What are you reading?

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Rev. Dead Corpse
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Rev. Dead Corpse »

Iain M. Banks - Use of Weapons...

For the 8th time.

I don't just read my books, I read the hell out of them. 7 floor to ceiling bookshelves and growing. Science, philosophy, history, DIY, engineering, and a vast collection of sci-fi/fantasy.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by oettinger »

Rev. Dead Corpse wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:55 am
Iain M. Banks - Use of Weapons...

For the 8th time.

I don't just read my books, I read the hell out of them. 7 floor to ceiling bookshelves and growing. Science, philosophy, history, DIY, engineering, and a vast collection of sci-fi/fantasy.
Welcome back Reverent D.!

The few books I read twice are Fear and Loathing and some shitty Mick Wall GnR biography from the early 90s
Drink!
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Re: What are you reading?

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oettinger wrote:
Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:38 am

Welcome back Reverent D.!

The few books I read twice are Fear and Loathing and some shitty Mick Wall GnR biography from the early 90s
Never really left... Just haven't had much to say. Life has been... weird... for me lately.

I'm in IT, so I almost always have a tech article or 12 that I'm reading to keep current.
I'm a nerd, so sci-fi/fantasy is my relaxation go-to.
I'm my own "handy man", so I enjoy working on my house and project vehicles.

Thinking of digging back into some of my books on witchcraft... Just because.
<insert something profound here>

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Re: What are you reading?

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Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life by Howard Sounes. It's a biography of Charles Bukowski that came out in 1998. It confirmed a few things that I had inferred from reading the Bukowski letters - that he wasn't really that poor and that he was an absolute prick when drunk on whiskey. In some of the later letters of Bukowski you can see that he is mailing stacks and stacks of new poems to his publisher John Martin. I wondered if it had all been published, and it turns out that it has not. Martin says in this biography that about half the poems Bukowski sent him during that time (when Buk lived in San Pedro) were unpublishable. (He also said that some of it was Buk's best work.) One of the poems that Martin never published was one that said, "Greek people stink." Yow.

His wife, Linda Lee Biegle, says to critics who called Buk and alcoholic that he was NOT an alcoholic. She says because he got up every day and worked, that is that he wrote every day, he was not an alcoholic. She said alcoholics just drink and do nothing else, and that didn't apply to Buk.

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Re: What are you reading?

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Just finished a Raymond Carver biography by Carol Sklenicka. Carver was a notorious drunk up until he met poet Tess Gallagher. Carver had to make a couple of attempts at AA, and not long after his last attempt he said he went on a seven week writing binge, turning out seven short stories. He said it was the most productive time of his life. I'm virulently anti-AA (or any therapy/rehab) and I don't think it was necessary for Carver to become a teetotaler to increase his writing productivity. I've gone through periods in the past where I drank too much and wrote too little, but I just adjusted my habits. I didn't go running to an AA meeting. I think he probably could have done the same, but Tess was helping see to it that Carver didn't touch booze at all.

The book also tells of Carver's time teaching in Iowa along with John Cheever. I'd always heard that they did more drinking than teaching when they were there, but this book goes into the details. Cheever didn't have a car, so when he would wake up in the morning with DT's and dying for a drink, Carver would drive them to the package store. Carver said on one such trip Cheever was so anxious for a bottle of scotch he started getting out of the car before Carver even came to a complete stop. (No injury occurred, Cheever got his scotch.) Cheever had the higher achievers in his class, Carver had the lower ones. At one point one of Carver's students became so frustrated at the lack of teaching going on that he point blank asked Carver what they were doing there, what was the point of the class, etc.

Carver was once hospitalized for bleeding ulcers, but the book didn't go into much detail about it. I wonder what happened to let him know he had bleeding ulcers. When it happened to Bukowski, his girlfriend had to call an ambulance because blood was gushing out of his ass and mouth. Some people notice it when they take a dump that stinks so bad it makes them want to throw up. Someone I used to work for passed out one day at home and it wasn't discovered until he got to the hospital that he had bleeding ulcers. Weird.

There were a lot of drunken hijinks, Carver was often road tripping across the USA, running out on restaurant meals, once getting the proprietor of a closed liquor store along a rural highway to get up and sell him a bottle, etc. Before he hit it big as a writer he lived off his first wife's wages and by bumming money. During those days he was not a very productive writer, most of his time went to attending college, drinking and maintaining a social network of people to bum money off of, similar to what Henry Miller was doing in Paris.

There was a lot about his relationship with his editor Gordon Lish. And it is true - Lish made Carver. However, after they finally parted ways, Carver stood on his own. But there's no doubt that he would not have arrived without Lish's help. In one book that Lish edited, Carver almost backed out of having it published because he felt the Lish had over-edited it. But Carver gave in and let the edits stand. Someone wrote a fictionalized account of the Carver/Lish relationship appropriately titled "Scissors." I have it on my shelf, maybe I'll take it down for a reread.

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Re: What are you reading?

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A Life.....well, Lived. Ray Wylie Hubbard autobiography.
Now you're ready for some anti-dry-otics!-BeerMakesMeSmarter

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Re: What are you reading?

