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A compilation of Charles Bukowski's underground articles from his column "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" appears here in book form. Bukowski's reasoning for self-describing himself as a 'dirty old man' rings true in this book. "People come to my door—too many of them really—and knock to tell me Notes of a Dirty Old Man turns them on. A bum off the road brings in a gypsy and his wife and we talk . . . . drink half the night. A long distance operator from Newburgh, N.Y. sends me money. She wants me to give up drinking beer and to eat well. I hear from a madman who calls himself 'King Arthur' and lives on Vine Street in Hollywood and wants to help me write my column. A doctor comes to my door: 'I read your column and think I can help you. I used to be a psychiatrist.' I send him away . . ." "Bukowski writes like a latter-day Celine, a wise fool talking straight from the gut about the futility and beauty of life . . ." —Publishers Weekly "These disjointed stories gives us a glimpse into the brilliant and highly disturbed mind of a man who will drink anything, hump anything and say anything without the slightest tinge of embarassment, shame or remorse. It's actually pretty hard not to like the guy after reading a few of these semi-ranting short stories." —Greg Davidson, curiculummag.com Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany on August 16, 1920, the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. Bukowski published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including Pulp (Black Sparrow, 1994), Screams from the Balcony: Selected Letters 1960-1970 (1993), and The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992). Other Bukowski books published by City Lights Publishers include More Notes of a Dirty Old Man, The Most Beautiful Woman in Town, Tales of Ordinary Madness, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, and Absence of the Hero. He died of leukemia in San Pedro on March 9, 1994.
The sequel to his famous book, "More Notes of a Dirty Old Man" reprints rare Bukowski columns unseen in decades.
Charles Bukowski didn't write about high society or the life most people will never live; he wrote about the ordinary man--the ones you are more likely to see living next to you than glamorized on TV. He wrote what he knew and he wrote it well. Bukowski knew Los Angeles—women—the drudgery of work—and drinking…lots of drinking! This biography takes you inside the life and times of Bukowski, and helps you understand how he composed some of the greatest fiction and poetry of the past 50 years.
This critical study of the literary magazines, underground newspapers, and small press publications that had an impact on Charles Bukowski's early career, draws on archives, privately held unpublished Bukowski work, and interviews to shed new light on the ways in which Bukowski became an icon in the alternative literary scene in the 1960s.
Essential uncollected work from one of the most infamous and provocative contemporary American writers.
With Bukowski, the votes are still coming in. There seems to be no middle ground—people seem either to love him or hate him. Tales of his own life and doings are as wild and weird as the very stories he writes. In a sense, Bukowski was a legend in his time . . . a madman, a recluse, a lover . . . tender, vicious . . . never the same . . . these are exceptional stories that come pounding out of his violent and depraved life . . . horrible and holy, you cannot read them and ever come away the same again. Bukowski . . . "a professional disturber of the peace . . . laureate of Los Angeles netherworld [writes with] crazy romantic insistence that losers are less phony than winners, and with an angry compassion for the lost." —Jack Kroll, Newsweek "Bukowski’s poems are extraordinarily vivid and often bitterly funny observations of people living on the very edge of oblivion. His poetry, in all it’s glorious simplicity, was accessible the way poetry seldom is – a testament to his genius." —Nick Burton, PIF Magazine Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including books published by City Lights Publishers such as Notes of a Dirty Old Man, More Notes of a Dirty Old Man, The Most Beautiful Woman in Town, Tales of Ordinary Madness, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, Absence of the Hero and The Bell Tolls for No One.
Everyone’s favorite Dirty Old Man returns with a new volume of uncollected work. Charles Bukowski (1920–1994), one of the most outrageous figures of twentieth-century American literature, was so prolific that many significant pieces never found their way into his books. Absence of the Hero contains much of his earliest fiction, unseen in decades, as well as a number of previously unpublished stories and essays. The classic Bukowskian obsessions are here: sex, booze, and gambling, along with trenchant analysis of what he calls "Playing and Being the Pet." Among the book's highlights are tales of his infamous public readings ("The Big Dope Reading," "I Just Write Poetry So I Can Go to Bed with Girls"); a review of his own first book; hilarious installments of his newspaper column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, including meditations on neo-Nazis and driving in Los Angeles; and an uncharacteristic tale of getting lost in the Utah woods ("Bukowski Takes a Trip"). Yet the book also showcases the other Bukowski-an astute if offbeat literary critic. From his own "Manifesto" to his account of poetry in Los Angeles ("A Foreword to These Poets") to idiosyncratic evaluations of Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, LeRoi Jones, and Louis Zukofsky, Absence of the Hero reveals the intellectual hidden beneath the gruff exterior. Our second volume of his uncollected prose, Absence of the Hero is a major addition to the Bukowski canon, essential for fans, yet suitable for new readers as an introduction to the wide range of his work. "He loads his head full of coal and diamonds shoot out of his finger tips. What a trick. The mole genius has left us with another digest. It's a full house--read 'em and weep."—Tom Waits "This second volume of Bukowski's uncollected stories and essays offers all that Bukowski is known for—wry obscenity, smutty wisdom, seeming ramblings whose hidden smarts catch you unaware--but in addition there are moments here in which he takes off the mask and strips away the bravado to show himself at his most vulnerable and human. A must for Bukowski aficionados."—Brian Evenson, author of Last Days and The Open Curtain "Like a brass-rail Existentialist or a skid-row Transcendentalist, [Bukowski] is candid, unblinking, leaving it to his readers to cast their own judgment about his mishaps, his drinking, his sexual appetite or his own pessimism. He is Ralph Waldo Emerson as a Dirty Old Man, not lounging in the grape-arbor of Concord, Massachusetts, but bent-over a table in an L.A. flophouse scribbling in pencil to the strains of Sibelius."—Paul Maher Jr., Phawker "[Bukowski] could be generous and mean-spirited, heroic and defensive, spot-on and slanted, but he became the world-class writer he had set out to be; he has joined the permanent anti-canon or shadow-canon whose denizens had shown him the way. Today the frequent allusions to him in both popular and mainstream culture tend more to respect than mockery. If scholarship has lagged, this book would indicate that this situation is changing."—Gerald Locklin, Resources for American Literary Study "The pieces range over nearly half a century, and include a story about a baseball player seized by a sudden bout of existential paralysis, along with early, graphically sexual (and masterfully comic) stories published in such smut mags as Candid Press."—Penthouse "An absolute must for fans of Charles Bukowski's work, Absence of a Hero is also a welcome addition to public and college library literary studies shelves."—Midwest Book Review

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