Tales of Ordinary Madness

Tales of Ordinary Madness

Book - 1983
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Perseus Publishing

Exceptional stories that come pounding out of Bukowski's violent and depraved life. Horrible and holy, you cannot read them and ever come away the same again.

This collection of stories was once part of the 1972 City Lights classic, Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness. That book was later split into two volumes and republished: The Most Beautiful Woman in Town and, this book, Tales of Ordinary Madness.

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.

"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 works are extraordinarily vivid and often bitterly funny observations of people living on the very edge of oblivion. His poetry, in all its glorious simplicity, was accessible the way poetry seldom is a testament to his genius."&;Nick Burton, PIF Magazine

Exceptional stories that come pounding out of Bukowski's violent and depraved life. Horrible and holy, you cannot read them and ever come away the same again.

Publisher: San Francisco : City Lights Books, c1983
Description: 238 p. ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9780872861558
Branch Call Number: Buko


From the critics

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Jul 30, 2016

You know, after reading through these 34 short stories - I cannot decide (one way, or the other) whether I actually like Charles Bukowski's terse and aggravated writing style all that much, or not.

Yes. At times - I found Bukowski's crude, off-the-wall humour to be quite engaging - But, then again, his annoying knack for repeatedly recycling his characters and his often hopelessly predictable story-lines, frequently left me feeling as though he was putting very little thought into what he was writing about. It was all very superficial stuff. And that, of course, was what gave him plenty of opportunity to look on the nasty and vulgar side of life - And, hey! - To hell with the rest of you if you don't like it!

Anyway - Right now I'm riding the fence when it comes to my opinion about Charles Bukowski. Perhaps if I choose to read some of his other works that will help me to decide which side of the fence I'm gonna be standing on.

(*Watch video-clip included here*)

Jul 13, 2016

OK. Here's my opinion about "Tales Of Ordinary Madness" - Had most of these 34 short stories not all held such a familiar, resounding ring to them, then, yes, I actually might have rated this volume of Bukowski's work somewhat higher than I did.

But, from my perspective - I sure got pretty tired and fed-up with Bukowski's "hopeless drunk" shtick which was repeated, over and over again, in so many of these contemporary tales.

Yes. I will admit that some of Bukowski's smart-ass, wise-cracking belligerence did have an amusing edge to it - But the general tone and direction of his story-lines were so painfully predictable (about 90% of the time) that I soon began to "speed-read" through his work just to get it all out of the way.

Anyway - This is just my opinion of Bukowski's work. You, of course, may feel otherwise. And, hey! - That's OK, too.

Jul 11, 2016

Welcome to the "shitty" side of life, courtesy of the crude and calculated literary works of Mr. Charles Bukowski. When it comes to Bukowski's fiction - Here exists a truly unsavoury world where the likes of losers, boozers, and downright degenerate lowlifes abound.

Told in his usual curt and candid fashion - These 34 short stories (generally from the late 1960's to the early 1970's) are rife with shabby sex, unprovoked violence and contradictory double-speak. All these tales-of-woe are, of course, generously peppered with plenty of profanity and good, old, fashioned cynicism, thrown in for good measure.

Anyway - When it comes to the overall "reader appeal" of Bukowski's stories - I find that I'm someone who is often riding the fence, where one minute I like what I'm reading, and, the next minute, I don't.

*Note* - Originally from Germany, Charles Bukowski died in 1994 from leukemia. He was 73 at the time.

(*Be sure to watch "Bukowski" video-clip*)

Aug 03, 2014

"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.

I am and will always remain a Bukowski fan, but 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 were simply remarkable, this alone redeemed Hank. The rest was obviously written to buy his booze, and pay his rent.

theorbys May 08, 2014

He has a strong, grimly and grimy, misanthropic voice that shines right through in these short stories. I'll probably read a bit more of him but, at least here, there does not seem to be too much difference between one of these stories and any other. He does not have the writing skills of Beckett and spending time in Bukowski's negative zone isn't as interesting as Beckett's, perhaps smaller but, vastly more interesting sense of nonbeing in nonspace.

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