This was just like the regular Bukowski books except instead of working in a pickle factory he's a Private Dick dealing with aliens and deities. The sThis was just like the regular Bukowski books except instead of working in a pickle factory he's a Private Dick dealing with aliens and deities. The same old weary outlook, crude-humour and shameless behaviour were all still there though.
I liked Bukowski's riff on Chandler's idiom. It's funny when you take a role normally filled by such a sharp character and replace him with an obtuse clutz like Bukowski. His approach to hunting down leads is to ask around in a random bar and then get into a fight with the Bar man. When people tell him he doesn't know what he's doing he just says "sure I do. I'm the best detective in L.A." "Solved any big cases recently?" "Sure. Lots." "like what?" "Can't think of any right now..." etc.
It was pretty entertaining. I enjoyed it more than one or two of his other novels, though it perhaps didn't have the same substance. This is the end of the line anyway. When you read Bukowski this is the last novel on your list, the dumb one, the black sheep. Last stop: Pulp. All change.
As a whole I've enjoyed reading the Bukowski novels. Some were sobering, some were hilarious, some were dull, but they were all hugely readable and largely memorable.
I would only recommend this to bukowski fans who intend to eventually read all 6 novels anyway. As for the bukowski novels as a whole, I'd generally recommend them. They're a hoot....more
Reading this book is a lot like having a nervous breakdown, but in a good way.
I love these dotty zen monks. Ask them a question about zen and their beReading this book is a lot like having a nervous breakdown, but in a good way.
I love these dotty zen monks. Ask them a question about zen and their best answer is to slap you in the face or put their shoes on their head and walk out of the room. They are some cool dudes.
I found this book really fascinating anyway. I had been a fan of the dao de jing for a while. I kinda felt something when I read it but couldn't really make sense of it. This book has helped me understand what the whole Daoist/Zen outlook is all about. It's actually all very similar to a lot of thoughts I have been developing on my own this year. It feels like I've found a philosophy that really reflects where I am in my own creative life right now.
Fascinating and insightful. I can see this book having a really big influence on my outlook from now on. If you have any interest in the philosophy of the far east then this book really is a must-read....more
I was pretty underwhelmed by this. The most striking elements were the Zack Snyder-eque vivid depictions of violence. Lots of spears and arrows plungiI was pretty underwhelmed by this. The most striking elements were the Zack Snyder-eque vivid depictions of violence. Lots of spears and arrows plunging through mouths, below pubic bones, eyeballs falling in the dust, severed heads with surprised expressions etc. In narrative terms it was pretty dull though.
It's disappointing for anyone wanting to learn more about the Trojan war to discover that this book begins in the midst of the war (long after the interesting story with Paris, Helen and the godesses; the events that got this whole fiasco started) and ends before the amusing episode of the large wooden horse, the bewilderingly gullible trojans and the subsequent fall of their city. Really, the most interesting (and most famous) parts of this story are the beginning and the end. The protracted battle that sits between these two bookends offers little to the average reader besides a Biblical style list of men that met a grisly demise.
I'm going to re-read the Odyssey soon. I hope it will offer me a more varied and engaging narrative.
I wouldn't personally recommend this book for any reason other than its historical significance. I didn't get much out of it....more
This phoney book was ghost-written and yet is full of hokey colloquialisms and earthy phrases. Supposedly some of the events outlined here never actuaThis phoney book was ghost-written and yet is full of hokey colloquialisms and earthy phrases. Supposedly some of the events outlined here never actually happened. It's some guy musing "if Billie HAD done that stuff, then what sassy way would she have of describing it?"
It's a shame that one can't help but compare Webster to his near contemporary Bill Shakespeare. The all time great literary genius is a pretty tough pIt's a shame that one can't help but compare Webster to his near contemporary Bill Shakespeare. The all time great literary genius is a pretty tough person to have to be compared to. Webster seems very one dimensional by comparison. Shakespeare can dance effortlessly across so many different philosophies, emotions, perspectives etc and express each one, no matter how conflicting, with conviction and empathy. Webster's characters don't feel real, just cardboard puppets designed to express his scathing, brutal worldview. He lacks shakespeare's emotional dexterity and just ends up dressing his own limited agenda.
I guess some people might like this sort of thing... Only really recommended for theatre nerds....more
This was a really fine balancing act. It's objective, it operates on published facts and statistics and it's also hugely personal and immersed in theThis was a really fine balancing act. It's objective, it operates on published facts and statistics and it's also hugely personal and immersed in the real culture. Thompson admires the Hell's Angels, he identifies with them, he is disgusted by them, he is afraid of them, he knows how to handle them, he knows when things are about to turn ugly and it's time to run away from them. He knows that the police have a hard time. They're human too. He also knows that a lot of them are full of shit and not entertaining any notions of treating all citizens equally.
He even bought his own super-charged bike and drove it like a maniac until he got into a bad accident and could really appreciate things from the Angel's perspective.
It's basically one of the most considered, multi-faceted, honest pieces of journalism I've ever read. The David Simon books and programmes (Homicide, The Wire, Treme, The Corner) are the only other things that I know of that compare.
Fear and loathing is a more ambitious, universal work, but this is the truly great piece of journalism.
I wasn't blown away by it but I was very impressed. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes journalistic books as this really was a fine example....more