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Notes of a Dirty Old Man PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Notes of a Dirty Old Man
Author: Charles Bukowski
Publisher: Published 2001 by City Lights Books (first published 1969)
ISBN: 9780872860742
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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"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 l "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 . . ."

30 review for Notes of a Dirty Old Man

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Overmark

    Dear Charles Bukowski (may you rot in peace) You had a way with words, and your powers of observation were not without an edge. I quite liked your political statements, they showed that you after all used your intellect, what-ever-much was left of it in your intoxicated brain. Your diary reminds me a bit of Celine, and maybe that was your intention, you were a man who had read a great deal. I realise that you in your life have felt betrayed and not as valued a writer as you thought you deserved. R Dear Charles Bukowski (may you rot in peace) You had a way with words, and your powers of observation were not without an edge. I quite liked your political statements, they showed that you after all used your intellect, what-ever-much was left of it in your intoxicated brain. Your diary reminds me a bit of Celine, and maybe that was your intention, you were a man who had read a great deal. I realise that you in your life have felt betrayed and not as valued a writer as you thought you deserved. Regrettably this piece of apeshit does not add much to the value. History is filled with tales of men falling apart, finding only short-lasting pleasures in sex and drugs, and describing it in detail, as if anyone cared about yet another low-life writer. Grammar-wise, there is something called “capital letter after punctuation” which you choose to neglect totally throughout your diary. This was very annoying, and frankly, you are not in position to set up your own grammar rules. However, you did provoke a smile here and there, mostly when you were sober, and I will grant you 3 small stars for you many wordplays.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chris_P

    Picture an alien. Let's say, for convenience sake, he has a completely human appearance. He crashed on earth a few hours ago and now wanders around in a city whose name is irrelevant, while trying to get used to the possibility of having to spend the rest of his life among humans. See him as he walks through a park absorbing images and smells, pausing every once in a while to take a closer look at whatever catches his attention. Starting to feel tired, he heads toward a bench. Just before he sit Picture an alien. Let's say, for convenience sake, he has a completely human appearance. He crashed on earth a few hours ago and now wanders around in a city whose name is irrelevant, while trying to get used to the possibility of having to spend the rest of his life among humans. See him as he walks through a park absorbing images and smells, pausing every once in a while to take a closer look at whatever catches his attention. Starting to feel tired, he heads toward a bench. Just before he sits, he sees an object on the bench which recognizes as a book (let's again suppose that there are books on his planet and that he knows how to read). He picks it up and reads the title. "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" by Charles Bukowski. Having all the time in the world at his disposal, he starts reading. Half an hour passes and judging by the volume of the pages read and those left, we can assume he's halfway through. Now, if you look close, you'll see a certain expression on his face. Something which you recognize. Something that looks like disgust mixed with something else... Is it fear? Could it be fear? It's not a horror novel but yes, the more you look the more certain you become. It is fear. Now you see him lowering the book and looking straight ahead without really seeing much. It's the same look a convict might have. He closes the book and puts it back on the bench, at the exact same spot where he found it. Without taking his eyes from that nonexistent spot straight ahead, he reaches into the inside pocket of his coat and takes out a small object. It takes you a few seconds to realize it looks suspiciously similar to a handgun. It's probably the intergalactic equivalent of a beretta or something like that. Without even blinking he points the gun to his own head. A split second before he pulls the trigger, you see a tear just starting to trickle down his cheek. The one thought that pops in your mind as the image fades out is that his blood is red. Why is his blood red? So, I guess I chose a somewhat extravagant way to say that if an alien's first touch with humanity was through this book, they'd totally kill themselves without thinking. Bukowski's stories paint a sick picture of everyday life. It seems like he strips reality of all that's good or pure, leaving only the rotten parts and throws it in your face. I think I would have liked it more when I was younger. However, there's something sickly poetic and poetically sick in this book which I found brilliant.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Mclellan

    Rating books with stars, like bars or restaurants or anything else is pretty silly. This was a good book to read at night while drinking pints at pubs in Seattle. A collection of "articles" from a small(?) paper in Los Angeles (?), there's no apparent chronology or order of any kind to them. If there is, it's deep an intellectual. And after all, an intellectual takes something simple and makes it complex, while an artist takes something complex and makes it simple. (Indirect book quote) I'm reminde Rating books with stars, like bars or restaurants or anything else is pretty silly. This was a good book to read at night while drinking pints at pubs in Seattle. A collection of "articles" from a small(?) paper in Los Angeles (?), there's no apparent chronology or order of any kind to them. If there is, it's deep an intellectual. And after all, an intellectual takes something simple and makes it complex, while an artist takes something complex and makes it simple. (Indirect book quote) I'm reminded of World War Z; each story is captivating, but you tire a little of the style. However just as you're tiring of the style, you get caught up in the next story. I bought my dad a copy of this book... he told me it reminded him of Kerouac. That set me back a little as I never knew my father before his grumpiness and angst, his tiredness. Like a quote from Field of Dreams. It's also a kind of life I appreciate, which, perhaps is easy to take the wrong way. Because life is for the living.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karky

