl Bukowski) was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands...more
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“No wonder Van Gogh blasted his head off. Crows and sunlight. Idle zero. Zero eating your guts like an animal inside, letting you shit and fuck and blink your eyes, but nothing, a nothing.” 47 likes
“i never understood society. i undersand that it works somehow and that it functions as a reality and that its realities are necessary to keep us from worse realities. but all i sense are that are plenty of police and jails and judges and laws and that what is meant to protect me is breaking me down...” 11 likes
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