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Hot Water Music

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With his characteristic raw and minimalist style, Charles Bukowski takes us on a walk through his side of town in Hot Water Music. He gives us little vignettes of depravity and lasciviousness, bite sized pieces of what is both beautiful and grotesque. The stories in Hot Water Music dash around the worst parts of town – a motel room stinking of sick, a decrepit apartment With his characteristic raw and minimalist style, Charles Bukowski takes us on a walk through his side of town in Hot Water Music.  He gives us little vignettes of depravity and lasciviousness, bite sized pieces of what is both beautiful and grotesque. The stories in Hot Water Music dash around the worst parts of town – a motel room stinking of sick, a decrepit apartment housing a perpetually arguing couple, a bar tended by a skeleton – and depict the darkest parts of human existence.  Bukowski talks simply and profoundly about the underbelly of the working class without raising judgement.  In the way he writes about sex, relationships, writing, and inebriation, Bukowski sets the bar for irreverent art – his work inhabits the basest part of the mind and the most extreme absurdity of the everyday.


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With his characteristic raw and minimalist style, Charles Bukowski takes us on a walk through his side of town in Hot Water Music. He gives us little vignettes of depravity and lasciviousness, bite sized pieces of what is both beautiful and grotesque. The stories in Hot Water Music dash around the worst parts of town – a motel room stinking of sick, a decrepit apartment With his characteristic raw and minimalist style, Charles Bukowski takes us on a walk through his side of town in Hot Water Music.  He gives us little vignettes of depravity and lasciviousness, bite sized pieces of what is both beautiful and grotesque. The stories in Hot Water Music dash around the worst parts of town – a motel room stinking of sick, a decrepit apartment housing a perpetually arguing couple, a bar tended by a skeleton – and depict the darkest parts of human existence.  Bukowski talks simply and profoundly about the underbelly of the working class without raising judgement.  In the way he writes about sex, relationships, writing, and inebriation, Bukowski sets the bar for irreverent art – his work inhabits the basest part of the mind and the most extreme absurdity of the everyday.

