Cbj's Reviews > Tales of Ordinary Madness

Tales of Ordinary Madness by Charles Bukowski
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's review
Jun 06, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: alienation, melancholic, favourites
Read from June 06 to 16, 2011

Bukowski is in the form of his life here. Every single story hits you hard. Most of them aren't more than 5 pages long. But the impact is tremendous. Basically Bukowski has just one story. That of the down and out, hard drinking and alienated vagabond who spews out some incredible social commentary.

There are some gems like the one about guys with clean kitchens. And this wonderful line ".....doldrums of mechanical people in a mechanical act, trying to tickle their cement souls back into life with a spurt of come". That line pretty much nails what is wrong with most writers, actors, musicians and other artists these days.

There is some hilarious criticism of Norman Mailer: "Somebody puts a book by Norman Mailer on me. Christians and Cannibals. God, he just writes on and on. There's no force, no humor. I don't understand it. Just a pushing out of the word, any word, anything, is this what happens to the famous? Think how lucky we are". :):):) And there is some severe criticism of dull poets like William Shakespeare.

But there is never a dull moment in any of these stories. They are relentlessly pessimistic and viciously funny and they all make you want to quit your job or runaway from home. Which is what great literature should make you want to do.

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05/05/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Cecilia Villafañe Haven't finished the book yet, but I am already agreeing with you. Not the first thing I read of Bukowski, though. All I can say is: Raw, brutal, sarcastic and profoundly moving. Like life itself. What more can you ask from a book?

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