Charles Bukowski Collection

“We don’t even ask happiness, just a little less pain.” ― Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski is one of the most notorious and authentic poets of our time. He wrote often about gritty topics like sex, booze and death in a way that was so honest and blunt that it made you feel like he was talking directly to you. His writing style is raw, but it's also very humorous in an unapologetic way. The first time I read Bukowski's work was when I picked up his book Post Office. It had been on my wishlist for years but somehow always got pushed back or lost in other things as I waited for my turn at the library. If you're looking for some inspiration from this great author then here are some titles to start out with:

Works of Fiction

Post Office

"It began as a mistake." By middle age, Henry Chinaski has lost more than twelve years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every dawn to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable coworkers. This classic 1971 novel--the one that catapulted its author to national fame--is the perfect introduction to the grimly hysterical world of legendary writer, poet, and Dirty Old Man Charles Bukowski and his fictional alter ego, Chinaski. 


Opening with the exotic Lady Death entering the gumshoe-writer's seedy office in pursuit of a writer named Celine, this novel demonstrates Bukowski's own brand of humour and realism, opening up a landscape of seamy Los Angeles. 

Poetry Collections

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame 

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame is an honest and heart-wrenching account of the seedy underbelly of life. Charles Bukowski shares these poems as a celebration of darker emotions, acknowledging what it means to be human.

Mockingbird Wish Me Luck 

Mockingbird Wish Me Luck captures glimpses of Charles Bukowski's view on life through his poignant poetry: the pain, the hate, the love, and the beauty. He writes of lechery and pain while finding still being able to find its beauty. 

The Bukowski database currently contains information on:

Dangling in the Tournefortia 

There is not a wasted word in Dangling in the Tournefortia, a selection of poems full of wit, struggles, perception, and simplicity. Charles Bukowski writes of women, gambling and booze while his words remain honest and pure. . 

The Last Night of the Earth Poems  

"I never thought I'd give five stars to a book of poems. I don't dig poetry very much. I can read 150 poems and maybe like and relate to one or two of them a little bit. This is something very different. I've gone through less than half of this book but close to half, maybe over 100 poems and maybe 4 of them didn't floor me. I've always wanted to "get" poetry and finally I can say I dig/get it, but just this one guy can talk to me about the hell I see every time I open my eyes and force my feet to the floor and know I have to face another day of the ugly reality called humanity or kill myself (that takes guts) I've taken a lot of solace here in this book of poems and I know as long as I'm still here I'll be reading this again and again."  - John M (amazon reviews)

The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses 

The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses is a book of poems written by Charles Bukowski for Jane, his first love. These poems explore a more emotional side to Charles Bukowski. 

Charles Bukowski Reads "Bluebird"- 1978

Bonus Material...

Ask the Dust

Charles Bukowski's Idol: 

Ask the Dust is a virtuoso performance by an influential master of the twentieth-century American novel. It is the story of Arturo Bandini, a young writer in 1930s Los Angeles who falls hard for the elusive, mocking, unstable Camilla Lopez, a Mexican waitress. Struggling to survive, he perseveres until, at last, his first novel is published. But the bright light of success is extinguished when Camilla has a nervous breakdown and disappears . . . and Bandini forever rejects the writer's life he fought so hard to attain. 

Additional Content from Amazon:

Bukowski Born Into This

Documentary on Charles Bukowski, author of 'Notes of a Dirty Old Man', 'Love Is a Dog from Hell', and the autobiographical novels, 'Women', 'Hollywood', and 'Post Office'.

Kurt Vonnegut Candle

Charles Bukowski's Little Book of Selected Quotes: on Love, Life, and Art

"It's not the large things that send a man to the madhouse... no, it's the continuing series of small tragedies... not the death of his love but the shoelace that snaps with no time left." ~ Charles Bukowski

  • Selected Quotes byCharles Bukowski now at your fingertips
  • Perfect for casual reading, taking ideas, inspiration
  • Makes for a unique gift choice


"If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life." ~ Charles Bukowski

 Charles Bukowski is one of America's most interesting writers and poets. He was born in Germany but raised in Los Angeles, where he lived for most of his life. He had a rough childhood and struggled with poverty throughout his life. Bukowski struggled with alcoholism as well, which was a major theme in his writing.

Bukowski's work is known for its gritty style and dark themes; some consider him a "dirty old man." His poetry often focuses on the lives of people living in poverty or those who have fallen on hard times due to alcoholism or other addictions. He wrote several novels that are considered classics today, including Women and Factotum.

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