30 review for Hot Water Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    I had been reading Chekhov’s major plays—now doesn't that sound elegant and literary?—and thought I needed something inelegant and unliterary to follow it up, and found something on audiobooks I hadn’t read before, from Charles Bukowski, a collection of stories, and it is obvious at a glance that the two writers are very different—what do we know about Buk? Wine, women, horseracing, boxing, brutality, usually funny, often obscene, stripped-down prose that is decidedly unpretentious—but I have to I had been reading Chekhov’s major plays—now doesn't that sound elegant and literary?—and thought I needed something inelegant and unliterary to follow it up, and found something on audiobooks I hadn’t read before, from Charles Bukowski, a collection of stories, and it is obvious at a glance that the two writers are very different—what do we know about Buk? Wine, women, horseracing, boxing, brutality, usually funny, often obscene, stripped-down prose that is decidedly unpretentious—but I have to say, just having read Uncle Vanya, with its panoply of unhappy people, some of whom are drunken philandering men, I begin to see Anton and Charles as distant brothers at a century’s distance. Both are realists, associated with a bleak/comic existentialist approach. True, Buk is profane at times, crass, sometimes offensive, but in this book the main point is to explore honestly the world of the down and out. Bukowski talks simply and profoundly about the underbelly of the working class without raising judgement. Chekhov also sided with the working class. Both describe a world without judging anything in it unless those things are boring or pompous. I have enjoyed more Factotum, Pulp, Ham on Rye, and Post Office, longer works, but I like the art in some of the Henry Chinaski stories here. It is true that the collective sense of these stories is booze, writing, and sex, there's a kind of sameness, but one of his characters responds to this criticism: "You seem to write about sex a lot." "Yeah, what do you expect me to write about? The stock market? Who wants to read about that?!" The more absurd stories such as “You Kissed Lilly” and “I Love You, Albert,” are silly fun but admirably shaped. Some of the clever—and yes, ultimately literary—ones to check out are “The Upward Bird,” “Beer at the Corner Bar,” “The Death of the Father II,” and “Head Job,” which is actually from the perspective of a woman (!). Okay, Chekhov did a better job depicting women than Bukowski, I’ll give you that, but I’ll say Chekhov’s strongest characters also tend to be men.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I am quite the fan of Bukowski. I enjoyed Factotum, Pulp, and Post Office in particular, and I think Ham On Rye is a work of art. Perhaps the only real catch to Bukowski's work is that he is something of a one trick pony. Don't get me wrong, though. It's still a good trick. Where Bukowski fails in his writing (when he fails at all) is when he allows his nihilism to devolve into creative redundancy. He doesn't have very many points to make, and sometimes he tends to make them in the same way. I am quite the fan of Bukowski. I enjoyed Factotum, Pulp, and Post Office in particular, and I think Ham On Rye is a work of art. Perhaps the only real catch to Bukowski's work is that he is something of a one trick pony. Don't get me wrong, though. It's still a good trick. Where Bukowski fails in his writing (when he fails at all) is when he allows his nihilism to devolve into creative redundancy. He doesn't have very many points to make, and sometimes he tends to make them in the same way. Still, the man is a craftsman when it comes to the rough-hewn and the unflinching gaze of existentialism. This is why I was disappointed by Hot Water Music. Bukowski's themes (which are a lot deeper than just drunkeness, sex, ambivalence, and poverty, as some of the other reviews here seem to suggest) translate remarkably well when they are drawn out novelistically by his crisp, spare prose and his dry, gritty dialogue. In his books he takes his time teasing his message out of dark shadows and, when it is exposed to the light, he crushes its skull with a sledgehammer. Short stories, of course, don't give him as much leisure for dilly-dallying, and as a result his work here is blunter (inasumcuh as that's possible) and duller and far more repetitive. The majority of these stories are about, of course, ambiently depressed alcoholics who haven't the motivation or energy to do anything but keep digging their own grave. You read enough stories about soused women farting and horny men with hemorrhoids and your head starts to swim. Some people might argue that these stories are meant simply to be funny, and depending on your sense of humor, they are -- but no one likes to hear the same joke told ten, twelve, or twenty times in a row. Unless, of course, you really really like the joke. The more absurd pieces (You Kissed Lilly, Strokes to Nowhere, and I Love You, Albert) are fun enough, and although their playfulness tends to be vacuous, they are still chewy enough to be enjoyable. And there are really some remarkably subtle and clever stories here as well. Most notable among these are Cold Night, The Upward Bird, Beer at the Corner Bar, The Death of the Father II, In and Out and Over, and Head Job. In these Bukowski trades in his usual and obvious attempts at crassness and crudity for a more ghostly skill: the stories are delivered with his typical point-blank attitude, but their profundity is couched without bravado or brassiness. His short stories work best when they avoid the more blatant trademarks of his novels -- liquor-soaked abuse and disdain. Head Job, especially, is notable for being the first time that I have ever read Bukowski write something from a woman's point of view, and he does it admirably. This is a decent but repetitive collection of stories, with gems interspersed throughout, but the overall impression is mostly lukewarm, although hardcore fans will love it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    James

    More stories, some of the Best Buk stories they is :) Hate everything? Think the world is some sick place where everything we value is falsely raised to be somehow important when it all actually means shit? This is the book for you. Bukowski got it, and he also managed to write some crazy shit about it and lucky for you it can be find just in these pages. Crack her open, and instead of being angry that he's such a douchebag, be furious that you're not.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Fleming

    This is the first thing I read of Bukowski's and his terse style seemed to me like a breath of fresh air. It's as if he copied Hemingway's style and then mimicked it to the point of caricature. And yet somehow I'm still saying that's a good thing. I believe he took the potentiality of Hemingway's style and magnified it's unpleasantness in a manner similar to how Seth McFarlane exaggerated Matt Groening. Okay, maybe that analogy was pushing it but I love the way no thought or idea is too This is the first thing I read of Bukowski's and his terse style seemed to me like a breath of fresh air. It's as if he copied Hemingway's style and then mimicked it to the point of caricature. And yet somehow I'm still saying that's a good thing. I believe he took the potentiality of Hemingway's style and magnified it's unpleasantness in a manner similar to how Seth McFarlane exaggerated Matt Groening. Okay, maybe that analogy was pushing it but I love the way no thought or idea is too reprehensible to be included in Bukowski's conception of literature. By the way, besides the numerous pop culture references, the thing that really got me psyched to start reading Bukowski was the excellent documentaries on him that are available on Netflix. The length of his stories is interesting as well. These are more like vignettes and so it’s best to consider the whole work together and the interrelations between vignettes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    I grinned through the first few chapters, chuckled through the next few, then laughed my ass off for the remaining few. CB is a new revelation for me, I think I can understand his perpetual depravity. Maybe depravity is too strong a word. Let's go with misogynist, no, because he also loved thousands of women, for a night or two anyway. I'll have to think of the word, if there is one....@ 6am - Beer & Coffee @ 9am - More beer and a few shots of whiskey @ Noon - Even more beer, a few more I grinned through the first few chapters, chuckled through the next few, then laughed my ass off for the remaining few. CB is a new revelation for me, I think I can understand his perpetual depravity. Maybe depravity is too strong a word. Let's go with misogynist, no, because he also loved thousands of women, for a night or two anyway. I'll have to think of the word, if there is one....@ 6am - Beer & Coffee @ 9am - More beer and a few shots of whiskey @ Noon - Even more beer, a few more shots of whiskey and cheap wine.......Sleep......@ 9pm - Two six packs and vodka & whiskey & red wine until the wee hours of the morning.......next day......the same.

