Children of the Sun > Reading & Writing

Bukowski et. al.

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I just placed an order on Amazon for Ham on Rye, Women, Post Office, what everyone tells me is Bukowski's best poetry collection ("You Feel So Alone It Just Makes Sense Sometimes), the Portable Nietzsche, and Henry Rollins's See A Grown Man Cry, Now Watch Him Die. What should I read first when they come? I just finished reading Rules of Attraction last night and I'm debating trying to read I, Lucifer again, but I've got a hold on the library's copy of Lunar Park. Should I just wait until the hold is confirmed and I have Lunar Park in my hands?

Don't read Lunar Park until you've read American Psycho!

On Bukowski, my vote is that you start with Women.  That's where I began when I got on my Bukowski kick...all those years ago...sniff.

Also -- are you a comics man?

I've already read American Psycho, Nacho. Remember when I was talking about reading it, how it made me want to grab a rifle, climb to the top of Old Capitol, and start pegging the tanned and dyed women that walked through the streets of Iowa City? A quick shot to the forehead, so as to not fuck up the highlights in their hair. Big sunglasses, so they'd never see it coming.

And I am a comics man, just an elitist snobby one who only reads the good shit. I brought my entire Preacher and Y TPBs here to Iowa City, plus a few other good ones, like V For Vendetta and Watchmen.

The thing about not reading Bukowski is that I don't feel relationally dysfunctional in regards to women. I feel utter disregard for them. The one thing that college has taught me is that it doesn't matter who you're attracted to or who's attracted to you. What matters is who makes a move and whether or not they're rejected. To that end, I've become a sexual kamikaze. They no longer bother me because I no longer pine after them.

Well, given your current taste, it's time for you to enter the Buddy Bradley phase of life:

He'll haunt you till you die.

So, I'd still begin a Bukowski run before Lunar park.  Lunar Park has a sense of time passing between Psycho and it, so it's good to let it soak out of you for a while then, with Ellis, return to the horror of suburban life!

Women was my first Bukowski experience as well.  From that, I got a copy of his live reading, Hostage{/i] which is half-comedy half-poetry-reading... he's so bombed by the end that he can barely get the poetry out.

Ham on Rye is my favorite of his novels, but I pretty much tear through any and all of his stuff with equal enthusiasm.  He's never bored me or gotten on my nerves in any way.  I just really love the stuff that he wrote.


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