Title: Slouching Toward Nirvana
Author: Charles Bukowski
Page Count/Review Word Count: 276
This book is another collection of the poetry that Charles Bukowski left behind to be published after his death. Bukowski was never one to self-censor, but he’s even more honest than usual here because he knew that he’d be dead and so he wouldn’t need to deal with any fallout. The temptation, then, must have been to use his most incendiary poems, such as the ones where he writes about other writers, and how they’re not very good.
There are a few of those poems here, but there are many, many more that simply reflect back across his life, as well as the state of the world and even the relatively new (at the time) development of the personal computer. Most of these poems were written when Bukowski was either side of seventy, and so his infamous wisdom goes even deeper here because he’s at his oldest, his most cynical.
Overall, I thought it was a cracking collection of new poetry, and it’s a must-have for any serious Bukowski fan or collector. I find it hard to say whether this is a good place to start, though – there are so many fantastic collections out there that it’s hard to recommend any one above another. I read through them almost at random, trying to read all of them but without focusing on a particular order. You could either do that, or you could read them chronologically. That all comes down to personal preference, but it isn’t going to hamper your reading experience either way. So enjoy!