  6. 5 out of 5

    liz

    By far, my favorite work by Bukowski. This collection of short stories is both beautiful and grotesque. He is such an ass, and he talks about such base and vile acts... yet I love it! I could not put it down; I simply had to find out what fucked up thing was going to happen next. I think that the beauty of Bukowski is that he turns shit into flowers. An act that you would never consider to be pleasing is suddenly shown in a more light. Taking a shit. Killing your wife. These things are such By far, my favorite work by Bukowski. This collection of short stories is both beautiful and grotesque. He is such an ass, and he talks about such base and vile acts... yet I love it! I could not put it down; I simply had to find out what fucked up thing was going to happen next. I think that the beauty of Bukowski is that he turns shit into flowers. An act that you would never consider to be pleasing is suddenly shown in a more light. Taking a shit. Killing your wife. These things are such social faux-pas to discuss in literature, yet he does it in a captivating way.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vishal

    The key to understanding what makes Bukowski (in my opinion at least) one of the greatest writers that ever lived lies in this very book, in an often-repeated quote which reads: 'Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way' The best art (again in my opinion at least) can evoke a certain time and a place so vividly that though you may not even have experienced it, you still live it, clearly visualise it, breathe it. For instance, there is a downtempo electronic music band The key to understanding what makes Bukowski (in my opinion at least) one of the greatest writers that ever lived lies in this very book, in an often-repeated quote which reads: 'Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way' The best art (again in my opinion at least) can evoke a certain time and a place so vividly that though you may not even have experienced it, you still live it, clearly visualise it, breathe it. For instance, there is a downtempo electronic music band called Boards of Canada, that make music that reminds me of my childhood. This is despite the fact that I first listened to Boards of Canada when I was 29. Similarly, when I read about Bukowski's LA, I feel I've been to those very same shady bars, those dusty racetracks and lonely motel rooms. It's hard to pick a favourite from this collection. I could choose between You Kissed Lily, where a marital spat takes a number of extreme turns, In and Out and Over where Bukowski takes us through the highs and lows of the writer's day and makes you feel it is a privileged life after all, the road-rage revenge fantasy of Broken Merchandise, and many more. If I was pushed into a corner, I would choose Beer at the Corner Bar, a fine piece of work that embodies the deep loneliness of the misfit, rather like Camus' The Stranger. There is a very amusing quote about Camus in a different story here, to the effect that Camus spoke of misery as if he had just finished a steak dinner and a bottle of wine i.e. with a sort of detached elegance. There is no such compromise from him here. Or ever. Bukowski's prose as of itself isn't particularly explosive or beautiful in that flowery way. Like Dostoyevsky though, he has the ability to sum up the nature of existence in a way that shocks you with the beauty of its simplicity. He takes aim from his subconscious to yours with a deadly accuracy. He is also the voice of every societal outcast who still stands proud because his soul and his integrity is still intact. I've never really fit in with the masses, but when I read Bukowski I don't feel particularly bad that I don't. Hot Water Music is a terrific collection of stories that shock, amuse, and illuminate the way for a lonely soul to find his place in the world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Brakefield