    I had a Chuck Bukowski kick back in 2004. I moved out of my father's house the year prior, inadvertently isolated myself from most of my friends, got a soul-draining job in retail, and fallen into a bit of depression (which hardly anyone noticed). Though I hardly remember what I read, it spoke to me because I was in a toxic environment and Bukowski wrote with an honest intensity that was lacking in my life at the time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    This one is not for the faint of heart, the delicate, nor the easily offended, but if you are bold, daring, and curious, it is somewhat entertaining. The rants, stories, and prose poems collected here are uneven in quality, but enough of them held my interest so that I was able to finish reading "Notes of a Dirty Old Man." Bukowski is so unflinchingly honest about everything, so don't read this if you can't handle the truth. He also exposes things some might wish they had never seen--prostitutio This one is not for the faint of heart, the delicate, nor the easily offended, but if you are bold, daring, and curious, it is somewhat entertaining. The rants, stories, and prose poems collected here are uneven in quality, but enough of them held my interest so that I was able to finish reading "Notes of a Dirty Old Man." Bukowski is so unflinchingly honest about everything, so don't read this if you can't handle the truth. He also exposes things some might wish they had never seen--prostitution, murder, abuse, rape, suicide, suicide by alcoholism, even necrophilia. At times, I found the collection sophomoric, as though he were daring me to read on, and read on I did. While some of the stories successfully disturbed, there were also some priceless nuggets of wisdom in these pages about the futility of revolution and in this Socratic exchange, about how this world makes us all mad: "you say you often feel this madness, what do you do when it comes upon you?" "I write poetry." "is poetry madness?" "non-poetry is madness." "what is madness?" "madness is ugliness" (178). And ugliness is a fact of life, as "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" shows, page after page, but I still couldn't stop reading, because in the end, every story leads to the same place, and this is it: "man, I'd like to see a good pair of shoes on every man walking the streets and see that he gets a good piece of ass and a bellyfull of food too. Christ, the last piece of ass I've had was in 1966 and I've been jacking off ever since. and there just ain't no jackoff compared to that wonder hole" (69). And indeed, the conflict that drives this book is the search to get laid by a woman (and for the next drink, but he never seems to be without that because drink is so much easier to acquire). So, all this time, I saw Bukowski as a misogynist, when in fact he is entranced by the power of the feminine, the great "wonder hole," or should I say "wonder whole" because it's only when he is getting laid or writing that he is somewhat at peace, whole, just like every other angry, frustrated male writer from Herman Melville to D.H. Lawrence, to J.R.R. Tolkien. One man's elusive white whale or magic ring is another man's coveted "wonder hole." In fact, I'm feeling pretty empowered as a woman after reading this. Seriously, though, the misogyny of the other Beat writers of his time makes Bukowski look like a pussycat (no pun intended).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nikoline

    Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski is somewhat a autobiography of Bukowski himself but also his alter ego, Henry. This novel is mainly dealing with gabling, drinking and whoring which Bukowski is really good at, but what I find him to be even better at is his way with words and that does not show its true colours in this book. I read for the prose when it comes to this author, so I was very disappointed to find a lack so enormous that I could hardly get through the book. Still, the wri Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski is somewhat a autobiography of Bukowski himself but also his alter ego, Henry. This novel is mainly dealing with gabling, drinking and whoring which Bukowski is really good at, but what I find him to be even better at is his way with words and that does not show its true colours in this book. I read for the prose when it comes to this author, so I was very disappointed to find a lack so enormous that I could hardly get through the book. Still, the writing style is very typical for Bukowski which gave some feeling homely. What I enjoyed the most about this book was the ending and not just because I could finally put the book down for good, but because of its optimism. Bukowski lead a very from-day-to-day life with very little content seen with modern society's eyes.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Io?

