Charles Bukowski - Tales of Ordinary Madness*

Rating 6.8

I am definitely NOT a fan of Bukowski (in fact considering him one of the most overhyped authors ever, second only to Raymond Carver).

Besides, a former old flame of mine adored him. So when she decided we couldn't work together (quite soon), I removed three things from my life:
Hand-rolled cigarettes, Violent Femmes and Charles Bukowski.

Still, I have to confess how these short stories are a good and naughty fun. (The one with the man becoming a dildo is so damn nasty!).

The book itself popped up pretty suddenly during a rambling nightwalk in Oxford. It was left in a plastic bag in the gloomy St Ebbes Road next to a van selling smelly junk food.

I picked it up. Neonlit by the winkling van, an Italian edition of this book was standing in my right hand.
Then I basically brought the unexpected walk war chest at home, a few footsteps further, downhill.

I thought it may have been a sign. This book was waiting for me. Somehow.

Let's call it Bukowski's Wicked Curse.
Does anybody want to share it?
For those who are interested, let's meet at the smelly van, 1 am.

*The real title of this book is actually "Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions, and General Tales of Ordinary Madness". Not that I am that puritan to omit it from the header: it was simply way too long. And unnecessary. Whoever chose it.


David Remnick - Reporting

Rating 7.4

Have you ever dreamed to see Mike Tyson and Tony Blair fighting for the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World with Don King on the right corner of the ring and Gordon Brown on the left one?

Well, there you are guys.
Place your bet, please.

The match takes place in Moscow's Red Square.

Vladimir Putin wearing a bikini and a miniskirt is holding the signs of the rounds in the intervals.
Boris Yeltsin is standing on the rooftop of Saint Basil's Cathedral advertising Pizza Hut's special offers with a megaphone.

Don De Lillo is passing by with a tray selling nuts and sodas.
Al Gore is just behind him, picking up the nutshells and empty cans for recycling them.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu and Vaclav Havel are playing "Risk" sitting cross-legged on a smaller ring below the GUM's roof. A Tass dispatch says that Havel just conquered Kamchatka. Mick Jagger paints it black.

Philip Roth is masturbating himself close to the Lenin's Mausoleum dreaming to marry a young communist.

In a not very distant dacha, this is just another day in the life of Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn.

David Remnick reports. He made it all.
And these writings of him are better than a Barnum show.