    This was the first Bukowski I ever read. It was a serious eye-opener. Naive of me I know, but in a way I didn't think people could write stuff like this, publish stuff like this. It's easy enough to get hung on the more lascivious aspects, the drinking and the sex and the violence, but what really set him apart was his honesty, and his lack of fear in expressing things about himself that are unpalatable, unflattering, and the way he makes me laugh with him, at him. It taught me how to really This was the first Bukowski I ever read. It was a serious eye-opener. Naive of me I know, but in a way I didn't think people could write stuff like this, publish stuff like this. It's easy enough to get hung on the more lascivious aspects, the drinking and the sex and the violence, but what really set him apart was his honesty, and his lack of fear in expressing things about himself that are unpalatable, unflattering, and the way he makes me laugh with him, at him. It taught me how to really laugh at myself.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Booth

    3.5 stars. This is the first Bukowski book I’ve listened to instead of read. It was a collection of short stories mostly about men and women or men down on their luck, Bukowski’s two main reoccurring themes. Even though the narrator wasn’t bad at all and worked at having Bukowski’s voice it just didn’t match what was in my head when I read him. I think I am more fond of his novels and poetry (or poesies as he likes to call poems) than his short stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Werner

    Three dozen tales of drinking and nihilistic tendencies show Bukowski at a literary high and the inhabitants of the world at a moralistic low. German-born American author Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) had, at the time of 1983’s short story collection Hot Water Music (Ecco, ISBN:0876855966), made a career on taking his life-experiences and turning them into self-proclaimed “tales of ordinary madness.” With Hot Water Music, he uses breaks no new ground in his literary career, instead putting out Three dozen tales of drinking and nihilistic tendencies show Bukowski at a literary high and the inhabitants of the world at a moralistic low. German-born American author Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) had, at the time of 1983’s short story collection Hot Water Music (Ecco, ISBN:0876855966), made a career on taking his life-experiences and turning them into self-proclaimed “tales of ordinary madness.” With Hot Water Music, he uses breaks no new ground in his literary career, instead putting out another exceptionally-written anthology of bad people doing bad things. He occasionally lets his degenerate represent what the world can do to people, but more often than not his characters end up just showing people at their most indulgent stage of debauchery, representing what people can do to the world. A Walk Through the Worst Parts of Town The stories in Hot Water Music are the equivalent of walking through the worst parts of town at the best times, when both ends of the social spectrum clear out, when the gutters and nice houses both empty and the scumbags within start to move from bar to bar with a bad attitude, filling their guts with handout bar pretzels and stale popcorn. Bukowski follows these people around for awhile and ditches them before they become old news. These thirty-six stories rarely exceed six-pages, and they don’t need to. The reader is allowed to get a sense of the vulgarity that rubs its belly near the feet of everyone. The Usual Suspects The characters in these stories are the same drunks, rapists, sexual hounds with pathetic justifications for drinking whatever flows down the curb that anyone familiar with Bukowski’s work will recognize immediately. Bukowski’s literary alter-ego Hank Chinaski even makes several appearances, paralleling the arc of the author’s life in some of the more personal stories in this collection. The subject matter is standard Bukowski fare, as well: women, booze, coming to grips with popularity after a life of being shunned and enjoying it. At their worst, these stories are uneventfully bleak (“Turkeyneck Morning”) or just sort of uneventful (“In And Out And Over”). At their best, these are stories of perverts and weirdos settling for less than what everyone else expects them to. A Haul Towards the End, but More Than Worth It Though this collection gets a bit tedious if read straight through (especially if a reader is also simultaneously taking in other works by Bukowski), the great writing that was cultivated with 1982’s Ham On Rye sees Bukowski taking his minimalistic approach to life and language and turning it into a series of blinks past the windows where the shady people dwell.