    "...il mondo fa di noi uomini (e donne) dei pazzi, e perfino i santi sono dementi, non si salva niente. così vaffanculo. ottimo. stando ai miei calcoli ho avuto soltanto 2500 pezzi di figa ma ho visto 12.500 corse dei cavalli, e se posso darvi un consiglio, ecco qui: datevi alla pittura ad acquarelli." Almeno una volta all'anno ho la necessità fisica e mentale di ritornare con i piedi per terra e osservare la realtà intorno a me senza -ismi vari e cazzate simili. Riscoprirla per quello che è, in "...il mondo fa di noi uomini (e donne) dei pazzi, e perfino i santi sono dementi, non si salva niente. così vaffanculo. ottimo. stando ai miei calcoli ho avuto soltanto 2500 pezzi di figa ma ho visto 12.500 corse dei cavalli, e se posso darvi un consiglio, ecco qui: datevi alla pittura ad acquarelli." Almeno una volta all'anno ho la necessità fisica e mentale di ritornare con i piedi per terra e osservare la realtà intorno a me senza -ismi vari e cazzate simili. Riscoprirla per quello che è, in modo franco, senza stupide giustificazioni e ipocrisie. Per riconoscere quanto sono farlocche le nostre azioni e le nostre preoccupazioni di tutti i giorni. Per guardarmi in modo ironico mentre, di volta in volta, indosso le varie maschere che uso per destreggiarmi senza danni nella realtà quotidiana. E allora leggo Bukowski.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael Seidlinger

    So dirty. So drunky. So angry. Truly like an American Celine.

  9. 4 out of 5

    SP

    I was expecting something witty and intelligent, what I got was violent, crude, misogynistic and highly unpleasant, in the beginning at least. After a few tens of pages it settles down into a more, well mostly, stable narrative; almost like Bukowski wanted to put off the reader from delving further into the book. Beneath the vulgarity, self-loathing and woman hating, there is a glimmer of something. Perhaps it is, as the reviews on the back cover suggest, about the futility of life. It could be I was expecting something witty and intelligent, what I got was violent, crude, misogynistic and highly unpleasant, in the beginning at least. After a few tens of pages it settles down into a more, well mostly, stable narrative; almost like Bukowski wanted to put off the reader from delving further into the book. Beneath the vulgarity, self-loathing and woman hating, there is a glimmer of something. Perhaps it is, as the reviews on the back cover suggest, about the futility of life. It could be just the authors’ alter-egos desire for self harm. Maybe it is a commentary on the depths to which a down-and-out (or if you prefer a poor unfortunate who has had some bad breaks) will sink in order to avoid the real world. Or perhaps it is just the rabid ranting of an old fart of a poet trying to shock. It didn’t light my world on fire.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mat

    Like South of No North, this book has its ups and downs, although I like Notes of a Dirty Old Man slightly better for several reasons. There are some really, really interesting and great short stories in this book and there are some really weird, messed-up ones which leave you saying or thinking WTF? This is a collection of articles that Bukowski wrote in his column for OPEN CITY over about a 11-month period. This book has reconfirmed for me the fact that Bukowski is best at this form of writing Like South of No North, this book has its ups and downs, although I like Notes of a Dirty Old Man slightly better for several reasons. There are some really, really interesting and great short stories in this book and there are some really weird, messed-up ones which leave you saying or thinking WTF? This is a collection of articles that Bukowski wrote in his column for OPEN CITY over about a 11-month period. This book has reconfirmed for me the fact that Bukowski is best at this form of writing - short stories. His poetry can be very hit and miss at times but his short story prose is more often good than bad and sometimes exceptionally fascinating and quirky. There is plenty of booze and debauchery in this collection. There were a few surprises here too, both good and bad. One good surprise was a short piece about Bukowski meeting Neal Cassady shortly before he died. It is well written, interesting and I think he does a nice summation of Cassady at the end of his life. He says that "Kerouac has written your other chapters". One disappointing surprise was Bukowski's opinion of Burroughs - "Burroughs is a very dull writer". He truly thinks Celine is the bee's knees. I have read some Celine and think he is a pretty good writer but terribly pessimistic and misanthropic - sounds right up Buk's lane huh? In conclusion, this book would be exceptionally good if it didn't contain those few really disturbing stories. I know some Buk fans will disagree but hell that's how I roll. Definitely worth the price of admission though. A big thanks to the Temple University Japan (Tokyo) Library for lending me a copy of this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Regitze

