Title: War All the Time
Author: Charles Bukowski
Page Count/Review Word Count: 288
War All the Time is one of Bukowski’s later collections, bringing together poems from 1981–1984 in a fascinating collection that actually breaks some of the trends that Bukowski had set during his earlier work. He’s mellower, but he’s also more preoccupied with death, and while he still races the horses, he’s slightly less of a womaniser.
If you’ve ever read Bukowski before then you know roughly what to expect here, although it’s worth noting that a few of the poems also play with prose and one of them is a long piece with multiple different sections. Some of them are the other way round, super short and to the point, but they’re delivered in Bukowski’s typical simplistic but effective style. It’s really remarkable how much of a punch he was able to pack, and Bukowski got better and better at that towards the end of his life.
Still, this isn’t my favourite Bukowski collection, but it’s still a pretty good book regardless. It’s particularly interesting to see him reflect upon the writers that have lived and died in his lifetime, as well as on lost loves and the various unpleasant things that happened to him. There are also some poems about cats, but they’re not particularly cheerful. Still, I could relate to them a lot because I have a cat too.
All in all, this is a pretty typical Bukowski collection and it was exactly what I was hoping for when I picked it up. I recommend reading some of his work if you get a chance, and this is a decent place to start. Enjoy.