  11. 4 out of 5

    J.P.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bukowski is one of my all-time faves. His work has brought me much enjoyment over the years. He's a major model to me as a writer. I hadn't looked at any of his short stories in some time, so I picked up one I hadn't previously read, HOT WATER MUSIC. Imagine my sad surprise when I was actually B-O-R-E-D by it. I dunno. Maybe it's because of the time in Buk's life from which HWM dates, the early 1980s. By then, Buk had cut his famous deal with Black Sparrow's John Martin. Publication for anything Bukowski is one of my all-time faves. His work has brought me much enjoyment over the years. He's a major model to me as a writer. I hadn't looked at any of his short stories in some time, so I picked up one I hadn't previously read, HOT WATER MUSIC. Imagine my sad surprise when I was actually B-O-R-E-D by it. I dunno. Maybe it's because of the time in Buk's life from which HWM dates, the early 1980s. By then, Buk had cut his famous deal with Black Sparrow's John Martin. Publication for anything he wrote was all but certain. Buk was out of the post office and beginning to ride the wave of critical applause he'd enjoy the rest of his life. And no, I'm not saying he didn't deserve it---he truly did. And I'm not saying he sold out---the guy never came close to doing so. Then, what's my problem with HOT WATER MUSIC? It's dull. Chockful of stories which strain, desperately, to be 'controversial' or offensive in some way. I mean, a story about a guy shtupping a flower vase? A story about a couple of possible serial killer/cannibals? And the tales don't end so much as they simply peter out, with no resolution of any kind. At times, this can be an effective literary device, but here, it's over-used. It's almost like Bukowski was consciously trying to write an oh-so Bukowski-like book. Perhaps it's because, at this point, Martin wasn't going to challenge anything Buk submitted. This book feels like an exercise written to fulfill a contractural obligation, rather than a literary statement. HOT WATER MUSIC reads like a self-satisfied author, seriously in need of a editor (all those lengthy, jam-packed paragraphs!) pandering to his audience. This man wrote books (POST OFFICE, WOMEN, DAYS RUN AWAY LIKE WILD HORSES..., LAST NIGHT OF THE EARTH POEMS) which will live forever. HOT WATER MUSIC isn't one of them.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Seán

    My only prior exposure to Bukowski was Post Office and his enormous hipster rep. The former was a genuinely good read and seemed to justify the latter, or at least added weight to what otherwise seemed the tale of a lucky dirtbag who suffered from the occasional bout of insight. However, these lusterless vignettes just sit on the page like the inert efforts of a lazy undergrad. Boasting atrocious dialogue and distracted endings, pretty much each story features a tough-guy character transparently My only prior exposure to Bukowski was Post Office and his enormous hipster rep. The former was a genuinely good read and seemed to justify the latter, or at least added weight to what otherwise seemed the tale of a lucky dirtbag who suffered from the occasional bout of insight. However, these lusterless vignettes just sit on the page like the inert efforts of a lazy undergrad. Boasting atrocious dialogue and distracted endings, pretty much each story features a tough-guy character transparently serving as a Bukowski stand-in who annihilates a willing blond and knows how to rate a horse. Now and then, there's a shadow of a moment or a half-turn of phrase that remind you that Bukowski was supposed to be a writer. I don't know if this is my encroaching decrepitude speaking, but--seriously--are you kidding me? Cf. Hubert Selby, Jr.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Pais

    There's something extremely appealing in Bukowski's raw minimalism. There's no need for more essence than that of the concise short stories that somehow seem to intertwine both in style and in content. A book I thoroughly recommend.

  14. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    Sex, alcohol, poetry, gambling. Standard Bukowski, though he was anything but standard. Hot Water Music is a crude underbelly journey of 30+ debauched vignettes. I was very pleased to see Henry Chinaski again. If you’ve never read Bukowski, probably don’t start here. If you’re easily offended, probably don’t read Bukowski. I don’t love everything I’ve read by him, but I appreciate his boldness and straightforward writing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Phillip

    This is a good collection of short stories, all of which were very quick reads, so it felt like I made nice progress. As for the stories themselves, they were vintage Bukowski, primarily focused on sex, booze, violence, and desperately dirty people. What really struck me while I was reading this collection is that Bukowski is, in a way, the evolution of literary naturalism. He focuses on down-and-out subjects, without skimping on the graphic detail, and he explores a world consisting of these This is a good collection of short stories, all of which were very quick reads, so it felt like I made nice progress. As for the stories themselves, they were vintage Bukowski, primarily focused on sex, booze, violence, and desperately dirty people. What really struck me while I was reading this collection is that Bukowski is, in a way, the evolution of literary naturalism. He focuses on down-and-out subjects, without skimping on the graphic detail, and he explores a world consisting of these types of characters. But where Bukowski diverges (and I think excells) classic naturalists like Stephen Crane and Frank Norris is in Bukowski's disintrest in judging his subjects. The classic naturalists generally presented their subjects as a sort of exotic Other, figures to be pitied and studied, but not fully equal to the middle class readership of novels. But Bukowski resists the urge to "study" his characters like a sociologist, and he also resists the urge to glorify poverty and write the whore-with-a-heart-of-gold cliche. For Bukowski a whore is just a whore, and there's nothing either good or bad about it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Koslow