    an intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way; an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way I've always loved that quote. Or since I first read it anyway. But I didn't know that it came from this book. I really don't know if I liked this book. I just didn't get into it. And not even because it was nasty or creepy (because let's face it, despite panic attacks and crap, I made it through Brett Easton Ellis' American Psycho and if I can get through that, I think an intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way; an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way I've always loved that quote. Or since I first read it anyway. But I didn't know that it came from this book. I really don't know if I liked this book. I just didn't get into it. And not even because it was nasty or creepy (because let's face it, despite panic attacks and crap, I made it through Brett Easton Ellis' American Psycho and if I can get through that, I think I can get through any book). I don't know what difficult thing Bukowski was trying to say but I can't argue that it was told in a very simple way. This is the first of his books that I've read and I catch myself thinking that I really don't hope the rest of his book are the same. Because when I finally, after three days, managed to turn the last page of this 200 page book, I just didn't care. Ive heard great things about his way of writing and what he can do with words. So I hope this is just a one-off.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eliza Rapsodia

    3.5 Entonces poco a poco me voy haciendo con la colección de textos y relatos de Bukowski y voy armando mi colección. Claro, me encantaría leerlos en inglés, pero ahora mismo no estoy en capacidad para comprar libros. Ya he hablando y reseñado varias veces de este autor y de su peculiar visión de expresarse y ver el mundo. Entre los títulos que he mencionado están dos libros de relatos y una novela corta. En este caso es un poco diferente lo que esta libro tiene para ofrecer. Resulta que en los a 3.5 Entonces poco a poco me voy haciendo con la colección de textos y relatos de Bukowski y voy armando mi colección. Claro, me encantaría leerlos en inglés, pero ahora mismo no estoy en capacidad para comprar libros. Ya he hablando y reseñado varias veces de este autor y de su peculiar visión de expresarse y ver el mundo. Entre los títulos que he mencionado están dos libros de relatos y una novela corta. En este caso es un poco diferente lo que esta libro tiene para ofrecer. Resulta que en los años 60 (a finales) Bukowski escribía para una revista independiente llamada Open City y hay que tener en cuenta que era la época de la entrada de la era hippie y poco a poco la generación Beat iba desapareciendo. Pero no puedo negar que este autor tenía algo de beat, en el sentido que iba contra lo establecido y no temía decir que la sociedad americana era una mierda. Porque él mismo decía que era una persona despreciable y extraña. Reseña completa: http://rapsodia-literaria.blogspot.co...

  13. 4 out of 5

    berthamason

    You have to put Bukowski's sexism aside in order to enjoy his witty, often brutal tales from the American underground. Fun to read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rafal

    Bardzo fajna. Ale nierówna. To jest zbiór tekstów, felietonów, które Bukowski publikował w jakimś czasopiśmie. No i trzeba powiedzieć, że wybitnym publicystą to on nie był. Publicystyczne przemyślenia są dziwaczne, chaotyczne i raczej nie będą się podobały komuś, kto nie jest tak bezkrytycznym fanem jego pióra jak ja. Ale wśród tych felietonów są i takie, które mają formę opowiadań. I tu jest kilka perełek. Niektóre są na najwyższym poziomie Bukowskiego a historia poderwania w barze puszystej mł Bardzo fajna. Ale nierówna. To jest zbiór tekstów, felietonów, które Bukowski publikował w jakimś czasopiśmie. No i trzeba powiedzieć, że wybitnym publicystą to on nie był. Publicystyczne przemyślenia są dziwaczne, chaotyczne i raczej nie będą się podobały komuś, kto nie jest tak bezkrytycznym fanem jego pióra jak ja. Ale wśród tych felietonów są i takie, które mają formę opowiadań. I tu jest kilka perełek. Niektóre są na najwyższym poziomie Bukowskiego a historia poderwania w barze puszystej młodej damy wraz ze sceną erotyczną, która zakończyła się zdemolowaniem łóżka bezustannie mnie wzrusza i mną wstrząsa. Aha - to był dla mnie rok Bukowskiego. Przeczytałem już chyba całą prozę Bukowskiego dostępną na polskim rynku. I do każdej z tych pozycji na pewno wrócę (a do niektórych już wróciłem)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Asya

    ... стигнах малко след половината, не я дочетох ... Ще се пробвам пак, когато съм в по-синхронно настроение ... може би.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Crippled Black Phoenix

    I cannot believe that the author of this book and "ham on rye" are the same person.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elīna Zviedre

    I think i've had enough of Bukowski for a lifetime. There were a few stories that i found interesting but for every story i liked there were ten unsettling and crude ones. His view of reality is crooked and mostly seen only by his own experiences. He talks how filthy the life and humans are when he's a great example of all that himself. He might seem as a misunderstood or radical writer for his time but honestly i don't find him particularly talented or skilled. He talks of suicide and killing h I think i've had enough of Bukowski for a lifetime. There were a few stories that i found interesting but for every story i liked there were ten unsettling and crude ones. His view of reality is crooked and mostly seen only by his own experiences. He talks how filthy the life and humans are when he's a great example of all that himself. He might seem as a misunderstood or radical writer for his time but honestly i don't find him particularly talented or skilled. He talks of suicide and killing himself so often that it's truly a surprise he didn't go that way.

