Tales of Ordinary Madness

Tales of Ordinary Madness


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Tales of Ordinary Madness by Charles Bukowski

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 , The Bell Tolls for No One, and Absence of the Hero .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780872861558
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publication date: 01/01/2001
Pages: 238
Sales rank: 103,351
Product dimensions: 7.98(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany in 1920 and brought to Los Angeles at age three. Using the city as a backdrop for his work, Bukowski wrote prolifically, publishing over fifty volumes of poetry and prose. He died in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994. His books are widely translated and posthumous volumes continue to appear.

Date of Birth:

August 16, 1920

Date of Death:

March 9, 1994

Place of Birth:

Andernach, Germany

Place of Death:

San Pedro, California


Los Angeles City College, 2 years

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Tales of Ordinary Madness 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS Charles Bukowski does what very few can. He finds the poetry in real people who live miserable lives in miserable conditions, mostly by their own doing. There is very little to recommend in these characters. Like Bukowski, most of them are unemployed drunks, dirty old men, sexual degenerates, and morally stripped souls. They form a subculture that perpetuates and sustains itself as long as the liquor keeps flowing (and it does), the women keep giving (and they do ... and do), and the men continue indulging (and they do ... and do ... and do). And yet, the reader is transfixed. For better or worse (usually worse), the reader chooses to enter Bukowski's world, takes a perverse delight in the goings-on, lingers and tarries, knowing that he or she can escape from the pits of hell at will, revisiting when the urge strikes. Better yet, there is no hangover in the morning. TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS is a collection of short stories, united by themes of desperation, loneliness, dead-end jobs, sexual perversion, and a need for real connection in an alienated, disturbed world. In these stories there is truly something of the profane and sacred, irreverent and holy, indifferent and feeling. The stories stay with one long after the reading is over. Bukowski's writing style is as nonconforming as his person. He doesn't always adhere to the rules of syntax, but this only serves to visibly, or tangibly, underscore the more abstract originality of the stories and situations themselves. Bukowski isn't for everyone. The writing is fierce, sexually explicit, unforgiving, and yet so totally true to the characters and their lives that it never seems overdone, affected, false. Through his words, Bukowski manages to transform the ordinary into something great.
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