    Bukowski's collection of short stories address the destructive and lonely nature of human existence. This is usually made by most writers in an extravagant, fiction-like manner, but Charles Bukowski brings destruction into his work through the normal, everyday dirty work that portrays the dark side to human achievement and society. His collection helped me realize that my ideal, no matter how surreal, can still be found in everyday observations on human life. This type of realism that he uses Bukowski's collection of short stories address the destructive and lonely nature of human existence. This is usually made by most writers in an extravagant, fiction-like manner, but Charles Bukowski brings destruction into his work through the normal, everyday dirty work that portrays the dark side to human achievement and society. His collection helped me realize that my ideal, no matter how surreal, can still be found in everyday observations on human life. This type of realism that he uses helps the reader connect his vague depression to the tiny ordeals of everyday life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    bukowski is a good writer, I like his style of vignettes, his raunchy straight forward prose and ridiculous dark characters. but he's such a sexist its distracts from the moral of his pieces. I can't forgive him because of when he grew up or because he does it for the shock and awe. his stories continues and validates a very destructive and abusive attitude towards women. that's never okay, even if its "art".

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pedro António Carvalho

    3,5/4* EN - "-Everything is boring. There's no escaping it. Did you know what some old hobos used to tattoo on their arms? «BORN TO DIE.» As cheesy as it may look, it's pure common sense." This book is SAVAGE! It's built as a collection of short stories about several episodes of miserable writers or poets (One of them is Bukowski's alter-ego Henry Chinaski) that appear various times in each different story, but due to the nature and thematic of the book, this feels almost like a series of 3,5/4* EN - "-Everything is boring. There's no escaping it. Did you know what some old hobos used to tattoo on their arms? «BORN TO DIE.» As cheesy as it may look, it's pure common sense." This book is SAVAGE! It's built as a collection of short stories about several episodes of miserable writers or poets (One of them is Bukowski's alter-ego Henry Chinaski) that appear various times in each different story, but due to the nature and thematic of the book, this feels almost like a series of flashbacks, memories we try to recover while we are still hungover so it's really hard to piece together all the stories and make sense of any of it. It almost always envolves hardcore alcoholism, gambling, drugs, sex, prostitution, violence and domestic violence, gore, rape and even pedophilia so this is not for the light hearted. I think this dives deep down into men's primal instincts and blantly exposes them in one short and fast paced book. This was my first Bukowski read and if you are feeling like your life is sh!t, read this. You'll feel much better with some "Hot Water Music". PT- "-Tudo é aborrecido. Não há como fugir. Sabes o que é que alguns vagabundos doutros tempos costumavam tatuar no braço? «NASCIDO PARA MORRER.» Por mais farsola que pareça, é puro senso comum." Este livro é SAVAGE ! Está construído como uma coleção de short stories sobre vários episódios de escritores ou poetas miseráveis (um deles sendo um alter-ego de Bukowski, Henry Chinaski) que aparecem várias vezes em cada história, mas devido à natureza e temática deste livro, isto parece-se mais com uma série de flashbacks de memórias que ainda estamos a tentar recuperar enquanto ainda estamos ressacados e por isso é um pouco difícil fazer sentido de todas estas histórias como um todo. Quase sempre envolve alcoolismo, vícios de apostas, drogas, sexo, prostituição, violência e violência doméstica, sangue, violação e até pedofilia por isso isto não é para os fracos de estômago. Eu acho que este livro mergulha nos instintos mais profundos e primordiais do homem e chocantemente os expõe num pequeno livro de ritmo acelerado. Este foi o primeiro livro do Bukowski que li e se vocês se estão a sentir como mer#@, leiam isto. Irão se sentir muito melhor com um pouco de "Música para Água Ardente".