  18. 4 out of 5

    M.D. Curzon

    This is Bukowski at his visceral best - a collection of his columns originally published in 'Open City' in the 1960s. By turns hilarious, disgusting, prosaic and profound, these vignettes of distilled humanity are somehow rendered all the more powerful for the squalor and the cheap sex and the shameless alcoholism. As much as these little stories are impossible to forget, however, it is Bukowski's wry observations on life that really shine through, such as 'The difference between a brave man and This is Bukowski at his visceral best - a collection of his columns originally published in 'Open City' in the 1960s. By turns hilarious, disgusting, prosaic and profound, these vignettes of distilled humanity are somehow rendered all the more powerful for the squalor and the cheap sex and the shameless alcoholism. As much as these little stories are impossible to forget, however, it is Bukowski's wry observations on life that really shine through, such as 'The difference between a brave man and a coward is a coward thinks twice before jumping in the cage with a lion. The brave man doesn't know what a lion is...'

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessaka

    I dated this guy Dave when I was living in Berkeley in the 70s. During this time he was a contributor to the Berkeley Barb, and the Barb was always getting free books, some of which he passed on to me. I am not sure if this was one of them, but he gave this book to me to read. (See my review on Nazis and Nudists by David Haldane.) Was this book great? No. Was it bad? No. It was just my introduction to the naughty world after being a goody two shoes as a child and as a young adult being a Jehovah’ I dated this guy Dave when I was living in Berkeley in the 70s. During this time he was a contributor to the Berkeley Barb, and the Barb was always getting free books, some of which he passed on to me. I am not sure if this was one of them, but he gave this book to me to read. (See my review on Nazis and Nudists by David Haldane.) Was this book great? No. Was it bad? No. It was just my introduction to the naughty world after being a goody two shoes as a child and as a young adult being a Jehovah’s Witness. Where else could I go but up? Up was Berkeley. I don’t remember one thing about this book as it has been too many years since I have read it. Basically, it was about this drunk who was a writer and who liked whores. I never thought too much of whores, because I never believed that you should have to pay money for sex, and especially not for venereal diseases. And mainly because too many whores are depressed because of their jobs and so they take drugs to forget. But then again, a lot of people have depressing jobs and take drugs to forget, just not that kind of job, the kind that makes you feel icky about yourself. Maybe some day another one of Bukowski’s books, or this one, will land in my lap, and I will see what I really think about it, as if I didn’t know already. Still, this book could have been artsy, and that would make it worth reading again.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Travis Roberson

    This is the lowest I've ever rated a Bukowski book. I think Bukowski says it best in the beginning, during his time writing for Open City, the paper was so busy that the editor often accepted Bukowski's pieces without second glance, more than likely due to his recent brush with success. If this book has taught me anything it's that editors are there for a reason. I'm no stranger to Bukowski, but this collection is just awful. The stories either go absolutely nowhere or break off into some half-as This is the lowest I've ever rated a Bukowski book. I think Bukowski says it best in the beginning, during his time writing for Open City, the paper was so busy that the editor often accepted Bukowski's pieces without second glance, more than likely due to his recent brush with success. If this book has taught me anything it's that editors are there for a reason. I'm no stranger to Bukowski, but this collection is just awful. The stories either go absolutely nowhere or break off into some half-assed meta-tangent. Notes of a Dirty Old Man is 204 pages of Bukowski jacking himself off, getting drunk not off wine or beer, but off the diluted notion that he is some genius artist reaching new plateaus of writing. And when you sit down and try to pump out an artistic piece, all you get is the clear indication that you are trying way too hard. And this goes against Bukowski's immortalized advice to young writers: "Don't try." Bukowski wrote some things I absolutely adore. But this drivel is nothing more than the self-absorbed ramblings of a drunken buffoon.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Raegan Butcher

