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Charles Bukowski

Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A former postman and long-term alcoholic who did not become a full-time writer until middle age, Charles Bukowski was the author of autobiographical novels that captured the low life--including Post Office, Factotum, and Women--and made him a literary celebrity, with a major Hollywood film (Barfly) based on his life. Drawing on new interviews with virtually all of Bukowski's friends, family, and many lovers; unprecedented access to his private letters and unpublished writing; and commentary from Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, R. Crumb, and Harry Dean Stanton, Howard Sounes has uncovered the extraordinary true story of the Dirty Old Man of American literature. Illustrated with drawings by Bukowski and over sixty photographs, Charles Bukowski is a must for Bukowski devotees and new readers alike. As the Los Angeles Times noted, "Bukowski is one of those writers people remember more for the legend than for the work....but, as Howard Sounes shows in this exhaustively researched biography, it wasn't the whole story."

From Publishers Weekly

May 03, 1999 – Exhilarating, hilarious and often emotionally draining, this superb biography of the maverick, hard-bitten bard of the Los Angeles demimonde uncorks a potent brew of wild, antiheroic anecdotes. Sounes (Fred & Rose) often corrects Bukowskis version of events, without deflating the writer or losing sympathy for his often depressing life, from his sad, twisted childhood (complete with regular beatings) in Los Angeles to his discovery of both alcohol and literature as a teen. Dropping out of L.A. City College in 1940, Bukowski was classified 4-F, went on the road and worked odd jobs, all the while mailing poems and stories to little magazines. At age 27, Bukowski (1920-1994) had his first relationship with a woman, the alcoholic and routinely unfaithful Jane Cooney Baker, who became a prototype for his female characters. He wrote his first novel, Post Office (1971), in only three weeks, and his autobiographical screenplay for Barbet Schroeders film Barfly (1987) brought him, improbably, into the Hollywood circle. Sounes spent two years interviewing more than 100 people, including women in Bukowskis tangled love life, who provide intimate details. Peering nonjudgmentally down every avenue of grief and despair, Sounes improves on previous books on Bukowski by Neeli Cherkovski, Steve Richmond and Russell Harrison. After reading Souness account, it is difficult to agree with his subjects self-assessment that, despite a prolific output of over a thousand poems, six novels and several collections of stories, I wont be leaving much. Something to read, maybe. A wild onion in the gutted road. Paris in the dark. More than 70 illustrations, including R. Crumb art and several previously unpublished photos of key people in the poets life.
Charles Bukowski
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  • $15.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Dec 01, 2007
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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