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Just like every Charles Bukowski short story collection, they are hit or miss. The hits make up for the misses, the times when his writing is on point; you'll find everything you love about him in those stories. The misses are so bad, that even though they're generally quite short, I found myself skipping over the especially bad ones. Bukowski really shines in writing novels where everything is more focused, I'd highly recommend those if you're new to him.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Megan Rowe

    I'm a big fan of Buk, and because of this, I did enjoy some aspects of this collection. I think it's reductive and pointless to talk about whether his work is sexist (though I will say this...he allows his female characters to do some interesting things because he didn't care whether readers found him sexist) or autobiographical and therefore mislabeled, and, far more damning, unimaginative and just stuck. People always talk about these things with regards to Buk and what I would like to do is I'm a big fan of Buk, and because of this, I did enjoy some aspects of this collection. I think it's reductive and pointless to talk about whether his work is sexist (though I will say this...he allows his female characters to do some interesting things because he didn't care whether readers found him sexist) or autobiographical and therefore mislabeled, and, far more damning, unimaginative and just stuck. People always talk about these things with regards to Buk and what I would like to do is talk about Hot Water Music specifically and why it really didn't make it for me. It was either that he wasn't trying hard enough or he was trying too hard, but either way, the stories came across as Wannabe-Buk. That rough quality to his work came across in some stories as too sloppy, and in others it seemed practiced or measured, like he was impersonating himself. Part of what works about Buk was how genuine he was, but in Hot Water Music it seemed like he cared about shocking the readers, but the grit was created in a lab instead of being scraped off of LA streets.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John M.

    I've read a number of Bukowski's other books, and Hot Water Music just didn't appeal to me like the others. It's a collection of short stories that essentially repeat the same formula over and over again. In fact, a lot of these stories could be inserted as chapters in Women, which in my opinion is the weakest of the Bukowski novels. Even though it's just over 200 pages long, it was a tedious read, aside from a small handful of stories. If you're new to Bukowski, read Ham on Rye or Post Office, I've read a number of Bukowski's other books, and Hot Water Music just didn't appeal to me like the others. It's a collection of short stories that essentially repeat the same formula over and over again. In fact, a lot of these stories could be inserted as chapters in Women, which in my opinion is the weakest of the Bukowski novels. Even though it's just over 200 pages long, it was a tedious read, aside from a small handful of stories. If you're new to Bukowski, read Ham on Rye or Post Office, and skip this collection.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennpants

    Ive heard so much about Bukowski, people talk about him, love his work, etc. So I finally picked up a copy of Hot Water Music to take with me while traveling. I hated it. It was easy to get through and, admittedly, there were moments of brilliant succint-ness (spelled right? a real word?) where things were summed up neatly, wrapped up perfectly, in only a few small words...I liked that. That takes brains, thinking, restraint. But really, how many stories about losers can one take? Lets not glorify I´ve heard so much about Bukowski, people talk about him, love his work, etc. So I finally picked up a copy of Hot Water Music to take with me while traveling. I hated it. It was easy to get through and, admittedly, there were moments of brilliant succint-ness (spelled right? a real word?) where things were summed up neatly, wrapped up perfectly, in only a few small words...I liked that. That takes brains, thinking, restraint. But really, how many stories about losers can one take? Lets not glorify loser-dom so much, okay? It is nice to revel in bad moods and bad places...sometimes. But the mens in these stories are writers and poets that don´t create anything, drink too much, and think about how many times they can stick it in. The women portrayed, even the smart ones, are sad and pathetic. Maybe I´m missing something. I don´t think so.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emalie Soderback

    An explicitly brutal portrayal of human relationships, addiction, sexual ache and emotional carnage this book repulsed and attracted me in a way that only Bukowski can. It fueled many conversations of how writers put themselves into their work on different levels, leading to several questions revolving around the one bit in the book where a man swiftly asks for a match and then slits a stranger’s throat all in a few minutes and without a second thought. Why was this man a genius. I don’t know. “ An explicitly brutal portrayal of human relationships, addiction, sexual ache and emotional carnage this book repulsed and attracted me in a way that only Bukowski can. It fueled many conversations of how writers put themselves into their work on different levels, leading to several questions revolving around the one bit in the book where a man swiftly asks for a match and then slits a stranger’s throat all in a few minutes and without a second thought. Why was this man a genius. I don’t know. “Camus wrote like a man who had just finished a large dinner of steak and french fries, salad, and had topped it with a bottle of good French wine. Humanity may have been suffering but not him. A wise man, perhaps, but Henry preferred somebody who screamed when they burned.”