    Bukowksi worked well when given every writers dream: carte blanche to write whatever he felt like writing, only to have it reproduced by the LA FREE PRESS and on the streets in a week, being read by thousands. Bukowski himself writes of the magical feeling of having the freedom to write whatever he wanted and the sudden notoriety he aquired with his new exposure. This collection of stories, as opposed to the ones collected elsewhere, show him still experimenting with a variety of forms and these Bukowksi worked well when given every writers dream: carte blanche to write whatever he felt like writing, only to have it reproduced by the LA FREE PRESS and on the streets in a week, being read by thousands. Bukowski himself writes of the magical feeling of having the freedom to write whatever he wanted and the sudden notoriety he aquired with his new exposure. This collection of stories, as opposed to the ones collected elsewhere, show him still experimenting with a variety of forms and these stories contain a marked sense of surrealism and a even a polemical political bent, something which Bukowski usually had little stomach for; he gets in a few good ones at the expense of the false prophets of the 60's countercultural scene, a much needed antidote to the disgusting self-mythologizing that has always accompanied the free-love generation.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rob Charpentier

    Journalism? Bukowski? Technically, yes. These writings were all first published under the by-line of “Notes Of A Dirty Old Man” in a Los Angeles free weekly called “Open City” between the years of 1967 – 1969. They largely consist of the usual semi-autobiographical fare from the author in the form of short stories and a few poems but they are essentially really more of a grab bag collection of odds and ends on a variety of subjects. Naturally, due to the confines of the printed page of the newsp Journalism? Bukowski? Technically, yes. These writings were all first published under the by-line of “Notes Of A Dirty Old Man” in a Los Angeles free weekly called “Open City” between the years of 1967 – 1969. They largely consist of the usual semi-autobiographical fare from the author in the form of short stories and a few poems but they are essentially really more of a grab bag collection of odds and ends on a variety of subjects. Naturally, due to the confines of the printed page of the newspaper these are all fairly brief and are more sketches rather than complete stories. Overall, there is no real cohesion or particular story line present here. The only unity that could be said to bring these together is the distinctive narrative voice of the author and his usual themes of the darker aspects of life. Many of these articles occasionally touch on the current events of the day but largely they concern themselves with encounters he’s had with people past and present, real or imagined, while others could be even viewed as more in the vein of op-ed rants rather than any of these. The foreword written by Bukowski to this book pretty much tells the story best as to how he came to work for this paper, as well as what it did for his writing and reputation back before he was truly famous. I venture to add to this that at the time of these writings Bukowski had just begun to find his niche and had managed to only publish roughly eight books over the last decade none of which really brought him any widespread fame or financial security. After an initial trial period at this free weekly his every submission was accepted sight unseen and printed with absolutely no editing. With decades of rejection slips under his belt this kind of freedom was more than appreciated for the struggling writer. It also created a monster, so to speak. Due to this nearly unheard of and unprecedented freedom, some of his best writing can be found here. He was something of an angry and wounded caged animal that was let loose upon the streets completely unchecked and free to roam where he pleased. He also most likely felt a certain freedom due to the underground nature of this publication and thought he probably had absolutely nothing to lose by anything he wrote here. At it’s height “Open City” had an estimated circulation of 35,000 and gained a reputation as a place for the counterculture to voice their radical politics, opinions of rock music, as well as becoming something of a first amendment crusader. However, this last claim to fame and notoriety also garnered them the attention of the local government and it took but only two incidences of obscenity violations to put the paper out of business, which was unable to afford the fines levied against them. The death knell was actually in part due to Bukowski’s personally editing a supplement publication, which printed a story by another writer that described the sexual antics of an underage girl. Not to be an apologist on his behalf but Bukowski really seemed to only gain notoriety by being becoming a pessimistic and somewhat self-defeatist writer. After trying to play the publishing game by the rules to no effect, he seemingly raged against it and can be seen to a certain degree as trying to purposefully sabotage his own potential fame through his actions with others, either in person or through his writing. It was almost as if he could only win by purposefully losing. Worth mentioning as a warning to anyone that has not read much of this author, this specific book holds some of his most offensive and tasteless writings that would seem to fall under his testing these boundaries of complete acceptance by this particular publication. For some, this may hold greater appeal but for others, like myself, this could have been done without in many respects. Regardless, against my better judgment I still feel it is a good read but with a just few reluctant misgivings and reservations.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rupert Owen

