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The Most Beautiful Woman in Town (Anglais) Broché – 6 août 2009


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Not since George Orwell has the condition of being down-and-out been so well recorded" (New York Times)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Surfacing from the literary underground, Bukowski's wild and immortal stories have become cult favourites. This collection of anecdotal short stories demonstrates Bukowski's compelling semi-autobiographical style and his mastery of visceral language and the depiction of seamy underworlds.

Focusing on themes that recur throughout his work, from Los Angeles and bar culture to alcoholism, gambling, sex and violence, these pieces also introduce unexpected elements of fantasy and surrealism.



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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 240 pages
  • Editeur : Virgin Books (6 mars 2008)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0753513773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753513774
  • Dimensions du produit: 12,9 x 1,5 x 19,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 94.154 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par Alfred J. Kwak le 19 avril 2014
Format: Broché
Heavy drinking and alcoholism definitely occur in the writing profession and the condition is occasionally described at book length. If so, then in a far more artful manner than by Charles Bukowski (CB; 1920-1994) in this collection of short stories. Earlier in life CB survived a decade-long drinking binge, then sobered up or shifted down his intake, worked jobs, e.g. 14 years in a post office and put his boozing memories on paper, time and again. All CB’s writings saw the light via small underground publishers. He also became a cult hero performing on stage to sympathetic audiences. Forgive me for getting any of this wrong.
Is CB an important writer? In my humble opinion, no, not at all. This collection lacks substance, gravitas, anything approaching art or beauty or wisdom. The stories describe couplings, complacency, boredom, violent incidents and -endings without feelings or a sense of a possible future. They are crude, one-dimensional stories. Not a single one holds a promise of more depth if turned into a novel. But judging from ratings on several sites, CB still has a solid fan base, giving top marks to this book… I disagree.

