FICTION BOOK REVIEWS & THOUGHTS ON WRITING

Snyder is Writing

I will return to this blog at some point in the future.

I got involved in a story and I can’t get out.

A.S.

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Quote of the Day, Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski… Writing was never work for me. It had been the same for as long as I could remember: turn on the radio to a classical music station, light a cigarette or a cigar, open the bottle. The typer did the rest. All I had to do was be there. The whole process allowed me to continue when life itself offered very little, when life itself was a horror show. There was always the typer to soothe me, to talk to me, to entertain me, to save my ass from the madhouse, from the streets, from myself.

Charles Bukowski,
Hollywood

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Charles Bukowski’s Hollywood: Hank Gets Happy

hollywoodCharles Bukowski’s Hollywood:

Hank Gets Happy

©2013 Arnold Snyder

Hollywood is the last installment of Bukowski’s autobiographical Henry Chinaski series. It’s the thinly-disguised story of the making of the 1987 movie, Barfly, which starred Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway. The Chinaski of Hollywood is a radical departure from the Henry Chinaski of the earlier novels. In Hollywood, Hank is prosperous and content, doing what he wants, living in a comfortable house with his wife, whom he calls “my good Sarah,” driving a new BMW. Henry has it made. Read More…

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Quote of the Day, Louis-Ferdinand Céline

celine“My trouble is insomnia. If I had always slept properly, I’d never have written a line.”

― Louis-Ferdinand Céline,

Death on the Installment Plan

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Charles Bukowski’s Pulp: A Drink to Victory

Pulp by Charles BukowskiCharles Bukowski’s Pulp:
A Drink to Victory

©2013 Arnold Snyder

Pulp is the only one of Charles Bukowski’s novels that’s not written from the perspective of Bukowski’s alter ego, Henry Chinaski. After all the agonized and hilarious autobiographical accounts of pain, frustration, poor health and madness of his earlier novels, the great man had at last come to a subject too enormous and painful to deal with directly. This was Bukowski’s last novel, published in 1994, the same year he died of leukemia at the age of 73. As he was writing this book, he knew his days were numbered. Read More…

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Quote of the Day, Rainer Maria Rilke

RilkeGo into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all–ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple “I must,” then build your life according to this necessity …

– Rainer Maria Rilke,
from Letters to a Young Poet

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Charles Bukowski’s Ham on Rye: The Good Fight

Ham on Rye by Charles BukowskiCharles Bukowski’s Ham on Rye:

The Good Fight

©2013 Arnold Snyder

Charles Bukowski’s fourth novel, Ham on Rye, was written in 1982, after he had found success as a writer, moved from East Hollywood to the harborside village of San Pedro, and had established his relationship with Linda Lee Beighle, whom he would marry and stay with the rest of his life. Ham on Rye is an autobiographical novel about Bukowski’s childhood during the Great Depression, and from this vantage point of relative security and well-being and love, he could look back on the harrowing forces that formed him in a way that transforms his personal pain into a brilliant work about what it is to be human. Read More…

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Quote of the Day, Allen Ginsberg

allen-ginsburg

Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.

― Allen Ginsberg,
from On Being a Writer, edited by Bill Strickland

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Charles Bukowski’s Factotum: Jack o’ No Trades

factotumCharles Bukowski’s Factotum:
Jack o’ No Trades

©2013 Arnold Snyder

A “factotum” (Latin for “do everything”) is a jack of all trades—a guy who can trim your hedges, tune-up your car, fix your leaky kitchen faucet, and build a tool shed in your backyard. As the title of Bukowski’s second novel, the term Factotum is used tongue-in-cheek. Although Hank Chinaski, Bukowski’s alter ego, describes some twenty jobs he had as a struggling young writer, he had no talent for doing anything other than writing, and he had no desire to work at anything but writing. He didn’t fit in as an employee anywhere and clearly never could—he sees the way the world works too clearly and can’t hide his contempt for his “superiors,” especially after selling a story to a top literary mag. But he had to pay the rent and buy booze. So, here he is, pushing the boulder up the mountain over and over again. Read More…

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The Assault on Tony’s by John O’Brien – An Alcoholic’s View of Armageddon

The Assault on Tony's by John O'BrienThe Assault on Tony’s
by John O’Brien:
An Alcoholic’s View of Armageddon

©2013 Arnold Snyder

Okay, here’s the premise of John O’Brien’s The Assault on Tony’s.

A handful of rich Republican alcoholics stop in at their favorite bar near the country club to ride out a riot. They all arrive at the bar with a couple of weapons—a Glock, a Walther, a couple of Dirty Harry .44 Magnums, a Beretta 92F. Apparently they’re always packing, but now they’re packing double and thank goodness, because the riot soon turns into Armageddon. Read More…

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