What it's all about...

The purpose of this blog is simple: Reading

My friends and me used to get immense joy from reading great books, sharing them, and maybe discussing them over a few beers. We no longer live in close proximity and for most of us free time comes at a premium.

This year, I have made it a personal goal of mine to turn off the TV and read more. I got through 3 books pretty quickly and realized that I wanted "that old thing back" - that community of being able to share these great books with others, so the blog was born.

If you see a book review and the book sounds interesting and you want to purchase the book, you can do so by directly linking to Amazon.com through a text link on the book title. I will be donating all proceeds (probably .15 this year) to Reading Is Fundamental (

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Shakespeare Never Did This

Shakespeare Never Did This
By Charles Bukowski
Book Reporter: Joelman

Charles Bukowski's personal account of a late 1970's poetry tour of France and Germany is tactfully complemented by black and white stills taken by German photojournalist Michael Montfort, who accompanied Buk and Linda Lee (Buk's girlfriend) on the trip.

The photojournal is laid out like a coffee table book (landscape layout), with 1/2 of the content being Buk's personal account of the trip, 1/3 of the book being Montfort's photos, and the remainder being Buk's poems written while on the trip. This is great bedtime reading, and very entertaining. Having the photos along with Buk's personal journal make the book really come alive.

A few noteworthy scenarios standout. One involves Buk blacking out from too much wine while on a snooty French talk show and the second being a drunken field trip with his friends to a neighbor's residence that doubles as a whorehouse. I don't want to give away much more than that.

Bottom Line: If you are a Buk fanatic, you have read his work and moved on to documentaries or films like Factotum (great flick in my opinion). This book fills a fundamental space in between the two that is right on the mark. Buk-o-philes will walk away from this feast filled with delight. If you have not read any Bukowski you need to go buy some Buk or go waterboard yourself until you come to your senses.

Recommendation: STRONG READ

1 comment:

Mr. TRONA said...

Although this is formatted like a coffee table book (as I recall, but it's been many years since I've seen a copy) -- which might sound odd to some Buk fanatics -- I found it tremendously enjoyable. Reminds me of how much I really miss living near great book stores -- there's one in the little town where I'm currently living. Just the pleasure of leaning against a shelf, and reading through something just discovered. That was the case for me and Shakespeare Never Did This -- I went through the entire thing and completely lost all sense of time. Yeah, I recommend this to anyone who has even just read a book or so, along with other multimedia works, like the documentary you referenced, or perhaps the Hostage performance recording. For me, Buk's words have always moved off the page, a unique force, if you will, but stuff like this can be a lot of fun, very simply. Cool choice and review. Prost!

P.S. Odd trivia: I've heard mention of something entitled Bukowksi Never Did This, but have never seen a copy.