Consider instead some alternatives: one alcoholic classic is Malcolm Lowry’s “Under the Volcano”. More recently, Patrick deWitt’s “Ablutions” and Venedict Jerofejev’s “Trainride to Petrushki” (available in e.g. French and German, not in English). They describe everyday life with booze far more interestingly. Or read Lawrence Block’s novels about his struggling hero Matt Scudder … They all tell great stories, remain focused throughout and end their novels with a bang or a flourish. Bukowski ‘s “dirty realism” is no match to these writers. It is simply inferior.
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Un client le 20 septembre 2002
Format: Broché
The most beautiful woman in Town, est le plus beau livre de C.Bukowski. Si l'on aime les contes de la folie ordinaire, on adorera ce livre. Il y a plus de nouvelles dans celui ci que dans la version française. Le recueil porte le nom de la première nouvelle. L'histoire d'une fille merveilleusement belle qui se coupe la gorge pour s'enlaidir, se taillade le visage, parce qu'elle aimerait que les hommes l'aiment pour autre chose.
Pour faire passer les sentiments Charles Bukowski n'utilise pas de longues digressions, il préfère énoncer des faits. Plutôt que de dire que quelqu'un panique et ne sait plus quoi faire il préférera dire, qu'il se lève de sa chaise, puis se rassoit, puis se relève. C'est comme ça qu'il écrit. Sans prétention. Et pourtant tout ça devient très grands. Va au fond des nuits de bières, de bars, de solitudes. Avec des petites choses, des petites gens, et tout le terrible de la vie. Bukowski avait lu Celine, Celine avait vu l'amérique, tous les deux sont allez au bout de la nuit, ils se ressemblent.
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0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Phil-Don TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS le 19 février 2010
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
C'est après avoir lu et beaucoup apprécié la nouvelle "Bring Me Your Love" de Bukowski que j'ai commandé ce recueil. Et quelle déception! Si l'on excepte la nouvelle en titre et une ou deux autres (notamment "The Murder of Ramon Vasquez"), j'ai trouvé le reste sans intérêt, déplaisant, voire malsain. A quelques exceptions près, c'est toujours la même histoire qui se répète: celle d'un ivrogne obsédé par le sexe, l'alcool et les courses. L'écriture est souvent obscène, relatant les divagations pronographiques de l'auteur. Bukowski n'est sans doute pas dénué de talent, on le sent bien, mais il l'emploie bien mal et gâche tout par ses pathétiques obsessions.
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18 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Spotlight on the seamy side of life 10 septembre 2006
Par Michael Battaglia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Bukowski tends to, as far as I can tell, polarize readers something fierce. There are those who claim that he belongs among the highest pantheon of American writers for his no holds barred writings and ability to tell it like it is. Others will say that his stories aren't worth the paper they're printed on, full of trash writing and vulgarity, appealing to only the basest of emotions. While I don't think he's a literary genius, I certainly don't think his writing can be dismissed totally out of hand, at least not from the representative sample presented in this collection. Most of the stories focus on a male character, who may or may not be Bukowski, going about his day in some fashion, which will generally include drinking, picking up women or otherwise seeing whatever bizarre things lie at the edge of society. His style is deceptively simple, never flowery or ornate but somehow getting the point across anyway, at its best his words take on a Hemmingwayesque sparseness, the short declarative sentences forming a terse rhythm that gives them more resonance than you would otherwise think. Strangely enough a lot of those moments come at the end of a story, he's good at wrapping tales up, often finishing with a paragraph or two of sobering observation, capping it with some variation of a fatalistic, "well, whatever." At their heart the stories strike me as honest, they're rough and unadorned, but sincere all the same. The most honest ones may be the autobiographical-type tales, not knowing a whole lot about the man I can't tell how much is totally invented and how much was real but those ones (such as "Life and Death in the Charity Ward") have the ring of stark reality about them. He depicts life in the sideways corners, the people who hold the odd jobs, who need a drink to get through the day, the greasy squalor of it all, seen briefly admist the mess of neon lights and burnt out streetlamps, dirty apartments, sweaty desperate couplings, the hope of betting money at the race track and praying that this time, maybe, God willing, you might hit it big. Not huge, but just enough to live comfortably for just one more day. Bukowski depicts them, and by extension himself, unflinchingly and with equal parts contempt and sympathy. The people in his stories are just trying to live, the same as anyone else, and this is how they live. For all the vulgarity and whatnot, nothing in here really shocked me, even the most abrasive act is rendered somehow touching, either through his dry commentary or a dark bit of humor. Even "The Fiend", probably the most disturbing story in here, is balanced by the main character's fate at the end. This collection is by no means perfect, reading too many of these in a row could drive you mad, as a lot of it can strike you as variations on a theme. But read in small chunks, these stories act like the best kind of punk rock music, it says what it has to say and gets the heck out, with not a single word wasted. For those capable of stomaching what amounts to kicking over a rock in the forest and seeing what kind of slimy insects crawl out, this is probably worth checking out. For the rest, you may have to build up your tolerance in other places first.
19 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Pushes the Boundaries of What Good Literature Is 21 mars 2006
Par colinwoodward - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The Most Beautiful Woman in Town challenges the reader. At times, Bukoswki seems to be asking, "How much can you take? How far can I go?" No question, he's at the top of his form as a writer here. The objections I have are not with his artistic skill, but with his choices in material. "The Copulating Mermaid of Venice, Calif.," is a disturbing tale of necrophilia. Bad enough. But "The Fiend" is perhaps the most repellent short story I have ever read--a morally repugnant tale of child rape. And after reading a biography of Bukowski, I discovered that the story was not simply a fictional take on sexual depravity, but a variation of an actual sexual fantasy Bukowski had. The author goes too far here. All writers must face their demons, and some do well to write about them. But what is so objectionable about the "The Fiend" is that Bukowski sets up the rape scene for a laugh. "The Fiend" is the largest stain on a very good writer's body of work. That said, this book contains some of Buk's best work, such as the title story, which might be the best introduction to Bukowski's short story style. Also great is "Life and Death in the Charity Ward," about Bukowski's near fatal drinking bout. If I had to recommend one short story of his, it would be "Most Beautiful" or "Life and Death." "Kid Stardust on the Porterhouse" is also great, a retelling of the half-day that Buk spent working at a slaughterhouse. Given the varying quality of this book, Bukowski fans might come away from it with mixed feelings.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
My first taste of The Buk 18 février 2000
Par Carbon Klein - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I stumbled into City Lights Books in SF and they recommended Bukowski. Always skeptical of "artistic literary" types, I decided to pick out a book of short stories to entertain my MTV attention span. I was very delighted with Bukowski's stories. Some are very creative (eg. Swastika) and most are downright vulgar! Throw in a bit of tragedy and a ton of tasteless humor (6 inches and The Copulating Mermaid of Venice, CA comes to mind) and you've got an idea of Bukowski's work. At many times, I found myself laughing out loud (very unusual for me) with his stories. I will probably pick up the second part of his short story volume (Tales of Ordinary Madness) as well as Post Office. Mad immortal tales, indeed.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Genius? Yes and No... 17 février 2005
Par Jeremy Ulrey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The merits of Charles Bukowski have been hotly debated, and no more thorough introduction to the debate is available than a quick perusal of the reviews on this site. Personally I can see both sides of the fence on this one. I love Bukowski, but the parallels between his faults and my own make me a sympathetic reader. Those who have their crap together and have no issues maintaining noble ideals might be a little less impressed (if not outright revolted).

