Details

ISBN-10: 0872866823
ISBN-13: 9780872866829
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 07/28/2015
Dimensions: 6.90" L, 4.20" W, 0.70" H

Published by City Lights

The Bell Tolls for No One

Editor: David Stephen Calonne

Paperback

Price: $16.95 $11.87

Overview

Previously uncollected pulp fiction by the 20th century American master.

“The uncollected gutbucket ramblings of the grand dirty old man of Los Angeles letters have been gathered in this characteristically filthy, funny compilation … Bukowkski’s gift was a sense for the raunchy absurdity of life, his writing a grumble that might turn into a belly laugh or a racking cough but that always throbbed with vital energy.”–Kirkus Reviews

From the self-illustrated, unpublished work written in 1947 to hardboiled contributions to 1980s adult magazines, The Bells Tolls for No One presents the entire range of Bukowski’s talent as a short story writer, from straight-up genre stories to postmodern blurring of fact and fiction. An informative introduction by editor David Stephen Calonne provides historical context for these seemingly scandalous and chaotic tales, revealing the hidden hand of the master at the top of his form.

Born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, Charles Bukowski 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 would eventually publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose. He died of leukemia in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994.

David Stephen Calonne is the author of several books and has edited three previous collections of the uncollected work of Charles Bukowski for City Lights: Absence of the Hero, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, and More Notes of a Dirty Old Man.

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Reviews

"The brevity of the pieces collected here, some no more than two or three pages, suit Bukowski well. ... Best to think of his work as a series of dirty Road Runner cartoons in which Bukowski is the coyote taking one damn kick in the pants–front- and backside–after another. At its worst (the hijack fantasy "Fly the Friendly Skies"), Bukowski's sensibility is ugly and coarse. But when he is swinging, there is a companionable ease to his blunt, profane vernacular. Bukowski's gift was a sense for the raunchy absurdity of life, his writing a grumble that might turn into a belly laugh or a racking cough but that always throbbed with vital energy."–Kirkus Reviews

"Bukowski's world is hostile, full of runaway dysfunction, and populated by alcoholics, gamblers, adulterers, and abusers, all with few, if any, redeeming qualities ... It is Bukowski's embrace of this world, his insistence on its validity if not its value, that makes him unique ... Bukowski can be honest and direct, and he is capable of embedding meaningful observations in the most sordid of stories."–Publishers Weekly

Bukowski's The Bell Tolls for No One, recently released in a comic-book-like paperback, follows the hardboiled genre bent that reached its surreal apotheosis in his final novel, Pulp. The obvious influence is to Hemingway–see: the title–but perhaps more interestingly, the editor David Stephen Calonne notes Bukowski's debt to the crime writer James M. Cain, who had also, unbeknownst to me, shaped the style of Camus's The Stranger. The book includes some of Bukowski's roughly drawn illustrations, which fall somewhere close to pornographic Ziggy or adult-themed New Yorker cartoons. One features an asthmatic customer at an adult bookstore asking the cashier to inflate his blow-up doll for him; another shows an expressionistically drawn party girl surrounded by gawking men with the caption 'God, a woman could get bored.' The subject matter is a more amplified version of the usual Bukowski fare–stalwart, sleazebag protagonists; spectral, deathly women with emphatically described upper legs. As always, the most one can hope for in Bukowski's universe is 'a grim yet comfortable isolation.'"–Casey Henry, The Paris Review

"Like Robert Crumb, whose art appears on the cover of The Bell Tolls For No One, Charles Bukowski represents a kind of brazenly counterculture spirit that holds in contempt anything that represents the Establishment. Read in this light, this newest compilation can be viewed as more than the self-admitted 'notes of a dirty old man, ' but as the further works of an iconoclast who, much like the underground comics artists and punk rock bands of the late '70s, waged war against all that was supposedly 'decent' and conventional for the sake of getting at the grit of human experience."–ZYZZYVA

These are tales from the lower class and underclass, in all their glorious craziness and absurdity. It's not pretty, and yet, somehow, there is joy in reading these stories, and somehow too, Bukowski ends up being a good buddhist, finding the larger beauty in these dismal lives ... [For those] who already love Buk, this book will leave content, drunk, smiles on our faces."–Entropy Magazine


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Details

ISBN-10: 0872866823
ISBN-13: 9780872866829
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 07/28/2015
Dimensions: 6.90" L, 4.20" W, 0.70" H
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