Book Reviews

What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire By Charles Bukowski


What Da Cover Says:  This second posthumous collection from Charles Bukowski takes readers deep into the raw, wild vein of writing that extends from the early 70s to the 1990s.

What I Says:  What a title!  I read this during the Coronavirus madness and the title fits that situation perfectly.  This was a collection created after Bukowski died and they’ve done a good job pulling together material that showed his mood in those years.  From unwanted visitors telling him how great he is to freeloading friends trying to get a few bucks from him to his cats.  Each time I read one of his poems about cats I can see how much he lived his life like a cat, eating, drinking, going after ladies and then spending the rest of his time chilling.

There are a number of pieces here about death, other writers, artists, friends, women, his mother and his own.  Highlight of mine was him describing himself as being in no hurry to meet death, he’ll just sit there drinking wine and watch the stars whilst waiting for Death to make its move.  He is also very open about himself and tries to explain why he is like he is, “beast” is incredible, it leaves you with a lump in your chest.

Favourite poem for me in this book was “lifedance”

“the area dividing the brain and the soul
is affected in many ways by
some lose all mind and become soul:
some lose all soul and become mind:
some lose both and become:

There is so much in this book, how one man could right so much that could have meaning to so many people is mind blowing.  The man was a genius and this book rocks!


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