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Screams from the Balcony

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  869 Ratings  ·  19 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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(showing 1-30)
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Aya
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
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lucas
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Bukowski's letters are as real and gut wrenching as any of his stories and poems.
Gary Daly
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Graham Carter
A magnificent collection of Charles Bukowski's letters covering 1960-1970. These are the years when Bukowski worked as a postal officer and wrote, drank and smoked his way into literary history. A fascinating insight into the creative process. Bukowski's letters are poems and stories in themselves and the accumulation of ideas, thoughts, feelings and incidents make for a great read. The care he shows for his daughter is in stark contradiction to the man and writer many of his peers didn't know. ...more
Sicofonia
Mar 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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
Muriel
Jan 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Kate
Mar 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Don
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a lot of people know about the human side of buk, the letters tell a different side.
Adam Garcia
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Vinicius Gonçalves
Recomendado para quem já leu as obras de Bukowski (ao menos alguns livros de poemas). Esta coletânea de cartas, acompanha os últimos e agonizantes anos de trabalho nos correios, além do nascimento de Marina. Destaque para a demonstração de afeto e orgulho que Bukowski tinha de sua filha, o que é tema de várias cartas. Outro ponto interessante é a troca de correspondências com Willian Wantling poeta e amigo que viria a ser citado em outros contos e romances. Para finalizar, os empolgantes anos de ...more
Stephen Lewis
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great for Bukowski fans but not a not for 1st time readers. This is a good book to read in short bursts. These letters are full of energy and vibrant language but occasionally meander.
Bittermilch
Feb 22, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
currently-reading. immer.
Brian Pappas
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books of letters can sometimes be boring.
Not with this man.
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.
Justin
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Verification of existence substantiated. I am alive and drinking beer."
--letter from Charles Bukowski to E.V. Griffith, August 10th, 1959
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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.” 56 likes
“Well it’s good to have a car like that, once in a while somebody’ll say, ‘why don’t you come over for dinner?’ and I can just say, ‘Car won’t make it.’ I don’t have to tell them that time is scarcer than young pussy around here, and I don’t mean time to write POETRY. I mean time to lay in bed, alone, and stare up at the ceiling and not think at all, not at all, not at all…” 16 likes
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