    It's been many years since I have returned to Henry Chinaski (Charles Bukowski) and through Notes of a Dirty Old Man, I was taken on yet another sometimes befuddling and sometimes profound reading experience. Bukowski mixes his prose with personal anecdotes and downright ridiculous absurdity, like a train wreck of thought. As he was churning these out for the Open City press, I gather Bukowski would have been writing many of the stories for his own amusement, just to see how far he could stretch It's been many years since I have returned to Henry Chinaski (Charles Bukowski) and through Notes of a Dirty Old Man, I was taken on yet another sometimes befuddling and sometimes profound reading experience. Bukowski mixes his prose with personal anecdotes and downright ridiculous absurdity, like a train wreck of thought. As he was churning these out for the Open City press, I gather Bukowski would have been writing many of the stories for his own amusement, just to see how far he could stretch a tale into the obscenely bizarre - as there are many in this collection that defy reality, but it is pertinent as it is free flowing intoxicating imagination peppered with some predicaments like the piece about Bukowski's parents and the Frozen Man that is quite introspectively sad. As with the story of Neal Cassady, there is something profoundly swift in the way it opens up the wounds of humanity, to drain the infection. As the title suggests, these are notes, and the man penning them is dirty minded and getting on in life. You can't argue with that. Bukowski has morality and ethics, but they are measured within a tawdry urban world that is collapsing inside itself. For instance his shirt cardboard reflections, 'if you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence', in other societies and circles, the test of friendship would not be so extreme, but in Bukowski's world, a jail sentence would suffice as best a test of friendship as you can get. A writer like Wordsworth would draw for us the beauty of nature, but Bukowski points out that nature may be drawn as one thing but how it goes about its business of being natural is another thing entirely. He also speaks for the thoughts and actions of humanity that is not dogmatic idealism, some people are embarrassed when they fart, but imagine if they farted and had a follow through? This is what Bukowski is about. When the mind is roughing it, not taking the usual route. Notes of a Dirty Old Man has all the stickiness of ill mannered sex, sordid situations, crass thoughts, and broken down poetry, but it does feel good to read it, like taking hard liquor that burns the throat, once it hits the belly it loosens you up. This book is not for those seeking Dostoyevsky or Chekhov, tales of the poor, set in earnest poverty - if misfortune is a stream, some writers would write about people trying to get out of it, or simply being carried away by its current, but Bukowski writes about splashing, bomb diving, paddling, skinny dipping and fishing in that stream of misfortune. That's what you'll discover in its pages.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dania

    I really don't get what makes Bukowski so profound. Notes of a Dirty Old Man is the ramblings of a drunk and dirty gambler, always looking for his next drink or screw. Bukowski's writing is called Dirty Realism. That pretty much sums this particular book up. This book is a collection of little snippets of stories, based on Bukowski's life. He has no goals or aspirations. He barely works. The only thing he seems to have going for him is a large penis, but in my opinion, he's so dirty, smelly, and I really don't get what makes Bukowski so profound. Notes of a Dirty Old Man is the ramblings of a drunk and dirty gambler, always looking for his next drink or screw. Bukowski's writing is called Dirty Realism. That pretty much sums this particular book up. This book is a collection of little snippets of stories, based on Bukowski's life. He has no goals or aspirations. He barely works. The only thing he seems to have going for him is a large penis, but in my opinion, he's so dirty, smelly, and disgusting that I wouldn't touch it with my enemy's vagina, just so I could ask her how he was. It turns out he produced a shit-load (an appropriate term) of work. Well, I am not sure I want to read much more of it. I feel like I could give any local homeless drunk in North Hollywood a typewriter and some paper and he would come up with similar stories. So maybe Bukowski is profound because he was the first to write in this kind of voice. Maybe, he is seen as an anti-hero or an outsider. That's just not enough for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Guillermo Galvan

    This book isn't his best stuff. His prime writing can be found elsewhere. Yet Notes of a Dirty Old Man is gem for any long time Bukowski reader because he reveals aspects of himself that are missing from his big titles. This collection of writing has a freer vibe and is more experimental. Political, post-modern, queer, themes almost untouched in his massive body of work. I give this book five stars for its insightful qualities into a writer I thought could no longer surprise me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lucas Oliveira

    Ler Bukowski é sempre uma experiência única, as narrativas acabam por mudar o seu interior de alguma maneira, isso devido ao relato pungente e arrebatador que é a vida desse completo bebum, que vai além de tudo o que é "permitido", dando uma prova do que pode ser um lado do espirito humano. Bukowski não esconde, um depravado sem objeções, com a língua solta. Recomendo pra todos.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Title says it all.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kika

