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Tales of Ordinary Madness by Charles…

Tales of Ordinary Madness (1983)

by Charles Bukowski

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1,789145,791 (3.84)7



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English (7)  French (4)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
At this rate I'm just getting Bukowski books based on how good the title is. Tales of Ordinary Madness is a better title than The Most Beautiful Woman In Town and Notes Of A Dirty Old Man. Most of these stories revolve around Charles Bukowski himself. From the sounds of it they were all written before he invented the character of Henry Chinaski, whose first appearance is perhaps Post Office.

Bukowski is, simply put, a hell of a writer, and this book along with The Most Beautiful Woman In Town are culled from the first collection of short stories Bukowski ever put out. I think before this he wasn't as recognized for his short stories and it took Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights Publishing to recognize his acumen. Perhaps there had been too much crap as Bukowski was refuted to have had to develop his craft over a long period of time and most likely over a great number of duds.

I have not personally historically liked Bukowski's short stories from what I've read. The books that he wrote that were mixtures of poetry and short stories were nearly always a wash and the dedicated short story books simply never were as compelling as the bonafide novels (except Pulp). Bukowski here puts opinions literary and otherwise on display with as much freedom as he wants to and perhaps the biggest hat trick is that he actually makes one care. If this were the opinion of someone feckless it would get old damn quick, but that's not all that's here. There's also humor, fantasies, and flights delerium. In fact some of these short stories rank amongst the best writing Bukoswki ever did. ( )
  Salmondaze | Mar 28, 2016 |
"Tales of Ordinary Madness" is a quite fitting title for this collection of short stories. 238 pages of self pity and disgust, more so than normal for a Bukowski book. Old Hank, unfortunately was feeling his age in these pages. I'll still offer a 5 star rating, the first story as well as the last, redeemed Hank. The rest was obviously written to buy his booze, and pay his rent. ( )
  Joseph_Stelmaszek | Nov 29, 2015 |
A tightly edited collection of thirty-four Bukowski stories from the 1960s to 1980s. Profane, hilarious, self-indulgent, gritty, poignant. His characters live in Los Angeles, “in broken-down courts, attics, garages or slept on the floors of temporary friends.”

They drink, screw, write, get fired from menial jobs, haunt the track, and try to exist. As Bukowski puts it, “sometimes a man must fight so hard for life that he doesn’t have time to live it.”

Each story is strong; many explosive, violent and vicious. They have the ring of low-down truth, whether they are or not. ( )
  Hagelstein | Nov 12, 2012 |
This and the recording "70 Minutes in Hell" marked my introduction to Bukowski. As a sullen lad of 16 I became immediately hooked. However, I'm not going to gush about one of my favorite writers, it would just be embarrassing. You can see all the stars i threw at it. i fucking love it. YET ANOTHER 'PERMANENTLY BORROWED' TITLE. Starting to think i should simply create a specific collection on this site for such items. Let it be a lesson to everyone, collecting books and records does not mix well with a drug habit. of all the years of abuse i don't regret anything but the fact my mind was not in good enough shape to notice these things disappearing around me. or maybe do i blame the company i used to keep? let's agree that i am just as much at fault as the cheap bastards i knew as friends or acquaintances ( )
  drinkallsolution | Jun 11, 2009 |
In this collection of Bukowski's short stories, an eclectic mix of stream-of-consciousness rants, slices of memoir and actual short stories mix to create brief glimpses from the middle of a world viewed as the fringe by most.

In these stories, Bukowski writes what the early impressionists were caught painting - tales of gambling, drinking and sex. Like the painters breaking new ground, these are stories of opportunity. Instead of reaching for the prose that will look good in gilded covers, Bukowski writes graphically of times in prison, times at the bottom of bottles, the deep recesses of anger in the mind, and the self-doubt that plagues anyone of creativity. Much of it is raw, much of it is, at best, sexist, much of it comes from places of fear and anger, and some stories don't even seem to have a point, but all of it seems to come from a very personal place. Whether this place is always honest or not, is definitely up for debate. ( )
  stephmo | Apr 6, 2009 |
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Duke had this daughter, Lala, they named her, she was 4.
Writing chooses you, you don't choose it.
You can steal my women but don't play with my whiskey.
I don't like drugstores, I don't like campus cafeterias, I don't like Shetland ponies and I don't like Disney land and I don't like motorcycle policemen and i don't like yogurt and I don't like the Beatles and Charley Chaplin and I don't like windowshades and that big blob of manic-depressive hair that falls over Bobby Kennedy's forehead. . . . jesus, jesus, I turned to the prof. — this guy's been printing me for ten years, hundreds of poems, and HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM!
if you legalize pot the u.s. will be a little more comfortable, but not much better, a long as the courts and the jails and the laws are there, they are going to be used.
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Do NOT combine with Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions, and General Tales of Ordinary Madness please.

Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions, and General Tales of Ordinary Madness was the original incarnation of a work that was later published as two separate books: The Most Beautiful Woman in Town and Tales of Ordinary Madness. The book Tales of Ordinary Madness only contains the second half of the original, while The Most Beautiful Woman in Town contains the first.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0872861554, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:41 -0400)

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