  24. 5 out of 5

    Allan

    In comparison to South of No North, which I finished a few days ago, his other short story collections that I have read, and his novels, I didn't enjoy this collection quite as much. You know what you're going to get with Bukowski, and while we have a little less Chinaski in this collection, there are characters with very similar characteristics, doing very similar things. At the same time, some of the stories were just a little fantastical, and a couple were just a little too close to the bone In comparison to South of No North, which I finished a few days ago, his other short story collections that I have read, and his novels, I didn't enjoy this collection quite as much. You know what you're going to get with Bukowski, and while we have a little less Chinaski in this collection, there are characters with very similar characteristics, doing very similar things. At the same time, some of the stories were just a little fantastical, and a couple were just a little too close to the bone for me. This won't put me off reading more of Bukowski's work-I just didn't enjoy this one as much as most of his other work.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    I picked up this book on a whim at a Barnes and Noble in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The first couple of stories seemed pretty edgy, but nothing over-the-top. The further I got, the more depraved the stories became--and yet, like a child peeking through his fingers during the gory parts of a horror movie, I was fascinated by these horrible, disgusting characters and the unspeakable acts some of them committed. Admittedly, this book is not for those with delicate sensibilities, but if you've got a I picked up this book on a whim at a Barnes and Noble in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The first couple of stories seemed pretty edgy, but nothing over-the-top. The further I got, the more depraved the stories became--and yet, like a child peeking through his fingers during the gory parts of a horror movie, I was fascinated by these horrible, disgusting characters and the unspeakable acts some of them committed. Admittedly, this book is not for those with delicate sensibilities, but if you've got a taste for black, black humour and a fascination for the darker side of human nature, then this book is definitely worth reading. Or not. It's up to you.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cbj

    HOT WATER MUSIC is the third collection of Bukowski short stories I've read this year. Its more of the same old stuff - lots of hard drinking lazy men who get lucky with beautiful women all of whom are voluptuous. But there is some melancholy and bad luck lurking around the corner. However, there wasn't enough social commentary in this collection of stories. Bukowski does tear into Mailer and Camus. But Bukowski's unique insights into modern life and human nature are few and far between. I felt HOT WATER MUSIC is the third collection of Bukowski short stories I've read this year. Its more of the same old stuff - lots of hard drinking lazy men who get lucky with beautiful women all of whom are voluptuous. But there is some melancholy and bad luck lurking around the corner. However, there wasn't enough social commentary in this collection of stories. Bukowski does tear into Mailer and Camus. But Bukowski's unique insights into modern life and human nature are few and far between. I felt like some of the stories were too lightweight and small. But they are all very cleverly written with sharp and funny dialog and never fails to elicit a snigger.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Mac

    i pride myself on having a stomach made of steel (canned pineapple chunks make my tongue retract and stomach seize, however), but this book made me gag. the man creates a narrator with an affinity for picking at his own hemorrhoids for goodness sake! when bukowski gets good and grotesque, your eyes will widen to a painful degree and you may miss your bus stop but the man's got one helluva way with the brutal honesty of getting old. this is what you have to look forward to, aging into an oozing i pride myself on having a stomach made of steel (canned pineapple chunks make my tongue retract and stomach seize, however), but this book made me gag. the man creates a narrator with an affinity for picking at his own hemorrhoids for goodness sake! when bukowski gets good and grotesque, your eyes will widen to a painful degree and you may miss your bus stop but the man's got one helluva way with the brutal honesty of getting old. this is what you have to look forward to, aging into an oozing hateful pink pile of horror.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Thrilling collection of Bukowski short stories: lots of sex, booze and gambling, yeah! "Home Run" is about the beating of a cocky bartender, "Broken Merchandise" is a brilliant account of road rage, "The Man Who Loved Elevators" is like a Todd Solondz movie about an apartment house sex maniac, and "900 Pounds" is about a fat guy in a bathing suit about to kill you. Other stories are nothing more than drunken phone calls, but the dialogue is very, very funny. This one never disappoints!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karky

    I had a Chuck Bukowski kick back in 2004. I moved out of my father's house the year prior, inadvertently isolated myself from most of my friends, got a soul-draining job in retail, and fallen into a bit of depression (which hardly anyone noticed). Though I hardly remember what I read, it spoke to me because I was in a toxic environment and Bukowski wrote with an honest intensity that was lacking in my life at the time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Edmund Davis-Quinn

    This took me a long time to read 2-3 stories at a time. Is a lot of similarity in the loser meets loser, they get drunk and hook up. The story about the terrible poet who loved his voice was my favorite.

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