Even with my own prejudices noted, I still have to admit that "The Most Beautiful Woman in Town" has a greater hit-to-miss ratio than other collections of his that I've read (ie. "Notes of a Dirty Old Man", "Tales of Ordinary Madness"). Those that point out that Bukowski's stories tend to be same old, same old have a point, but they fail to realize that these short shorts were written as columns for an underground magazine and not necessarily meant to be compiled between two covers of the same book. I imagine if read in the original context, as just one story amongst a magazine full of varying writers, the works would come across as less monotonous. I appreciate this context and as such have not docked any points for it, as I prefer to grade strictly on the writing (those who demur would be hard pressed to deny that it's standard critical procedure to evaluate a greatest hits album based on the strength of the individual tracks, and not necessarily how well they tie together - I'm merely following the same consistancy here).

As I stated, there are a handful of lame ducks on display here - hence the 4 stars, and honestly this ranks more like a three and a half if we're splitting hairs - but when Buke's on point his flippant portrayals of a perrenial loser forever masking his pain in drink, cheap women and steadfast boycotting of the rat race are more insightful than the lurid dime-store subject matter would lead one to believe. Occasionally Bukowski approaches poetry in his prose works but for the most part keeps his fiction fairly well grounded, if not in reality itself than at least easily interpreted fantasy and science fiction (as in the story where a fiendish lover feeds him beer which eventually shrinks him until he's a mere six inches tall). Ultimately most of these tales read like the fragmented, deadline-haunted morsels that they are, and though they have the advantage of easy consumption I personally would recommend getting acquainted with Bukowski through his poetry or novels first and then circling back once you've gotten a taste for him. There are several stories in which the women in his life acknowledge that Bukowski is an ugly man but love him anyway, finding something beautiful - even soulful - in his ugliness. This is as apt a metaphor as any for the value of his remorselessly grim underworld.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Have a drink, pal 9 avril 2002
Par robert weiler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Check out the other review close to mine. What a bunch of gobbledygook. Dude, never slam an author with a review that is even muddier than the book you are slamming. First of all, what are "the issues we have judged to be important in good writing"?
Are you saying that to have any credibility, all authors must limit their work to seperation of church and state? And don't try to impress us with words like 'inchoate'. Nobody knows what that means. The reason you don't like Bukowski is because your writing is so much like his, except more pretentious. Maybe with a few drinks in you, you'd loosen up and make it as Bukowski imitator.
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