    Prvý Bukowski! Neviem prečo som čítala práve túto knihu, ale páčila sa mi.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Though it recycles a fair amount of "Post Office," "Ham on Rye," and "Factotum," "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" feels a little fresh for Bukowski. It at least has its own personality. You can tell he was pretty smashed while writing this shit - he'll segue from an MRA-style "women-are-conniving-rats" rant to a story about fucking a 5-foot tall, 350-pound prostitute. It's raw stuff, with little to no care put in for structural cohesion. At one point, Bukowski states that he is aware that his narratio Though it recycles a fair amount of "Post Office," "Ham on Rye," and "Factotum," "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" feels a little fresh for Bukowski. It at least has its own personality. You can tell he was pretty smashed while writing this shit - he'll segue from an MRA-style "women-are-conniving-rats" rant to a story about fucking a 5-foot tall, 350-pound prostitute. It's raw stuff, with little to no care put in for structural cohesion. At one point, Bukowski states that he is aware that his narration is switching between tenses, and tells the reader that, if they care, they can "shove a nipple up their scrotum." This doesn't even make anatomical sense. Yeah, you can see why the FBI kept a file on Charles Bukowski for this book. At one point, someone says to a Bukowski self-insert character, "It doesn't matter whether your stories are true," to which Bukowski replies "They are." This could all be bluffing, but if not, then Bukowski has raped and beaten a good few souls in this world. If he isn't bluffing, he has coasted from a childhood of abuse and hatred to an adulthood of boozing, rape, violence, and laziness, all while maintaining interiority and literary wit. Of course, that doesn't make any of his literal and figurative woman-bashing acceptable, but it's part of the entrance fee for reading this shit. There is a sequence in "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" where a painting instructor gives a young Bukowski brushes and paints (he didn't bring his own), and instructs him to paint a vase, just like his classmates. While they take hours, he is finished in five minutes. His color is sparse and basic, and the vase resembles shit more than slightly in its coloring. But his classmates are amazed and refuse to believe Bukowski has never painted before. The inclusion of this story may sound pretentious, and that is probably because it is, but it is a good encapsulation of the Bukowski appeal. Even if it is all an act, all of the autobiographical shit, Bukowski still has the narrative perspective of a person who refused to be groomed by his parents, teachers, or lovers. An alcoholic, violent, reflective, melancholy, predatory, imaginative, brutal narrator. And "NOADOM" reads like a tour through his boundary-less mind. "NOADOM" is good Bukowski, with his penchant for crushing realistic stories, his angels-and-demons-and-necrophilia stories, his putrid sex stories, and his politically nihilistic stories. It's the sort of gut-slice writing that you either devour or spit back out in disgust.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catalina Navarrete Gaete

    2 semanas he tardado en leer 212 páginas. Es en este momento cuando me doy cuenta que el escoger libros relativamente cortos quiera decir que me los acabaré en un pestañeo. Por supuesto, Bukowski lo sabía, y si como los puritanos piensan, existe el paraíso y el infierno, Bukowski debe estar cagandose de la risa de mi ingenuidad. En el infierno, claro está. Veamos. Ve-a-mos. V-e-a-m-o-s. Definitivamente, no Escritos de un viejo indecente NO ES el libro para comenzar a intentar adentrarse en una de 2 semanas he tardado en leer 212 páginas. Es en este momento cuando me doy cuenta que el escoger libros relativamente cortos quiera decir que me los acabaré en un pestañeo. Por supuesto, Bukowski lo sabía, y si como los puritanos piensan, existe el paraíso y el infierno, Bukowski debe estar cagandose de la risa de mi ingenuidad. En el infierno, claro está. Veamos. Ve-a-mos. V-e-a-m-o-s. Definitivamente, no Escritos de un viejo indecente NO ES el libro para comenzar a intentar adentrarse en una de las más retorcidas mentes que la literatura gringa del siglo XX nos brinda. Y es que su estilo es un tanto desconcertante y confuso. Diría que solo al inicio, pero en mi caso, me molesto un poco todo el libro. porque por favor que te este contando las cosas pasándose por el culo las leyes de la gramática y morfología todo el rato, saca de quicio su buen resto. pero al mismo tiempo, no me imagino a otro escritor que se atreva a hacerlo y le salga genial. ni yo puedo. ¿ves? Diré que a veces, este chiquillo me parecía un pedazo de mierda que vaya dios a saber porqué es famoso. Otras, era inevitable que sus reflexiones no me resultasen simplemente brillantes. Brutalmente honestas y tristes. Y la mayoría de las veces, vaya que tenía razón. Tres estrellas al libro, ya que me aburría y me asqueaba, pero luego me abrumaba tanta verdad y pesimismo sostenidas en un mismo ser humano. Volveré a leerlo cuando me haya convertido en una Mujer Congelada, a ver si le encuentro más razón la segunda vez.

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