Title: The Bell Tolls for No One
Author: Charles Bukowski
Page Count: 312
I’m a pretty big Bukowski fan and my plan is to eventually read everything he’s published, which is why I picked up this one. I’ve actually had it lying around for a while, but it’s not a very nice edition with tiny print and a weird sort of denseness to it. I’m pretty sure it’s also thinner than most other paperbacks.
I also found out about two thirds of the way through that most of these stories were published as part of his Notes of a Dirty Old Man newspaper column, and I’ve already read the book of the same name and so I guess I’ve probably read the majority of these stories, too. I was actually surprised to note a couple of spelling mistakes as well. It’s a shame really, because it’s published by City Lights and I normally associate them with excellence.
As for the actual content, it’s pretty good but it’s also pretty typical. If anything, it almost feels quite tame for Bukowski. Still, I’ve always loved his writing style even if I don’t necessarily agree with him as a person, and you can see the same old Bukowski here that you can see anywhere else.
Because of that, while it’s not exactly a book that I’d recommend rushing out and getting, it is still worth a read, especially if you’re a Bukowski fan. If you’re new to his work, though, I’d say you should get your start somewhere else and then come back to this one when you’re ready to finish off your collection. That’s what I did, and it worked pretty well for me. I’m just glad that this wasn’t my first Bukowski book. Can’t remember what was.