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Hugh wrote:
Fri Sep 30, 2022 6:39 pm
Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life by Howard Sounes. It's a biography of Charles Bukowski that came out in 1998. It confirmed a few things that I had inferred from reading the Bukowski letters - that he wasn't really that poor and that he was an absolute prick when drunk on whiskey. In some of the later letters of Bukowski you can see that he is mailing stacks and stacks of new poems to his publisher John Martin. I wondered if it had all been published, and it turns out that it has not. Martin says in this biography that about half the poems Bukowski sent him during that time (when Buk lived in San Pedro) were unpublishable. (He also said that some of it was Buk's best work.) One of the poems that Martin never published was one that said, "Greek people stink." Yow.

His wife, Linda Lee Biegle, says to critics who called Buk and alcoholic that he was NOT an alcoholic. She says because he got up every day and worked, that is that he wrote every day, he was not an alcoholic. She said alcoholics just drink and do nothing else, and that didn't apply to Buk.
From what I gather Bukowski was very much concerned with money. Chinaski didn’t give a shit about money. As for his alcohol consumption you can call it anything you want. What does Linda Lee know about it? He did quit drinking I understand when he got sick at the end. Or maybe it was Chinaski who quit drinking.
“Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” — Harry Caray

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Re: What are you reading?

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I don’t think there is a better novel than Post Office. Brilliant and original. The words just fly off the page, punch ya in the face, make you laugh like you can’t believe this is so funny. Remarkable. All of his novels are good, have merit, some of his poems drag and his short stories can be too too, IMO of course, but his novels stand.
“Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” — Harry Caray

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Re: What are you reading?

Post by oettinger »

Thompson wrote:
Fri May 12, 2023 12:36 pm
All of his novels are good, have merit, some of his poems drag and his short stories can be too too, IMO of course, but his novels stand.
I second this, fuck poems
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Thompson »

oettinger wrote:
Fri May 12, 2023 5:29 pm
Thompson wrote:
Fri May 12, 2023 12:36 pm
All of his novels are good, have merit, some of his poems drag and his short stories can be too too, IMO of course, but his novels stand.
I second this, fuck poems
Once in a while you come across a good one but for the most part you don’t. The affectation reeks off poetry, like the stink of a rotten tooth.
“Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” — Harry Caray

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Re: What are you reading?

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I don't like poetry but I Bukowski poems.

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Re: What are you reading?

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Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson by William McKeen. This book probably has the most poignant passage I've ever read in a writer's biography. It deals with Hunter's later years. From time to time people would come to visit him in his Colorado cabin and find him sitting alone crying. Here's what it said: Sandy knew why. [Sandy was his first wife and mother of their son Juan.] "He was a tortured tragic figure," Sandy said. "I don't not think that he was a great writer. I think he clearly had great potential, both as a writer and a leader. However, he fell - dramatically and a very, very long time ago. Hunter wanted to be a great writer and he had the genius, the talent, and, early on, the will and the means. He was horrified by whom he had become and ashamed - or I really should say tortured. He knew he had failed. He knew that his writing was absolutely not great. This was part of the torture. And yet, he could never climb back. The image, the power, the drugs, the alcohol, the money...all of it...he never became that great American writer he wanted to be. Nowhere close. And he knew it."

This book came out in 2008 and it gave the account of his suicide. In here it said Hunter had called his wife Anita while she was at the health club. They talked for 10 minutes and 22 seconds. She said he told her to hang on a second and he put down the phone. She heard clicking noises and thought that he hung up, so she hung up. The clicking sounds were Hunter loading the pistol just before he shot himself. Now - if you go to Wikipedia it says she thought the clicking noises was him typing. I always thought I had heard a different version on a television doco or something, but it's not important exactly what I heard back then. But anyway - everything I've looked up is consistent that his son found him 30 minutes later and then took a shotgun outside the cabin and fired three shots into the air to let the world know Hunter was dead. Hunter had put the gun in his mouth and the shot was clean. It exited the back of his head without blowing it apart. The sheriff even let people have a final look at Hunter in the bodybag before hauling him away.

Hunter often said he wanted to write the Great American Novel, but he didn't count Fear and Loathing as a novel, it seemed, because it was autobiographical. If I could have been there I would have assured him that, yes, Fear and Loathing counts as a Great American Novel.

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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Thompson »

Hugh wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2023 6:51 pm

Hunter often said he wanted to write the Great American Novel, but he didn't count Fear and Loathing as a novel, it seemed, because it was autobiographical. If I could have been there I would have assured him that, yes, Fear and Loathing counts as a Great American Novel.
Oh yes Hugh! The nail has been hit on the head! Fear and Loathing counts as a Great American Novel. It sure fucking does. I get tired of these wives and critics and sycophants spouting off shit about an artist that few people can touch, and they try to bring him down, like they know all about his artistic talent and his faults. They don’t know Shit. Don’t have a blink of the stuff.
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Re: What are you reading?

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P.S. It figures Anita was at some health club, and had an alibi. I thought she killed him and set up the suicide when I first heard of it.
“Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” — Harry Caray

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Re: What are you reading?

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Sandy was an even bigger bitch. Lots of nerve pretending she had some kind of insight into Hunter’s psyche. How the fuck could she? Huh?
“Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” — Harry Caray

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